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China to host Panchsheel seminar

By Anil K Joseph in Beijing
June 09, 2004 12:48 IST
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China today said world leaders and statesmen including former Indian President K R Narayanan, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former UN  Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali will participate in a  high-profile international seminar here next week to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Panchsheel.

Announcing this, the vice president of the Chinese  People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Wang Zhen  said Narayanan would be one of the two keynote speakers at the  two-day seminar which will take place here from June 14-15.

Nearly 20 foreign guests from 12 countries  representing five continents would explore the future role of  the five principles of peaceful co-existence (Panchsheel) amid  fast-paced changes in international relations, Wang told reporters at a briefing here.

"While reviewing and reaffirming the historic  achievements of the five principles of peaceful co-existence  in the past 50 years, we would also like to explore how to infuse new life into the five principles under the current international relations so as to enable it to play an even bigger role in establishing a more democratic and fair international order," he said.

The five principles, jointly initiated by India, China  and Myanmar on June 28, 1954 include mutual respect for  sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression,  non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence.

The five principles have played an important role in  the past 50 years in promoting the normal development of international relations and also in the resolution of quite a  few problems between countries," Wang commented.

He said China felt it is necessary to review the  history and the historical achievements of the five  principles, which has remained "vigorous and vital" in  conducting state-to-state relations.  "In the past 50 years, as one of the initiators of the five principles of peaceful co-existence, China has unremittingly persisted in the spirit of the five principles and we have incorporated the five principles into the constitution and made it a governing principle in our foreign policy," Wang said.

He said China has mentioned the five principles of peaceful co-existence in 160 bilateral agreements on the  establishment of diplomatic ties and friendly cooperation. While noting that Panchsheel has gradually accepted by the international community, evolving from a bilateral  mechanism between China and India and between China and Myanmar, to an universal norm governing international  relations.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday said Panchsheel  was still relevant even today and that Beijing would cooperate  with India to explore how the five principles of peaceful  co-existence could play its 'due role' in the establishment of  a new international economic and political order.

The five principles of peaceful co-existence, in the  past 50 years, have played an important role in handling state-to-state relationships and solving international issues,  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. 

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Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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