Qian Qichen

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Qian Qichen in 1997

Qian Qichen (Chinese: 钱其琛; 5 January 19289 May 2017) was a Chinese diplomat and politician. He served as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo member from 1992 to 2002, China's Foreign Minister from April 1988 to March 1998, and as Vice Premier from March 1993 to March 2003. Since then, no other diplomat-turned-politician has attained such a lofty status in China's political hierarchy and he played a critical role in shaping China's foreign policy during General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin's administration.

Quotes[edit]

  • Five years into the 21st century, the international situation is undergoing profound changes while peace and development remain the themes of our times. Economic globalization is steadily moving forward, accompanied by the continuous progress of world multipolarization and breathtaking advancement of science and technology. Forces upholding peace and constraining war are gaining strength. However, we must not fail to see those rising destabilizing and unpredictable factors, the intertwined traditional and non-traditional security threats and rampant terrorist activities. Transnational problems such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), drug trafficking, transnational crimes and illegal migration keep cropping up and have yet to be eliminated once and for all.
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    Firstly, enhancing international cooperation to jointly cope with the terrorist threat. With globalization going deeper, countries now find their interests more intertwined and interrelated than before. Thus, such a global challenge as terrorism has to be met with global coordination. For the purpose of stronger international cooperation in this regard, it is critical to anchor the international relations on a more democratic and legal basis and help the developing countries to enhance their counter-terrorism capabilities.
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    Secondly, addressing both the symptoms and root causes by paying equal attention to prevention. There are deep and complicated root causes behind the scourge of terrorism. Poverty tends to bring about social injustice, fuel extremist ideas and trigger regional turbulence. They are easily exploited by the terrorist groups.
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    Thirdly, upholding multilateralism and giving scope to the role of the UN. Being the most universal, representative and authoritative international organization, the UN serves as an important platform for multilateral cooperation aimed at mutual benefit and win-win results.
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    Fourthly, promoting dialogues among civilizations and strengthening exchanges and communication. In a diversified and colorful world, cultural and religious differences among countries exist independent of man's will. These distinctions and differences should all the more encourage us to learn from and complement each other for common progress. We disapprove of linking terrorism with any specific country, ethnic group or religion.
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    I hereby wish to reiterate that China unfalteringly condemns and opposes terrorism of all forms. We have stepped up counter-terrorism efforts in the various domestic authorities and taken a series of measures in legislation, aviation, finance and customs to prevent any terrorist incidents. We have taken an active part in the international counter-terrorism cooperation, supported the UN in its leading role in the anti-terrorism campaign and carried out productive bilateral cooperation with the relevant countries.
  • Europe was where two World Wars started. These two wars brought untold sufferings to the people of Europe and the rest of the world. It was after the end of the Second World War that the United Nations was founded. But people soon found out that they once again had to endure the Cold War between the East and West. Even the United Nations could not do much about it.
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    Today, more than ever, people treasure peace and stability, advocate dialogue and cooperation and value development and advancement. The end of the Cold War, the establishment and expansion of the European Union and the birth and circulation of the Euro have set models for international and regional cooperation.
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    Mankind has entered twenty-first century. The international situation is undergoing profound and tremendous transformation. Looking around the world, we see that the development of human society has offered us brighter prospect. But in the meantime, we know that our world is far from being tranquil and peaceful.
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    Peace and development remain the themes of our time but none of them has been perfectly achieved.
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    Traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined, with the latter becoming more prominent. Bloodshed triggered by racial, religious, territorial and other traditional security factors has not waned.
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    Economic globalization is developing, but the gap between the North and the South is widening. Under economic globalization, countries are more closely linked and are blessed with more opportunities for development. However, the rewards brought by globalization have not been evenly distributed, which aggravates the conflict in development. Undulating anti-globalization campaigns have prompted us to reflect: the vast majority of developing countries are still in a disadvantageous position, with shortage of development fund, heavy burden of debt, deteriorating trade conditions, increasing financial risks and low technology level. This situation is unfavourable for the sustained and healthy development of the global economy.
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    While the world is moving towards multi-polarization, unilateralism still exists. The international community is calling in a louder voice for multilateral cooperation. Most countries support the idea of “seeking big common ground while shelving small differences” and achieving common development and prosperity through multilateral cooperation. However, practices of imposing pressure on other countries at will and even resorting to the use of force, which are against the norms governing international relations, have occurred from time to time. The Iraqi war is a worst result of such unilateral action.
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    While there is an increasing desire for the democratization of international relations, the noises of “cultural conflicts” have not decreased. Rule of law is needed in governing a country and, by the same token, democracy is required in handling international relations. Civilizations of various countries are the common asset of mankind and the foundation on which the human race carries forward the past. In today’s civilized society, to tell good or bad about certain civilizations only leads to racial hatred and civilization confrontation.
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    History and today fit perfectly in one picture and it makes us reflect upon the past and look into the future. We are living in a changing world with complicated relations. We are confronted with choices in handling international relations and dealing with various kinds of threats and challenges: do we go for dialogue or confrontation, cooperation or unilateralism, win-win or lose-lose. These are fundamental choices each country has to make, with no exception. The option left with us is a clear-cut one: we can achieve co-existence, co-sharing and win-win only by promoting unity, exchange and cooperation.
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    Co-existence is the basis for the sustained growth of human society. Respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence are important principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. Countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are all equal members in the international community and are all entitled to participate in and make decisions about international affairs. Global challenges need to be dealt with through global cooperation. A new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation should be established amongst members of the international community.
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    Co-sharing is the highway to realizing common prosperity for human society. World peace is not possible without the stability of developing countries, and global prosperity is not possible without the economic development of developing countries. We need economic globalization that benefits all countries on earth, not the polarization that makes the rich richer, the poor poorer. There are still 1.2 billion people living abject poverty with daily income less than one dollar. The assistance provided by developed countries should not have any political string or harsh terms attached.
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    Win-Win is the goal for comprehensive development of the human society. The United Nations is a universally representative and a most authoritative international organization. It is a major platform for multilateral cooperation and win-win arrangement. A strong and powerful UN is the hope for a peaceful and stable world that enjoys development and prosperity.
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    People from all countries can benefit from globalization only through promoting cooperation and common development. And only in this way can we make this twenty-first century where everyone enjoys development.
  • In the new century, the trend towards economic globalization has grown stronger. The New Economy has developed at an extraordinary speed. The economic situation in the Asia-Pacific region has undergone many changes. We need to think about ways to cope with these new developments. There is no denying that economic globalization has triggered more fierce market competition worldwide. As major players in economic activities and technological innovation, enterprises are obviously under pressure from competition. However, a wider range of competition implies a wider range of cooperation at the same time. We stand for cooperation amidst competition, common development through cooperation and economic prosperity from common development, which will eventually lead to a better life for all people together.
  • Over a hundred years ago, more than 100,000 Chinese laborers crossed the Pacific Ocean and plunged themselves into the opening up of the American West and the construction of the transcontinental railway. There, they sweated away, and even devoted their lives. Also at that time, many Chinese students came to the United States to learn new technology and new knowledge.
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    History tells that cooperation benefits both, while confrontation harms both. China-U.S. friendship serves the interests of the people of both countries and the whole world as well.
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    The Chinese people want peace and love peace. They have all along believed that "nothing is more precious than peace." They have always wanted to see the world in peace and live in harmony with all the other peoples in the world. This is a tradition that has been deeply rooted in the Chinese culture.
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    It is our long-term task to go all out for economic development and steadily improve our people's life. We, therefore, need an external environment of lasting peace more than anyone else.
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    China loves peace and freedom. The Chinese nation waged an unyielding struggle for national independence and the democratic rights in modern times. The birth of the People's Republic was a great achievement of this struggle.
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    China has a population of 1.26 billion. It is by no means an easy job to ensure so many people their subsistence, development and political rights. It cannot be done overnight. Progress can only be made step by step.
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    But the cult is a poisonous tumor of the society. Falun Gong is precisely such a cult that ruins families and human lives. It is not a religion at all. It despises Protestantism, Catholicism, and Buddhism. It fools and entraps people. In order to safeguard the human rights and freedom of the Chinese people, the Government has outlawed the organization in accordance with the law.
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    Democracy, freedom, and human rights are the common pursuit of humanity. Countries differ from one another. So it is nothing strange for them not to see eye-to-eye on these issues. What is most important is to respect each other, seek common ground by putting aside differences, and refrain from confrontation.
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    Our basic principle on settling the Taiwan question is " peaceful unification and one country, two systems." Once the Taiwan authorities accept the one-China principle, the two sides across the Taiwan Straits may resume talks, and anything can be discussed in such talks.
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    The international situation is undergoing profound changes. The world is moving toward multipolarity. Economic globalization has brought countries closer, and the progress in science and technology have given fresh impetus to the human progress.
  • Peace in the world and stability in the region are in the best interests of China. The only criterion we use in judging international affairs is to see whether they serve world peace, common development and the interests of the Chinese people and the world people as a whole. We advocate a new security concept. We should try to build up mutual trust through consultations and dialogue on an equal footing. We should seek common security. This is the only way to ensure peace and stability. We believe that to seek absolute security for oneself through stronger military alliance and intensified arms race is out of tune with the trend of the times. It won’t lead to an effective security at all. We stand for democracy in international relations. We believe that all countries are equal members of the international community, regardless of their size, strength and wealth. National affairs of a country should be decided by its people while international affairs should be handled by all countries together through consultations on an equal footing. We will take an active part in the process of economic globalization.

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