Opening Remarks by Ambassador Huang Xilian at 9th Manila Forum
2023-08-25 23:07

Honorable Chairman Raul Lambino, President Sixto Benedicto, and Board Members of the Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU),

Honorable Benito Techico, Special Envoy of the President to China,

Honorable President Dr. Domingo Jr. of the New Era University, Dr. Carlos Tabunda, Dean of the School of International Relations and Dr. Rommel Banlaoi, Chairman of the Board of Advisers of China Studies Center of New Era University,

Vice President Dr. Liu Qing of China Institute of International Studies (CIIS),

Vice President Dr. Li Kaisheng of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS),

Fellow scholars and friends,

Good afternoon!

I take a great pleasure in welcoming you all to this event, the 9th Manila Forum on China-Philippines Relations. Against the backdrop of increasing instability and uncertainty in the international landscape, it is timely for this Forum to host a discussion on Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and China’s foreign policy under the theme of “the GDI (Global Development Initiative), GSI (Global Security Initiative) and GCI (Global Civilization Initiative): China’s Contribution to Stabilizing An Unstable World”.

The world today is undergoing both transformation and upheaval; changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace; and human society faces unprecedented challenges. Unity or split, peace or conflict, cooperation or confrontation -- these are the questions raised by the times. Facing profound changes, President Xi Jinping put forth the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, providing guidance for the thinking and actions of China’s diplomacy. Over the past ten years, such a concept has been translated into action, and the vision into reality. On this basis, President Xi has again successively put forward the three major initiatives of Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) as Chinese solutions to addressing the deficits in global development, peace, trust and governance, providing support for building a community with a shared future for the mankind, and injecting impetus into global peace and development.

What do these “Three Major Initiatives” imply for our region at large and the Philippines in particular?

——The first is implementing GSI to solve human security dilemmas. The GSI emphasizes that humanity is an indivisible security community, and its essence can be summarized as “six commitments”, namely commitment to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; to sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter; to accommodating the legitimate security concerns of all countries; to peaceful resolution of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. The only right path in a chaotic world is to jointly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international law, instead of upholding cold-war mentality or engaging in bloc confrontation, geopolitical coteries or military alliances for selfish interests.

Currently, there are two trends in the Asia-Pacific region. One is to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and to promote regional economic integration, and the other is to incite division and confrontation in an attempt to revive the Cold War mentality. China and the Philippines, as important countries in this region, should follow the trend of the times, maintain strategic autonomy, explore a path tailored to security interests in Asia and in the fundamental and long-term interests of both countries and people of the region at large, and jointly safeguard the regional peace dividend.

——Second, practicing GDI to jointly build a global development community. China and the Philippines are close neighbors whose futures are deeply rooted in our respective national development in a friendly neighborhood and in a greater Asian family for peace, stability and win-win cooperation. The core ideas of the GDI include high priority to the people and development, multilateralism and the spirit of open and inclusive partnership. So are the common aspirations of the peoples of China and the Philippines. China is willing to forge synergy between our development plans, so that our ties can be enhanced through common development, a quality delivery of RCEP, and deeper cooperation between ASEAN plus Three, ASEAN plus One. And, we believe such is the way to benefit the people of all countries in this region.

——Third, carrying forward the GCI to promote dialogue and integration of civilizations. People-to-people exchanges are essential to better mutual understanding and stronger foundation of friendship. This, however, does not happen overnight, and requires mutual goodwill. As President Xi and President Marcos have agreed to give high priority to the people-to-people exchanges in bilateral relations, it is time for us to work closely and relentlessly to deepen our millennium-long traditional friendship in line with the aspirations of the people and the trend of the times.

The concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind and the “Three Global Initiatives” are fundamentally different from traditional Western theorem on international relations. It shows that China will never follow the path of hegemony and power politics, or protecting one’s own security at the expenses of the security of others. Instead, China will always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order.

As the Filipino proverb goes: “United, we stand; divided, we fall.” I look forward to your constructive discussions, inspiration from historical experiences and lessons for the steady and long-term development of China-Philippines relations.

I wish this Forum a complete success! Thank you and Mabuhay!

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