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Understanding China Through Keywords (15/12/16)
Prevailing terms help to expand understanding of China
 NO. 50 November 15, 2016

Learning keywords is one of the best ways to keep abreast of the latest developments in a country. The China Academy of Translation, a research institute affiliated with the China International Publishing Group, the country's leading international publisher, regularly analyzes prevailing Chinese terms in various sectors and translates them into a number of foreign languages ranging from English to Arabic. In each issue, Beijing Review presents a selection of these keywords to help readers know more about China.

China's views on nuclear security

At the Third Nuclear Security Summit that opened in The Hague on March 24, 2014, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech to expand on China's views on nuclear security:

First, the international community should place equal emphasis on development and security, and develop nuclear energy on the premise of security.

Second, it should place equal emphasis on rights and obligations, and move forward the international nuclear security process on the basis of respecting the rights and interests of all countries.

Third, it should place equal emphasis on independent and collaborative efforts, and seek universal nuclear security through mutually beneficial cooperation.

Fourth, it should place equal emphasis on treating symptoms and addressing causes, and advance the cause of nuclear security in all respects with the goal of removing the associated risks at the root.

Xi promised that China will continue its efforts to achieve lasting nuclear security. His speech made China the first country to publicly unveil its views on nuclear security.

The greater good and self-interest

China views the relationship between the greater good and self-interest as an essential aspect of international relations. At the political level all countries should abide by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and uphold the principles of fairness, justice, and equality among nations. At the economic level they should seek a course of action that brings mutual benefits and leads to win-win solutions with a focus on an overall picture and long-term considerations.

The pursuit of the greater good remains, as President Xi Jinping once said, embedded in China's values. It is not acceptable that the divide between the haves and have-nots perpetuates itself. True happiness should be shared and enjoyed by all. China hopes that all countries, especially developing countries, would benefit from development efforts. The pursuit of self-interest should be aligned with the need to search for mutual benefits, rather than being turned into a zero-sum game. China has the obligation to provide assistance to poor countries within the limits of its own resources. It is sometimes necessary to work for the greater good at the expense of self-interest and fulfill this obligation despite an unfavorable result in financial terms.

The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities"

The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" began to win general acceptance in the early 1970s. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972, declared that the protection of the human environment was the duty of the whole world. It also drew attention to the fact that environmental deficiencies in developing countries are themselves generated by the conditions of underdevelopment. This concept constitutes an essential element of the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities."

The principle was written into Article 4 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted in 1992. Under this principle, developed countries should take the lead in emission reduction and provide support in terms of finance and technology to developing countries, while developing countries should apply this financial and technological support to actions designed to mitigate or adapt to climate change. Notwithstanding, economic and social development and poverty eradication remain the first and overriding priorities for the developing world.

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