Charting a New Path
A significant Party plenary session dedicates itself to lifting the rule of law to a new level across China
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Special> Fourth Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee> For Your Information
UPDATED: October 28, 2014
Full Text of Chinese FM's Signed Article on International Rule of Law

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday called on the international community to reaffirm their commitment to maintaining world peace and international rule of law in a signed article commemorating the United Nations Day.

China will act as a staunch defender of rule of law both at home and on the international stage, Wang said, while urging all countries to bolster international rule of law, equity and justice.

Following is the full text of Wang Yi's signed article.

China, a Staunch Defender and Builder of International Rule of Law

Wang Yi

October 24 is the United Nations Day. On this day sixty-nine years ago, the Charter of the United Nations, the instrument of international law with the most far-reaching impact on world peace and security in the modern history of international relations, officially came into effect. On this important day, there is every necessity for us to review the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reaffirm the commitment to maintaining peace and international rule of law, reject the law of the jungle where the strong do what they want and the weak suffer what they must, and uphold international rule of law, equity and justice.

Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out in his address delivered in June this year at the meeting commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that countries should make joint efforts to promote the rule of law in international relations, abide by international law and universally recognized basic principles governing international relations, and apply common rules to tell right from wrong and pursue peace and development. This is an incisive exposition of China's firm commitment to upholding and promoting international rule of law.

Upholding international rule of law is a momentous choice China has made based on its own experience. In the more than 100 years after the Opium War, colonialism and imperialism inflicted untold sufferings on China. For many years, China was unjustly deprived of the right by imperialist powers to equal application of international law. The Chinese people fought indomitably and tenaciously to uphold China's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and founded New China. China strove to build a new type of relations with other countries in accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence on the basis of international law. It broke isolation, blockade and military threat imposed by imperialism and hegemonism, regained its lawful seat in the United Nations, started reform and opening-up program, became fully integrated into the international system, and made remarkable achievements in development. Seeing the contrast between China's past and present, the Chinese people fully recognize how valuable sovereignty, independence and peace are. China ardently hopes for the rule of law in international relations against hegemony and power politics, and rules-based equity and justice, and hopes that the humiliation and sufferings it was subjected to will not happen to others.

China has consistently upheld international rule of law in its diplomatic practice. China has contributed its vision to and set an example for international rule of law. In the past 60 years, China has championed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. These principles have been written into China's Constitution and communiques on the establishment of diplomatic relations and bilateral treaties with over 160 countries, and they have become the cornerstone of China's independent foreign policy of peace. In conducting diplomacy, China has never done anything that violates international law or pursued its own interests at the expense of other countries, irrespective of their size, level of development, strength or values. At the same time, China firmly upholds its sovereignty, security and development interests in accordance with the law. China speaks out to uphold justice on major international and regional issues and firmly defends the basic principles of international law with the UN Charter as the core and basic norms governing international relations. China is committed to peaceful settlement of international disputes and outstanding historical issues. It has completely settled land boundary issues with 12 out of its 14 neighbors through negotiations, and has resolved the issue of boundary delineation of the Beibu Gulf with Vietnam. China has taken a constructive part in the formulation of international rules and contributed its input on major issues concerning the interpretation, application and development of international law. China has concluded more than 23,000 bilateral agreements, acceded to over 400 multilateral treaties and joined almost all the international organizations at the inter-governmental level. China honors its treaty obligations in both letter and spirit in accordance with the principle of "Pacta Sunt Servanda", and takes seriously its international responsibilities.

Promoting international rule of law serves China's inevitable needs for peaceful development. China has made the strategic choice to steadfastly follow the path of peaceful development, which features the pursuit of peace, development, cooperation and win-win outcome. The path will be broader and more smooth so long as countries properly handle their respective relations of interests in accordance with international law and rules guiding international relations. Defying rules or following a beggar-thy-neighbor policy will get one nowhere and hence will never become a hallmark of China's peaceful development. The more China develops, the greater its needs to cooperate closely with other countries and the more it desires a peaceful and stable international environment. As China grows stronger, it will make greater contribution to the maintenance and promotion of international rule of law, as it works with other countries to build a fairer and more reasonable international political and economic order.

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