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Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong Attends the Middle East Security Forum
2019/11/29

On November 27, 2019, Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong attended the opening ceremony of the Middle East Security Forum held in Beijing, and delivered a keynote speech.

Chen Xiaodong expressed, more than a year ago, President Xi Jinping pointed out at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum that the Chinese side is willing to strengthen dialogue and consultation with countries in the Middle East in the security field. In order to implement the spirit of President Xi Jinping's speech, the Middle East Security Forum, under the theme of "Security in the Middle East under the New Situation: Challenges and Prospects", opened today to discuss solutions to hotspot issues, strategies for security cooperation, and strategies for stable development, which is of great and realistic significance.

Chen Xiaodong said, the year 2019 is an extraordinary one for China. We solemnly celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past 70 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have endured hardships and forged ahead, and China has turned itself from a closed, backward and poor country into a country that is open and on the move. China has changed its poor situation and realized general prosperity, creating a miracle in the development of mankind.

Chen Xiaodong pointed out, the Middle East is an important part of China's interaction with the world. Peace, security, stability and development in the Middle East meet China's aspirations, interests and responsibilities. At present, the Middle East is far from peaceful, with hotspot issues cropping up one after another, political instability in many countries in the region and outstanding security dilemma. This is the result of a combination of factors. In addition to the evolution and development of inherent conflicts such as geographical, ethnic and sectarian conflicts, the United States, as the only superpower in the world and the country with important influence on the Middle East, has a self-serving, bullying and unilateral policy in the Middle East, which is the prominent cause of the current regional security dilemma.

Chen Xiaodong noted, lasting peace in the world would not be possible without a safe Middle East. By hosting the Middle East Security Forum, the Chinese side hopes to provide a useful platform for all parties to broaden our minds and explore new approaches in the field of security governance in the Middle East.

To build security in the Middle East, we need to take fairness and justice as basis. The fairness and justice embodied in the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and other international law and international consensus is the soul of all security solutions. On the issue of Palestine, the root cause of peace in the Middle East, the two-state solution and the principle of land for peace are the bottom line of fairness and justice and must be firmly upheld.

To build security in the Middle East, we need to use multilateralism as a platform. Facts have repeatedly proved that unilateralism and militarism have no way out, and the practice of leaving after battering down is even more harmful. Only by adhering to multilateralism, firmly opposing unilateral actions, fully building consensus, accommodating each other's concerns, and advocating inclusiveness and reconciliation can we correct errors, turn crises into opportunities, and achieve steady progress. We must bring the Iranian nuclear issue back to the track of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as soon as possible, and cannot take selective practices. Tearing up the JCPOA and applying unilateral extreme pressure are only to reverse the course of history.

To build security in the Middle East, we need to foster common development. As President Xi Jinping has said many times, turmoil in the Middle East is rooted in development, and the way out ultimately lies in development. The international community should promote security through development, increase investment, synergize development strategies, advocate mutual benefit and win-win results, hold high the banner of free trade, give priority to economic reconstruction, and focus more on projects to improve people's livelihood.

To build security in the Middle East, we need to take comprehensive counter-terrorism as a guarantee. Terrorism is a cancer harming the region and the world. The international community should work together to fight against terrorism, listen to the concerns and appeals of the countries in the Middle East and help them enhance their counter-terrorism capacity. We should address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism, strengthen practical cooperation on counter-terrorism, and firmly oppose the practice of "double standards" on counter-terrorism, the linking of terrorism to specific religions, and the use of so-called human rights as an excuse to slander other countries' efforts in counter-terrorism and de-radicalization.

To build security in the Middle East, we need to take the shared future as the ultimate goal. To build common security, we must firmly cultivate the awareness of a community with a shared future, and should not follow the beaten path of creating confrontation among lines of division, be partial to any party in the conflict and seek absolute security of oneself at the expense of the security of other countries. Relevant parties in the region should let go of their prejudices, meet each other halfway, gradually build mutual trust and reach consensus. The international community should play a constructive role in this regard and inject more positive energy into the regional situation.

Chen Xiaodong said, China has always stood with the countries and peoples in the Middle East and has made unremitting efforts to safeguard fairness and justice and maintain regional peace and stability. Not long ago, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed the Chinese side's "three proposals" on the situation in the Gulf Region during the UN General Assembly, which was supported and welcomed by all parties concerned. China will continue to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, actively implement a Chinese approach to address hotspot issues, and support solving disputes and conflicts through dialogue and consultation and addressing common challenges through cooperation. The Chinese side is willing to work with all parties concerned to play a constructive role in maintaining stability and development in the Middle East and make due contributions to building a world of lasting peace and universal security.

The Middle East Security Forum was hosted by China Institute of International Studies. Focusing on topics including regional fairness and justice, multilateralism, development for security, and dialogue among civilizations, more than 200 people were invited to attend the forum, including officials and scholars for diplomacy and security from over 30 countries in the Middle East and beyond, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense and other units in China, some former Chinese diplomatic envoys stationed abroad, and experts from think tanks.

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