Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations,Wang Guangya said China was committed to peaceful development and would not attempt to alter the existing international configuration while addressing a symposium organized by the University of Chicago Saturday.
Wang said there existed misgivings and an element of anxiety in the United States about the possibility of China repeating the past mistakes of large powers on the rise.
Noting that historically those powers attempted to influence and alter the existing international configuration of their times Wang made it clear that China "needs and is committed to development predicated on domestic harmony and external peace." Therefore its foreign policy, "has to be oriented toward the pursuit of peace, the maintenance of stability and the promotion of cooperation."
He said peaceful development was nothing less than a prerequisite for China's endeavor to become prosperous and was the best embodiment of the trend of today's world.
"For a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion like China it'll take decade or perhaps a century, of sustained effort before a decent, comfortable life could be ensured for all its citizens," he said. "This is all the more reason for China to live in harmony with other countries and to promote prosperity for all societies."
Historically, he went on to say, the rise of a new power was often accompanied by clashes and upheavals in the international system and configuration, more often than not leading to bloody, armed conflict.
Noting that rapid economic globalization and political multi-polarization had increased the interdependence of countries to an unprecedented degree in the 21st century, Wang emphasized that in this new era, "Peace will make winners of us all and conflicts will make all of us losers."
"The traditional pattern of clashes triggered by the rise of a large power is bound to give way to peaceful coexistence," he said. "In its push for development China will not and cannot retrace the path traditionally taken by powers on the rise. Our only option is peaceful development in which all countries are winners."
Wang admitted that China's sustained high rate of growth has provoked widespread concern in the international community. "It's precisely this high rate of growth that has prompted some to argue that China has caused repercussions on other economies and a steep increase in demand for energy and other resources thereby impacting the world economy," he said.
Citing the locomotive effect of China on the world economy and the country's honoring of its commitments to the World Trade Organization, Wang dismissed the concern. "I submit that no matter which way you look at it China's development is no challenge or threat to any nation but rather represents a tremendous contribution and opportunity," he stressed.
"China is developing as an integral part of the world and the rapid growth of the Chinese economy can only bring exciting opportunities and ever expanding cooperation to the world," he added.
Wang also expressed the belief that China and the United States can be partners in cooperation rather than rivals in competition.
"I firmly believe that common interests between the two countries are primary both in the short and the long run. There's absolutely nothing that prevents the US and China from forging a mutually beneficial partnership," he said.
"As the largest developing country and the largest developed country respectively, China and the United States have a special responsibility for peace, security and prosperity in the world, especially in the Asia and Pacific region," he said. "China believes that our two countries are fully capable of strengthening our cooperation to our mutual benefit."
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2006)