I. Promoting Peace and Development
for All Mankind


Working for lasting world peace and creating a happy life and an advanced culture for all mankind, lofty ideals held by all the world's peoples, are likewise the sincerely held aspirations of the Chinese people.

The Chinese nation loves peace dearly and has made major contributions to peace and other progressive causes for all of mankind. Modern history has served as grim witness to China's great sufferings and the humiliation of the Chinese people as the result of imperialist and colonialist invasion and partition. Countless Chinese sons and daughters shed their blood or laid down their lives to free the nation from this cruel bondage and plundering, advancing wave upon wave, until national liberation and independence were finally won under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese people know only too well the true value of independence, sovereignty and equality.

China's guiding principle of seeking peace and development has been reflected in each of the constitutions the nation has adopted since the founding of New China. The Common Programme of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which was passed at the First Plenary Session of the CPPCC in September, 1949 and served as a provisional state constitution, affirmed that China would "stand for lasting international peace and friendly cooperation among the people of the world, and oppose the imperialist policies of aggression and war." The Constitution of 1954 stipulated that "the steadfast policy of our country in international affairs is to work hard for the lofty goal of world peace and progress for mankind." The present Constitution, adopted in 1982, once again states that China "strives to safeguard world peace and promote the cause of human progress."

The forces for world peace have grown rapidly since the 1980s, and peace and development have become the two major issues of the day. China's scientific analysis of the development trends and characteristics of the international situation has produced the conclusion that with the concerted efforts of people throughout the world, a new world war can not only be deferred but it can possibly be avoided as well. In the new era of peace and development, the task of first importance facing the Chinese people is to develop the economy and change the poverty and backwardness of the nation. With this in mind, China has focused its development strategy on economic construction.

China's modernization programme is an important component of the cause for the common development and progress of mankind. A peaceful international environment is necessary for China's development and a prosperous and stable China, in turn, will increasingly benefit world peace. For this reason, China unwaveringly pursues a foreign policy of peace and independence. It resolutely protects its national independence and sovereignty and opposes foreign interference; seeks to establish and develop extensive, friendly relations with all the world's countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, strengthen unity and cooperation with developing countries and actively develop good-neighbourly relations with bordering nations; stands for the proposition that all nations, big or small, are equal and opposes hegemonism and power politics in any form; advocates the settlement of international disputes through peaceful means; and opposes the threat or use of force in international relations.

China's national defence policy is defensive in nature. Its basic goals are to consolidate national defence, resist foreign aggression, defend the nation's sovereignty over its land, sea and air as well as its maritime rights and interests, and safeguard national unity and security. National defence work in China is subordinate to and in service of the nation's overall economic construction, adhering to the principles of "combining peacetime with wartime" and "integrating the army with the people." In terms of military strategy, China follows a policy of positive defence and adheres to the idea of people's war. China does not seek world or regional hegemony. China does not station any troops or set up any military bases in any foreign country. China's national defence construction is not directed against any country, and thus, does not pose a threat to any country.

During the course of foreign policy implementation and national defence construction, China attaches importance to the active role of arms control and disarmament, holding that arms control and disarmament are conducive to reducing and eliminating the danger of war and increasing factors for international peace and security. Such controls and reductions will help improve relations and mutual trusamong nations and will enable the contribution of more resources, capital and technology to economic and social development.

Protracted, unremitting efforts by the international community have led to great progress in international arms control and disarmament in the past few years. Nonetheless, mankind should remain coolly cognizant that the path to international arms control and disarmament is still extremely complex and difficult. While some progress has been made in nuclear disarmament, the major nuclear powers, with the world's most sophisticated and largest quantity of nuclear weapons in hand, have neither abandoned their policy of nuclear deterrence nor stopped the development of nuclear weapons and outer space weapons including guided missile defence systems. On the one hand, they vie with one another in dumping their advanced weapons on the international market, even using weapons transfers as a means to interfere in other nations' domestic affairs. On the other, they resort to discriminative anti-proliferation and arms control measures, directing the spearhead of arms control at the developing countries.

China holds that the international community should promote fair, rational, comprehensive and balanced arms control and disarmament and observe the following principles:

- All nations should follow the purposes and principles for safeguarding international peace and security contained in the Charter of the United Nations and other relevant international legal norms. At the same time arms control and disarmament is worked for, aggression must be curbed. Regional conflicts must be fairly and rationally resolved and force or threat of force should not be used in international relations. Hegemonism and power politics should be eliminated in international relations, so as to create an international environment and conditions favourable to disarmament.

- The ultimate goal of disarmament is the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (including chemical and biological weapons), the complete prohibition of outer space weapons, and reductions in conventional arms as befits actual circumstances. The big powers, possessors of the largest and most sophisticated nuclear and conventional arsenals, bear a special responsibility in arms control and disarmament

- Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The prevention of proliferation is not in itself the ultimate goal. Only through complete prohibition and thorough destruction of such weapons can proliferation be effectively prevented. Preventing proliferation should neither present an obstacle to the just rights and interests of all countries in the peaceful use of science and technology nor restrict or harm economic, scientific and technological development in developing countries.

- All nations have the right to maintaining an appropriate national defence capability and to legitimate self-defence. It is necessary at all stages of the arms control and disarmament process to ensure all nations from sustaining damage to their security. All nations, big or small, have the right to join in discussions and decisions on arms control and disarmament on an equal basis. The implementation of international arms control and disarmament must not impair the independence and sovereignty of any nation, entail the use of force or the threat of force, or interfere with the internal affairs of any nation.

- All countries, particularly developed nations, should strictly control the transfer of sensitive materials, technologies and military equipment, practise restraint and halt the irresponsible transfer of weapons.

- All nations should endorse, respect and support the arms control and disarmament measures adopted after voluntary consultation, negotiation and agreement between nations and in light of actual regional circumstances.

For many years China has adhered to these basic principles, bearing its due share of international arms control and disarmament obligations and responsibilities, working hard to promote peace and development for humanity.