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Expand Friendly Cooperation and Build a Harmonious World
 
 
Li Chengren
 
Executive Vice-President of CAFIU
 
As early as in the beginning of the 1980¡¯s, the Chinese Association for International Understanding (CAFIU) started exchanges with the Friendrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). Since FES set up its Beijing office in 1987, fruitful cooperation has been conducted between FES and CAFIU, and other relevant parties of the Chinese side. Over the years, FES has made positive efforts and great contributions for deepening and developing understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and the German people, and for promoting the relations between the two countries and two parties, which we highly appreciate.
 
In September 2005, at the UN Summit commemorating its 60th anniversary, Chinese President Hu Jintao delivered a speech entitled Build Towards a Harmonious World of Lasting Peace and Common Prosperity, in which he elaborated on the essence of a ¡°harmonious world¡±, namely, ¡°upholding multilateralism to realize common security; upholding mutually beneficial cooperation to achieve common prosperity; and upholding the spirit of inclusiveness to build a harmonious world together¡±. The idea of a harmonious world has received great attention and positive comment from the international community.
 
¡°Harmony¡± is an important concept in traditional Chinese culture. It is China¡¯s consistent view that ¡°peace is precious¡±, ¡°a country should live in peace and harmony with others¡± and ¡°pursue harmony out of a respect for difference¡±. In the contemporary world, ¡°peace, development and cooperation¡± have become trends of the times. However, uncertainties affecting peace and development are also increasing. The world is far from being tranquil. Facing the complicated world, to jointly build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity is the universal pursuit of the international community.
 
China has all along pursued the independent foreign policy of peace and adhered to the road of peaceful development. The purpose of China¡¯s foreign policy is to safeguard world peace and promote common development. The idea of ¡°harmonious world¡± has inherited and developed this purpose. It demonstrates to the whole world China¡¯s determination and strategic choice of pursuing peaceful development. It further enriches the connotation of the independent foreign policy of peace and conforms to the trends of the era and interests of the people of the world.
 
Building a harmonious world is a long-term and strategic objective, the realization of which calls for not only enduring and arduous efforts of all countries, but also international cooperation. We stand ready to work with the international community to promote the building of a harmonious world. Politically, we should promote the establishment of a just and rational new international political and economic order, adhere to multilateralism and oppose to hegemonism and power politics. In international affairs, we should promote multi-polarization of the international pattern and democratization of international relations. On the security front, we should establish a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, strengthen international cooperation and set up a fair and effective collective security mechanism. Economically, we should respect the diversity of development models, and learn from each other to realize ¡°win for all¡± and common development. We should pay attention to environmental protection, and harmonious coexistence between man and nature in order to create sound conditions for realizing sustainable development. Culturally, we should encourage dialogues and exchanges among different civilizations. Different civilizations should respect each other, co-exist peacefully, tolerate each other and learn from each other to make up dificiences so that a diversified world with coexistence of different civilizations can be built.
 
The foundation of a harmonious world is harmony among the people, which cannot be achieved without the wide participation of the civil society. Civil society is an important force in the building of a harmonious world. Therefore, we should give full play to all positive factors, unleash the vitality of the civil society, promote the participation of the civil society in international affairs, in the process of globalization as well as the process of bringing democracy and rule of law into the international community so as to lay a solid foundation for building a harmonious world. Since the reform and opening up started in China, with development of the socialist market economy and democratic politics, a great number of non-governmental organizations (NGO) have emerged. By 2006, the number of NGOs of various kinds registered in relevant agencies of the Chinese government reached over 300,000, among which over 20 were national NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC. These civil organizations are playing a positive role in promoting grassroots democracy, improving social management, promoting public welfare undertakings and improving the market economic system. In recent years, more and more non-governmental organizations are participating in international exchanges, which has further enhanced mutual understanding and friendly cooperation between the Chinese people and people around the world. They have become an important force in building a harmonious world.
 
A harmonious world should be built on the basis of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, as demonstrated in exchanges and cooperation between our two organizations.
 
China needs to learn more about Germany, and vice versa. Both sides have strong desires for cooperation, which constitutes the foundation for our exchanges and cooperation. We have learned from each other on the basis of mutual understanding. With China¡¯s deepening reform, rapid economic development and active participation in international affairs, Germany hopes to know more about China¡¯s latest political, economic and social development. Germany has a highly developed economy and a vital role in international affairs. Germany also has a lot to offer in terms of development strategy, the development of the market economy as well as social security, economic management and environmental protection.
 
The set up of the FES Beijing Office has offered a platform for dialogue and exchanges between our two organizations and opened a window for enhancing mutual understanding. Mutual respect, mutual trust, exchanges on an equal footing, and seeking common ground while shelving differences have become the principle and distinguishing feature of cooperation and exchanges between us, which is also the most important experience gained after 20 years of cooperation. Non-governmental exchanges are an important part of overall state diplomacy. On this basis, CAFIU and FES have conducted colorful and fruitful exchanges. On the one hand, leaders of CAFIU and FES have paid visits to each other. For example, Mr. Anke Fuchs, President of the FES and Mr. Zhou Tienong, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC and Vice President of CAFIU, made mutual visits, during which they exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest. These visits enhanced mutual understanding and trust and greatly promoted the sound and stable development of bilateral relations. On the other hand, seminars on specific topics were held, which provides an important platform for exchanges and communication, among the political parties, officials, experts and scholars of our two countries. It has also become the most regular and important job of our two organizations. Topics of our discussion cover a wide range of areas including politics, economy, international affairs, foreign policy and energy, environmental protection, human rights, social security so on and so forth. CAFIU and FES, in cooperation with the International Department of the CPC Central Committee and the China Foundation for Human Rights Development have jointly held a series of seminars such as the comprehensive security dialogue and the Sino-German human rights dialogue. These seminars have become the highlight of our cooperation. The human right dialogue has also been incorporated into the framework of Sino-German dialogues on the rule of law.
 
Over the past 20-plus years, in our exchanges, CAFIU and FES have established a good tradition of mutual respect, mutual learning, equal cooperation and pragmatic exchanges. Transcending differences in social system, ideology and way of thinking, through seminars, exchanges and even debates on the basis of mutual respect, the two sides have gained deeper and more comprehensive understanding of each other¡¯s views, which have proven highly beneficial to both sides. It is also a reflection of mutual respect for diversified thinking and culture. Facts have shown that mutual respect and mutual trust are the important guarantee for successful cooperation between the two sides. No matter the relations of our two countries are good or witnessing temporary difficulties, our cooperation has never been suspended. With our unique advantages, we have made positive contributions to the sound and stable development of Sino-German relations.
 
The FES has a time-honored history. It has been 20 years since our cooperation started. However, this is only a beginning. We still enjoy great potential for cooperation. I am fully convinced that in the future we will conduct more active and closer cooperation to further implement the consensus reached by the two countries¡¯ leaderships, to promote the ¡°partnership with global responsibility¡± between China and Germany and to make our own contributions to building a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.
 
 
                        
 
 
 
 
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