Jointly Safeguard the Victory of World War Two and Create a Bright Future of Win-Win Cooperation
– Keynote Speech by Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping at the 12th Lanting Forum
5 May 2015
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon. Welcome to the 12th Lanting Forum of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of World War Two and the founding of the United Nations. It is an important year of special historical significance that merits the joint commemoration by all the peace-loving people in the world. In a few days’ time, at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping will attend the celebration commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow and visit Russia, and join Russia and the rest of the international community in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory of World War Two.
More than 70 years ago, German fascists and Japanese militarists launched the barbaric war of aggression which caused an unprecedented catastrophe in the human history. Around 2 billion people of more than 80 countries and regions were engulfed by the flames of war, which swept across Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, causing untold sufferings to mankind. China, Russia and all the peace-loving nations and peoples in the world formed a broad united front against fascism and fought side by side for the future and destiny of mankind as well as peace and justice of the world. It was with their lives and blood that they won the final victory and accomplished extraordinary feats of lasting significance. The victory of World War Two was a victory of justice over evil, light over darkness and progress over reaction. The final verdict passed by the UN Charter and other international documents on the nature of World War Two and the historical significance of its victory is not to be challenged, still less to be falsified.
As two main theaters in Asia and Europe during World War Two, China and Russia undertook the important task of resisting the aggression of Japanese militarists and German fascists. They went through the most gruesome ordeals and sacrificed enormously, making tremendous historic contributions to the victory of World War Two. During the Great Patriotic War, the Russian and other brotherly peoples rose up against fascist invaders, and paid a heavy price of more than 27 million casualties, leaving almost every family reeling in pain. Battles in Brest Fortress, Leningrad and Stalingrad are all testimonies to the heroic spirit of the Russian and other brotherly peoples who stood up to the powerful enemy and defied death to defend their motherlands.
The Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression started the earliest, lasted the longest and was fought under the most difficult conditions. In this great struggle for national survival, numerous sons and daughters of the Chinese nation made the ultimate sacrifice. They shed blood and laid down their lives to forge the iron great wall to save the country and wrote a glorious chapter in the valiant struggle against aggression. The Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression opened up the main theater on the east front of the World Anti-Fascism War. At the huge cost of 35 million casualties, China tied down most of the Japanese militarist forces and supported the Allies’ operations in the European and Pacific theaters, making an extraordinary contribution to the final victory of World War Two and world peace.
During World War Two, the Chinese and Russian people fought shoulder to shoulder and rendered each other support. Thousands of them went to each other’s country to join in the great cause of defending peace and justice, for which many of them gave their lives, and they forged a strong friendship with their blood and lives. Their heroic deeds are well recorded in history and will be forever remembered by the people of the two countries. Russia will soon hold the May 9th commemoration for the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War, and China will solemnly hold the commemorative activities for the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascism War. The two sides have also agreed to jointly hold a series of celebration and commemorative events, and will hold related commemorations together with relevant countries within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The purpose of these events is to remind people across the world of the profound lessons of World War Two, to firmly uphold the right view on the history of World War Two, and to resolutely oppose any attempt to whitewash fascist and militarist aggressions or falsify history. This is not only about respecting history, honoring the memory of heroes and reaffirming commitment to peace, but also about creating a more peaceful and brighter future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The UN is a victorious outcome of World War Two. The international order, built on the victory of World War Two and with the UN at its core, has ensured peace and development in the 70 years after the war and should be upheld by us all. The world today is undergoing complex and profound changes. Peace, development and win-win cooperation have become the prevailing trend of our times. Multi-polarity and economic globalization have made all countries more connected and interdependent than ever before. The world is increasingly becoming a “global village”, where humanity is bound together in a close community of common destiny. Yet, the world is far from being tranquil. Local turmoil and wars have not subsided; there are signs of increasing hegemony, power politics and neo-interventionism; neo-fascism and neo-militarism have surfaced; and attempts to deny and distort the history of World War Two still exist. We still have a long way to go towards world peace and common development.
Looking back at the lessons of World War Two and facing the complex changes in the current international situation, we know more than ever that peace, rather than conflict, is fundamental to human survival and development; cooperation, rather than confrontation, represents the trend of our times and aspiration of people; equity, rather than power politics, provides the basic safeguard for peaceful coexistence; and win-win cooperation, rather than zero-sum game, is the only way out for human progress and development. Only when countries fully accommodate each other’s concerns, find and expand their common interests and build a new type of international relations of win-win cooperation, can they better address all kinds of threats and challenges and advance the lofty cause of human peace and development.
China and Russia have been actively engaged in win-win cooperation. Since the end of the Cold War, China and Russia, proceeding from the general situation of the world, have followed the trend of peace, development and cooperation, and the common aspiration of their peoples. On the basis of equality, trust, mutual support, common prosperity and enduring friendship, China and Russia have established a new type of state-to-state relations featuring non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting at any third party and, on the basis of that, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. With the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin, this relationship has entered a new phase, setting a fine example for peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between major countries and neighbors and contributing enormous positive energy to world peace and development.
China and Russia have been champions of win-win cooperation. Both countries stand for abandoning the zero-sum game and “winner-takes-all” mentalities of the Cold War, advocate the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and stick to dialogue, negotiation, equal-footed consultation and political and diplomatic means for settling differences and disputes. Both countries stand for abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, enhancing the central role of the UN in international affairs, strengthening the primary role of the UN Security Council in maintaining international peace and security, and upholding the common interests of member states and the international community, so as to build a more equitable and reasonable international order and system. Both countries believe that win-win cooperation should be the basic principle guiding international relations and affairs, and that interests of individual countries should be closely integrated with the common interests of all countries, and the overall interest of the world and human development, so as to achieve win-win outcomes for all. Both countries advocate inclusiveness and mutual learning, and respect for cultural differences and diversity of civilizations, and work to promote inter-civilization exchange and dialogue for peaceful and harmonious coexistence, so as to advance the development and prosperity of human civilizations.
Seventy years ago, China and Russia, together with other countries that upheld peace and justice, undertook the sacred mission of safeguarding world peace. Seventy years on, China and Russia, as each other’s largest neighbor, founding members of the UN and permanent members of the UN Security Council, have the responsibility, obligation and ability to work with the international community to promote the building of a new type of international relations of win-win cooperation, uphold the victory of World War Two and international equity and justice, and work for a better future of peace, development and cooperation for mankind.