Participation by Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, in the “International Day of Peace 2022” event
On September 21, 2022, Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, participated, on behalf of ECFA, in the event held by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) on the occasion of the International Day of Peace 2022, which was held under the slogan “Towards a global security initiative to preserve world peace and stability.” Ambassador Saad expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the event, pointing out that since the early fifties of the last century, the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China was based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which include mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. This was the position confirmed by Beijing during its participation in the Bandung Afro-Asian Conference in 1955.
China has been defending these principles with enthusiasm and faith, whether before the United Nations organs, or in the frameworks that bring China together with regional and international gatherings and organizations around the world, such as the China-Africa Cooperation Forum or the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. China’s Arab Policy Paper issued by the Chinese government on January 13, 2016, and announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, indicates that China upholds the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, namely, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence. In this context, the paragraph adds: China supports the Middle East peace process and the establishment of an independent state of Palestine with full sovereignty, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Ambassador Saad added that it is important to shed light on the nature of “peace” and what it means in Chinese political thought. It is not only limited to renouncing war and not resorting to the use of force in international relations, but rather it acquires a significant developmental dimension. Instead of the failed Western recipe for exporting democracy to the countries of the Greater Middle East and marketing for it, which resulted in the transformation of some countries into “failed states”, China believes that economic and technical assistance are necessary tools to achieve stability, security, societal peace and good governance in the countries of the region. Based on this Chinese concept, we should not be surprised that China supports many developing countries that live in situations of political and security instability, on the grounds that this support, including investments in mega-projects, in infrastructure for example, will bring stability, peace, and security. Western countries adopt a different point of view, as they require stability first before offering investments, given that most of them come from the private sector, which is not ready to invest in crisis areas.
With the rise of China as the second world economic power and the first trading power, with the increasing external pressures and competition against it, and within the framework of its active diplomacy, China is defending a new form of international relations based on the aforementioned five principles represented in mutual respect, equality, justice and cooperation on the basis of equal benefits and promotion of building a society that shares the future of mankind, and strives for an open, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, global security and common prosperity. Some Chinese writers rightly estimate that the key to building a new type of international relations lies in balancing relations with the major powers and with developing countries and creating a separate model of mutual reinforcement and interaction. In order for China to achieve this, it must first coordinate its relations with other major countries, bearing in mind that in the transitional phase that the global order is currently going through, relations among the major powers are undergoing gradual and profound changes.