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President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Massimo D'Alema, former prime minister of Italy, during a conference marking the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY

President Xi Jinping underlined the "robust resilience and everlasting relevance" of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence on Friday, saying that the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind is the most effective move to sustain, promote and upgrade the principles.

In a key foreign policy address to mark the 70th anniversary of the five principles in Beijing, Xi highlighted the strong similarities between the five principles and the nation's overarching vision to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

"At this historic moment when mankind have to choose between peace and war, prosperity and recession, unity and confrontation, we must champion more than ever the essence of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence," he told an audience of over 600 guests at the Great Hall of the People. "And we must always strive tirelessly for the lofty goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind."

The five principles — mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual noninterference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence — have been the bedrock of China's independent foreign policy of peace since they were first proposed by the Chinese leadership in the 1950s.

Over the past decades, the five principles have become open, inclusive and universally applicable basic norms for international relations and fundamental principles of international law, Xi said in the 40-minute speech.

"Having traversed an extraordinary journey of 70 years, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are a common asset of the international community to be valued, inherited and further promoted," he said.

Meanwhile, the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, first proposed by China in 2013, has also become an international consensus, Xi said.

This vision and the five principles are both rooted in traditional Chinese values and "attest to China's diplomatic tenets of self-confidence, self-reliance, justice, protection of the disadvantaged, and benevolence", he said.

Xi explained that the vision captures the reality that all countries have a shared future and intertwined interests, and sets a new model of equality and coexistence for international relations. It also responds to the world's prevailing trend of peace, development, cooperation and win-win, and opens up new prospects for peace and progress.

The vision also keeps pace with the historic trend toward multipolarity and economic globalization, and inspires new ways to achieve development and security, he added.

"Looking at the past and future at this critical moment in history, we believe our exploration for the betterment of human civilization will not end, and our efforts for a better world will not end," the president said.

Xi highlighted the need for countries to uphold the principle of sovereign equality, cement the foundation of mutual respect, turn the vision for peace and security into reality and unite all forces to achieve prosperity.

"We must jointly uphold the 'golden rule' of non-interference, and jointly oppose acts of imposing one's will on others, stoking bloc confrontation, creating small circles, and forcing others to pick sides," he stressed.

"We need to commit to fairness and justice," he continued. "Without them, power politics will be the order of the day, and the weak will be at the mercy of the strong. In face of the new developments and challenges, the authority and central role of the United Nations can only be strengthened rather than weakened."

In his speech, the Chinese president called upon the Global South to stay more open and more inclusive, and join hands together to take the lead in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi announced a host of steps to better support Global South cooperation: China will establish a Global South research center, and it will provide 1,000 scholarships under the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Scholarship of Excellence and 100,000 training opportunities to Global South countries in the coming five years.

The nation will also launch a Global South youth leaders program, he said. China will renew the China-IFAD South-South and Triangular Cooperation Facility, and make an additional contribution of $10 million to be used to support the agricultural development of the Global South.

As China forges ahead on its new journey toward building a modern socialist nation in all respects, its resolve to stay on the path of peaceful development will not change, Xi said.

"We will never take the trodden path of colonial plundering, or the wrong path of seeking hegemony when one becomes strong. We will stay on the right path of peaceful development."

"Every increase of China's strength is an increase of the prospects of world peace," he said. "China's resolve to develop friendship and cooperation with all countries will not change. We will actively expand global partnerships based on equality, openness, and cooperation, and commit to expanding shared interests with all countries."

He reassured the global community that China will only open itself ever wider to the outside world, and the nation's "door will never close".

The landmark speech by the Chinese president was warmly welcomed by senior Chinese and foreign guests attending the event.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a luncheon on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary that the initiatives announced by Xi to support cooperation with the Global South demonstrated Beijing's unwavering determination to stand together with Global South countries to share weal and woe and seek common development and revitalization.

"China will work actively with all parties to implement these initiatives, injecting stronger momentum into the common development and united cooperation of the Global South," he said.

"The practice of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is never complete, and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind is ongoing," he said.

Atul Dalakoti, executive director of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said President Xi's speech traced the five principles' history and their relevance in today's world.

Listening to the speech by the Chinese president gave him hope that there can be ways to solve conflicts in the complex international landscape today, with the Global South expected to play an important role in the process, he said.

Xu Weiwei in Hong Kong contributed to the story.

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