Build a Maritime Community of Shared Future*
April 23, 2019
The ocean is of great significance to the survival and development of human society. It gave birth to life, connects the world, and facilitates development. It does not separate our blue planet into isolated continents; instead, it links the peoples of all countries to form a global community of shared future that remains bound together through thick and thin. Maritime peace has a bearing on the safety and interests of all countries, and thus needs to be protected and cherished by all. The Chinese people love and long for peace, and are committed to the path of peaceful development. China upholds a national defense policy that is in nature defensive, and advocates a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. The Chinese armed forces have always followed the principle of win-win cooperation and been dedicated to creating a security environment of equality, mutual trust, fairness, justice, joint efforts, and shared interests. As the main maritime force of a country, the navy shoulders important responsibilities in maintaining maritime peace and order. With mutual respect, equality and mutual trust, we need to strengthen maritime dialogue and exchanges, increase practical naval cooperation, pursue a path of maritime security based on mutual benefit and win-win results, and join hands to respond to common threats and challenges and to maintain maritime peace.
Currently, cooperation in markets, technology, information and culture through maritime bonds is becoming ever closer. Precisely for this reason, China's initiative to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road aims to promote maritime connectivity and cooperation in various fields, develop the blue economy, advance maritime cultural integration, and jointly amplify ocean benefits. The Chinese military is willing to join other militaries in promoting maritime progress and prosperity.
We need to care for the ocean as dearly as we treasure our lives. China takes full part in UN mechanisms concerning maritime governance and in formulating and implementing relevant rules to achieve sustainable maritime development goals. China highly values marine eco-environmental progress, intensifies efforts to address marine pollution, protects marine biodiversity, and develops and utilizes marine resources in an orderly manner, so as to leave future generations with turquoise seas and blue skies. The Chinese Navy will, as always, enhance exchanges and cooperation with other navies, undertake international responsibilities and obligations, safeguard the security of international sea lines of communication, and provide more public goods in maritime security.
As a Chinese saying goes, "The ocean is vast because it admits all rivers." Whenever a problem crops up, countries concerned should always hold deliberations in good faith, rather than resort to the use or threat of force at will. We need to discuss issues as equals, improve consultation mechanisms to deal with crises, enhance cooperation on regional security, and work for the proper settlement of maritime disputes. As part of the ongoing multinational naval events, China will hold a high-level forum under the theme of "building a global maritime community of shared future". I hope you will pool wisdom, build consensus, and contribute to this endeavor.
* Main points of the speech at a group meeting with the heads of foreign delegations attending the multinational naval events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)