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The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence
----The time-tested guideline of China’s policy with neighbours

Article By Consul General Mr. Ma Yaou published on Pakistan Observer

The great idea of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which was jointly proposed by China, India and Myanmar back in the 1950s, has been upheld by China ever since. They include: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

These principles have guided China's policy with neighbours in the past six decades and such a policy by China has helped to foster continued progress in our region. China is committed to pursuing a win-win strategy of opening-up and will continue to push forward regional and global development through its own development. We will work to broaden converging interests with other countries and, while pursuing our own development, we will accommodate the legitimate concerns of others, especially those of developing countries.

China's development is peaceful in nature, and it will not harm or threaten anyone. China will never seek to advance its interests at the expense of others. China does not seek hegemony now, nor will it do so in the future. Last year, China held its first neighborhood diplomacy conference. We made it clear that the neighbourhood tops China's diplomatic agenda.  This fully shows that China attaches a great deal of importance to neighbouring countries.

China has been interacting with its neighbors for thousands of years. And all along, we have valued harmonious relations and treated others with sincerity. When others respect us, we respect them even more. Going forward, we will more actively practice the guideline of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness". We will help our neighboring countries and peoples benefit more from China's reform and opening up. We will help them better appreciate China's commitment to peaceful development. We are willing to listen to voices from our neighboring countries and respond to their doubts about China's neighbourhood policy.

China and Pakistan are friendly neighbours linked by mountains and rivers. Since our two countries established diplomatic ties more than half a century ago, we have always shared mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual support and mutual assistance no matter how the international situation and our domestic conditions changed. Our two countries have developed an all-weather friendship and carried out all-dimensional cooperation. China has always taken its relationship with Pakistan as one of the priorities in its relations with bordering countries.

For more than 50 years, China has offered Pakistan vital assistance that has assured its security and enhanced its development. Monumental projects such as the Karakorum Highway, the Chashma Power Plants, the Heavy Mechanical and Electrical Complexes, the Gwadar deep sea ports, are all examples of the outstanding cooperation between our two countries. At present, the growth of friendly cooperation between China and Pakistan is embracing new opportunities. The blueprint of building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in particular, is of great significance and broad prospect. The strategic position of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at the crossroad of Central Asia, South Asia, West Asia and China will not only benefit our two countries and people, but also have obvious benefits to all our neighbours in those regions.

China sees its rise as being part of the historical tide of the Asian renaissance. We see our relationship with neighbouring areas as an important foundation for China's global role. While developing ourselves, we must bring benefits to our neighbours and deepen the bond of mutual benefit with them. Only in this way would we be able to preserve peace and stability in the region and move forward with our neighbours toward shared prosperity and a common destiny.

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