The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence
After contemplating a while what to write for Day one of 2011, I thought it worthwhile to simply remind everyone what the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are. They form the bedrock of Chinese foreign policy. Chinese President Hu Jintao’s 2011 New Year’s address reaffirmed China’s adherence to them:
China will develop friendly cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and continue to actively participate in international cooperation on global issues, Hu said.
The Western public are likely unfamiliar with what they are or their significance. These principles were formulated in June of 1954 between former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and his counterparts, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, and U Nu of Myanmar. The countries had just re-emerged from the end of WW2. The colonial powers had finally (by in large) left their occupied territories. The victims wanted a fairer world.
Those five principles are:
- Mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity
- Mutual non-aggression
- Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful coexistence
Less than a year later, and according to this Xinhua report:
In April 1955 — one year after China, India and Myanmar initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, a total of 29 newly independent nations from Asia and Africa held the historic “Asian-African Conference” in Bandung, Indonesia. As a result of the common efforts of the participants, the conference adopted the “Declaration on Promotion of World Peace and Cooperation” and formulated the 10 principles of the Bandung conference.
These 10 principles, which contained all points in the five principles of peaceful co-existence, represented an extension and development of the latter.
Since then, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence have been recognized and accepted by more and more nations, international organizations and international meetings, and have been incorporated into a series of major international documents, including declarations adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
At the 50th anniversary (June 2004) of the founding of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, Premier Wen Jiabao paid credence in a speech entitled, “Carrying Forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in the Promotion of Peace and Development.” These principles were basis of China’s foreign policy:
It is on the basis of the Five Principles that China has established and developed diplomatic relations with 165 countries and carried out trade, economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges and cooperation with over 200 countries and regions. It is on the basis of the Five Principles that China has, through peace negotiations, resolved the boundary issues with most neighbors and maintained peace and stability in its surrounding areas. And it is on the basis of the Five Principles that China has provided economic and technical aid with no political strings attached to other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, strengthening the friendship between China and these countries.