Former US President Gorge Bush on Saturday said China's peaceful rise is "very reassuring and very, very important to the Asian horizon and Asia's landscape."
Bush made the remarks in his 20-minute speech on China's peaceful rise, the international war on terror and the importance of free trade delivered at a luncheon session hosted by the ongoing 2004 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA).
Bush recalled his days in China as a US envoy, when the country was both poor and isolated.
"Thirty years later, the change could not be more dramatic," said Bush, who visited China many times in the past decades. The country has become wealthier, more confident, and full of color, energy and vitality, he said.
He attributed the change mainly to the expanding economic, social and political freedom the Chinese government had brought to its people since the late 1970s, when late leader Deng Xiaoping initiated the reform and opening-up drive.
Bush also talked about the ongoing war against terror and global free trade.
He said the September 11 terrorist attack shocked both the Untied States and the whole world, and fighting terrorism is not only a Western problem, but a problem of the whole world. He called on all countries to work together to fight terrorism and never to give in.
Calling the establishment of the global trading system "a miracle in the world in the past 50 years," Bush claimed that the United States encourages all countries to open their markets and fulfill their WTO commitments.
Long Yongtu, secretary-general of the BFA, chaired the luncheon session.
(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2004)