|Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun Attends the Munich Security Conference|
(Source: Chinese Consulate-General in Munich)
On February 4, 2012, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun attended the 48th Munich Security Conference and delivered a speech titled "Working Together for Peace, Stability and Development of Asia" during a panel discussion on "America, Europe and the Rise of Asia" at the Conference.
The rise of Asia has picked up speed since the beginning of the 21st century and Asia remains a bright spot against a backdrop of sluggish recovery of the world economy and frequent regional turbulence, Zhang said, adding China is a big plus for the world both in economic or security areas. Development of the East and the West is not a zero-sum game, Zhang said. The rise of Asia represents greater balance in the international power structure, he noted. The modernization of billions of people in Asia will create a bigger market and more job opportunities for the world, Zhang said, adding that it renewed vitality to the efforts to fight global challenges and improve global governance.
On relations between Asia and countries outside the region, Zhang said Asia has always been an open and inclusive region and China welcomes the constructive role played by the United States, Europe and others from outside the region in Asia-Pacific affairs. But in the meantime, he noted, countries outside Asia should fully respect the will of the Asian people and follow the development trend in Asia. It is the shared aspiration of the people of Asia to seek economic development, better living standards and stability. He pointed out that any move to deliberately highlight the military and security agenda, create tension and strengthen military presence or military alliance runs counter to the trend of our times and people's will in Asia.
He called on countries outside Asia to respect the characteristics of Asia and the Asian people's way of action, stressing that Asia does not export development models or ideologies, nor does it want to see others impose their will on Asia. Asian countries emphasize the principles of respecting each other's sovereignty and independence, equality between big and small countries, taking care of each other’s comfort, reaching consensus through consultation and gradual and orderly progress, and they do not approve of the practice of misinterpreting international rules.
With regard to the Euro-Asian ties, Zhang pointed out there were immense scope and potentials for Asia-Europe cooperation lying ahead. The European sovereign debt problems show that all systems and development models in the world need reform and innovation to adapt to the changing times. Europe's success serves China's interest. China has been supporting the European Union's efforts to address its debt problems and hopes the two sides can further enhance mutual understanding and trust and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, he said.
With its constant policy of building friendship and partnership with its Asian neighbors, China has enjoyed over 30 years of peace with its neighbors and their economies have become much more integrated, Zhang said. China has contributed to common prosperity of Asia through its own development and played an important role in safeguarding Asia’s peace and stability. Although there may still exist some differences and frictions between China and some of its neighbors, efforts are being made to solve them and they do not affect the overall relations between China and its neighbors.
China sees the future of its development in the common development of Asia, Zhang said. China does not seek a sphere of influence, he said. The country does not intend to build an exclusive regional order and is not capable of doing so, he added. China is firmly committed to peaceful development and will take its due responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and development while handling affairs concerning its 1.3 billion people well, he said, adding it is China's long-term strategy.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, U.S. Senator John McCain and former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier also participated in the panel discussion. On the sidelines of the meeting, Zhang met with German Foreign Minister Westerwelle and other dignitaries, exchanging views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern.