Stick to the path of peace­ful devel­op­ment

The Pak Banker - - Editorial5 - Dai Bing­guo

It is a de­vel­op­ing coun­try in ev­ery sense of the term. The eco­nomic and so­cial prob­lems we face are the biggest and most dif­fi­cult in the world. We have no rea­son what­so­ever to be con­ceited or ar­ro­gant. Our road to real devel­op­ment and bet­ter life for our peo­ple will be long and hard. This will re­quire the un­remit­ting ef­forts of sev­eral gen­er­a­tions or even more. Even if one day China comes close to Western coun­tries, like the United States, Europe and Ja­pan, in per capita GDP, the qual­ity of our econ­omy and life will still lag far be­hind.

I must point out in par­tic­u­lar that even if China be­comes stronger, it will re­main a mem­ber of the de­vel­op­ing world and will con­tinue to stand by the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and work in unity with them for com­mon devel­op­ment. That is be­cause we share sim­i­lar his­tor­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences with de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, we were com­rades-in-arms with them, and we have com­mon devel­op­ment tasks and strate­gic in­ter­ests. Our po­si­tion will never change even when China's econ­omy has grown or its in­ter­na­tional sta­tus has changed. Now and for­ever, China is, and will re­main the most sin­cere and trust­wor­thy friend, brother and part­ner of the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Al­though there is room for im­prove­ment in our re­la­tions with the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, China's co­op­er­a­tion with them is open and hon­est and based on equal­ity, mu­tual ben­e­fit and sin­cere friend­ship. The hat of the so-called "neo­colo­nial­ism" does not fit China.

5: Will China seek hege­mony when it be­comes more de­vel­oped?

This con­cern is un­founded. To op­pose hege­mony has been writ­ten into China's Con­sti­tu­tion and the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Com­mu­nist Party of China. Prob­a­bly, no other big coun­try or po­lit­i­cal party in the world has ever done that.

In terms of his­tory, China has no cul­ture or tra­di­tion of seek­ing ex­pan­sion or hege­mony. Through­out our his­tory of thou­sands of years, benev­o­lence and har­mony are at the heart of our po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural tra­di­tion, which val­ues har­mony, good-neigh­bor­li­ness and friend­ship with all. China never sought ex­pan­sion or hege­mony even in its hey­day cen­turies ago, when it ac­counted for 30 per­cent of the world's GDP. Zheng He, a great Chi­nese nav­i­ga­tor, led the world's strong­est fleet to the Western Seas on seven voy­ages, tak­ing with him not blood­shed or war, pil­lage or col­o­niza­tion but porce­lain, silk and tea. In the height of the Tang Dy­nasty (AD 618 - 907), what Ja­pan got from China was not threat but pros­per­ity. China's ter­ri­tory has ba­si­cally been what it is to­day since the Western Han Dy­nasty (206 BC - 24 AD).

In terms of world devel­op­ment, re­vi­tal­iza­tion of a coun­try in the era of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion can be well achieved through equal and or­derly in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion. It's no longer nec­es­sary or pos­si­ble to take the old path of chal­leng­ing ei­ther the ex­ist­ing in­ter­na­tional or­der or other coun­tries. The rise and fall of some big pow­ers in the world tells us: Ex­pan­sion­ism leads to nowhere; arms race leads to nowhere; seek­ing world dom­i­na­tion leads to nowhere; and peace­ful devel­op­ment is the only right path. The more de­vel­oped China is, the more it needs to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion with the rest of the world, and the more it needs a peace­ful and sta­ble in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment. Mu­tual ben­e­fit and com­mon devel­op­ment is what we have learned most pro­foundly from over 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ences in for­eign re­la­tions since re­form and open­ing-up. That is also a key to our suc­cess. We must hold on to the key and never give it up.

In terms of our ba­sic pol­icy, never seek­ing lead­er­ship, never com­pet­ing for supremacy and never seek­ing hege­mony is our ba­sic na­tional pol­icy and strate­gic choice. Whether a coun­try is a threat to the world or not is a mat­ter of what poli­cies it pur­sues. China al­ways ad­heres to the Five Prin­ci­ples of Peace­ful Co­ex­is­tence, re­spects the right of the peo­ple in all coun­tries to choose their own devel­op­ment paths, never seeks hege­mony or lead­er­ship and never tries to dom­i­nate the world. As Com­rade Deng Xiaop­ing once said, if one day China tries to seek hege­mony in the world, peo­ple of the world should ex­pose, op­pose and over­throw it. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity can hold us to ac­count.

Some say China wants to re­place the US and dom­i­nate the world. That is sim­ply a myth. Po­lit­i­cally, what we prac­tice is so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics. We do not ex­port our so­cial sys­tem or devel­op­ment model and we re­spect the choice of the peo­ple of other coun­tries. Eco­nom­i­cally, we fo­cus all our ef­forts on devel­op­ment. We are happy to see last­ing pros­per­ity and devel­op­ment in all other coun­tries and we pur­sue com­mon progress. Mil­i­tar­ily, we re­ject any arms race. Our top pri­or­ity is to en­able the 1.3 bil­lion Chi­nese peo­ple to have bet­ter clothes, bet­ter food, bet­ter hous­ing and more con­ve­nient trans­porta­tion. We can­not and will not spend heaps of money on weaponry.

We do not seek hege­mony and will never com­pete with other coun­tries for lead­er­ship in our re­gion, seek so-called joint hege­mony or fol­low so-called Mon­roe Doc­trine. What we pur­sue is a pol­icy of friend­ship, se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity with our neigh­bors. The pur­pose of our Asia-Pa­cific strat­egy is to cre­ate a good, sta­ble neigh­bor­ing en­vi­ron­ment for our own devel­op­ment and achieve com­mon progress with all coun­tries.

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