Ambassador Sun Haiyan Publishes a Signed Article Entitled "In a tumultuous world, what should we do?" in ThinkChina

2023-03-24 18:31

On March 23rd 2023, Ambassador Sun Haiyan published a signed article entitled "In a tumultuous world, what should we do?" in Singapore’s mainstream online English magazine ThinkChina. In the article, Ambassador Sun expounded on the meanings and significance of The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper and China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, reiterated China’s clear stances on regional and international security issues, denounced some countries’ ill motives to instigate conflicts and destabilize the region and the world, and called upon all countries in the region to uphold peace and security, and to make our region an anchor for world peace and stability, a powerhouse for global growth, and a pacesetter for international cooperation. The full text is as follows: 

Following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal of the Global Security Initiative, China recently launched the Global Security Initiative Concept Paper, which expounds on the core concepts, principles, platforms and mechanisms of the initiative, and outlines 20 priorities of cooperation, making it distinctively action-oriented. Not long ago, China also released a position paper titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis”, which is the latest embodiment and implementation of the Global Security Initiative concepts and principles espoused by China on the Ukraine crisis impacting global security. The two documents caught the world’s attention, drawing positive feedback from the region.

The two documents demonstrate China’ s responsible attitude towards preserving world peace and its firm resolve to safeguard global security. Since the end of the Second World War, the world has enjoyed relative peace for over half a century. This has resulted in many taking peace for granted and forgetting the history of wars and major power rivalries. The fact, however, remains that conflicts and turmoils have never gone away. Wars continue to be instigated while the “long arms” of a hegemon continue to stretch further and wider. Global challenges such as climate change and non-traditional security threats such as cyber attacks are still looming large. Existing security concepts and frameworks are not only inactive, but also increasingly powerless. It is against such a backdrop that the Ukraine crisis broke out, stunning the world. With weapons being supplied and incitements continuing, the war is showing no signs of abating after a year. People in the two warring states are devastated, with their neighbours and the whole of Europe dragged in, and a growing number of regions caught in supply chain disruptions and food and energy shortages. In an era of globalisation when the future of all countries is closely intertwined, regional conflicts are bound to have global ramifications. No country can afford to sit idle, and the whole international community — major countries in particular — should step up and take action. It is out of such a sense of responsibility that China has put forth a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, based on which it further proposes a solution to resolving the Ukraine crisis in a peaceful manner. 

This is China’s belief and what it has been doing all along. China has never initiated any conflict or war or seized land from other countries on its national rejuvenation journey. Instead, it adheres to the path of peaceful development, strives to take an active part in global governance, and safeguards security in the region with strong determination. China is the first among the five nuclear-weapon states publicly expressing its willingness to sign the protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. Lately, under the mediation of China, Saudi Arabia and Iran reached an agreement to resume diplomatic relations. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, President Xi Jinping has stressed on numerous occasions that political settlement is the only way out, and called for ceasefire, dialogue and negotiation during meetings with many of his foreign counterparts. China has not provided weapons to either of the two parties in the conflict, but has sent a large amount of humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine. In its recently-released position paper, China not only reiterates the basic principles of international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter such as respecting the sovereignty of all countries, but also makes it clear that it opposes the use of, or the threats to use, nuclear weapons. Moreover, China offers its solutions to the food and supply chain crises that seriously affect people’s lives in all countries. China is taking action and willing to work with all peace-loving and peace-supporting countries to achieve the goals set in the position paper at an early date. 

While more and more peace-loving countries including China stand firmly on the side of peace and facilitate dialogue and negotiation, some others are still adding fuel to the fire and even blatantly distorting and smearing our efforts. Recalling the Kosovo war, the Iraq war, the Afghan war and the latest Ukraine crisis, one can see a clear pattern of political manipulation. First, a small bag of washing powder is fabricated as evidence of biochemical weapon use. Then the media hypes it up and stokes fear and anxiety among the uninformed. With fabricated excuses, sweeping sanctions quickly follow. And countries are forced to take sides, sever mutually-beneficial cooperation links and suffer the losses themselves. When several such rumours and excuses are made up, it is time to start proxy wars. Weapons, ammunition, military training and even mercenaries will soon pour in, leading to casualties of innocent civilians, which in turn incite more hatred and confrontation.What about those hawks then? They line their pockets and thrive on the wars…Do they intend to play the same game again in this region? The Taiwan question is completely different from the Ukraine crisis. No country in this region wants to be the next Ukraine. And Asia is not Europe. All countries in the region remain highly alert to these dangerous moves, and will not want to be used as a pawn.  

This region is our shared home and it has enjoyed decades of peace and prosperity thanks to the hard work of its people and close coordination among regional countries. It has emerged as a powerhouse for the world economy. Even amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic over the past three years, governments of countries in this region have been making every effort to address the people’s pressing difficulties and social concerns on the one hand, and promote economic recovery and sustainable growth on the other. This thriving home shared by all in the region will not tolerate attempts to drive it into geopolitical conflicts and confrontation, and disrupt its development process. The aspiring peoples of this region, filled with great hopes and visions for the future, will not accept instigations and threats which could destroy their homes and dreams. Singapore is an important country in the region. It upholds the basic norms of the UN Charter and international law and adheres to its principled positions. China and Singapore have common pursuits, similar ideas and shared interests in terms of promoting peace, stability and development in the region and beyond. China will continue to work closely with Singapore and other countries in the region to keep our region stable and secure, and make our region an anchor for world peace and stability, a powerhouse for global growth, and a pacesetter for international cooperation.