While asserting China's firm position on upholding its territorial sovereignty, Foreign Minister YangJiechi said on Thursday that Beijing will continue to promote peace, development and cooperation.
Yang made the remarks as he took the floor at the general debate of the 67th UN General Assembly session, which entered its third day.
"The world is undergoing major and profound changes. To promote peace, development and cooperation has become the shared aspiration of people across the world and the common pursuit of the international community," Yang told the assembly in a 20-minute speech.
However, he said, destabilizing factors and uncertainties affecting global growth have increased while the international security environment is highly complex.
Yang said facing both unprecedented opportunities and challenges, China believes it is important that all countries promote equality and democracy in international relations, seek win-win progress through cooperation in the course of development and ensure fairness and effectiveness in conducting global governance.
As to West Asia and North Africa, Yang said that the region is undergoing profound changes.
He emphasized that China supports efforts by countries in the region to independently handle their internal affairs and respects the aspirations and calls of people there for change and development.
However, he noted, during the process of change and development, the unique features of the region in terms of religion, civilization, history and ethnicity should be respected.
"We hope that relevant parties will settle differences through inclusive and constructive political dialogue and resolve problems peacefully," he said.
The Chinese foreign minister pledged that China will continue to make unremitting efforts with countries in the region to promote peace and development in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Echoing statements from China's neighboring countries, Yang said that to maintain peace, stability and sound growth in the Asia-Pacific is crucial to ensuring the well-being of people in the region and the world as a whole.
"We should fully respect the reality of a diverse and interdependent Asia-Pacific and continue to follow an approach for regional cooperation that has proved effective over the years, namely, building consensus, malting incremental progress and accommodating each other's comfort level, so as to uphold peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
As to his own country, Yang stressed that China will stay on the track of peaceful development.
China will enhance friendly relations and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, especially good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with neighboring countries, he said.
At the same time, he noted, China treats other developing countries as good friends and good partners, supporting each other and seeking common development on the basis of equality.
Yang said that his country has the confidence, means and ability to maintain steady and robust growth and achieve long-term, sound and sustainable development.
While stressing that China's development is peaceful, open, cooperative and win-win in nature, Yang said that the Chinese government is firm in upholding China's territorial sovereignty.
"China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes, and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation," Yang said, referring to the current island dispute between the two Asian neighbors.
"Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have been an integral part of China's territory since ancient times," he said. "China has indisputable historical and legal evidence in this regard."
The Chinese minister said, by taking such unilateral actions as the so-called "island purchase," the Japanese government has grossly violated China's sovereignty.
"This is an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the world antifascist war and poses a grave challenge to the post-war international order and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations," he said.
At the end of his speech, Yang said that as the Communist Party of China will soon hold its 18th National Congress, the Chinese people are confident that this important meeting will lead China's reform, opening-up and modernization drive to a new stage.
"We will work with the international community to follow the trend of history and the call of the times and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and shared prosperity," he said.