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Peaceful Rise: Strategic Choice for China

Though not hearing the term "peaceful rise" in Chinese President Hu Jintao's keynote speech Saturday, observers have noticed that the concept had become the strategic choice for China.


Observers have focused their attention on China's peaceful rising and economic globalization from the content of Hu's speech at the opening ceremony of the 2004 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and the discussion of officials, economists and experts at a round-table meeting held Saturday as part of the Forum.


More than 1,000 political VIPs, government ministers, business leaders and scholars from 35 countries and regions attended the BFA, the third of its kind since the non-governmental forum's founding in 2001.


The term "peaceful rising" was firstly introduced at last year's Boao Forum by Zheng Bijian, chairman of China Reform Forum.


In the past 25 years, China's productive forces and overall national strength have been constantly enhanced. Facing a rising China, there are both praises and worries from the world, even there is a so-called viewpoint of "China Threat".


"The only choice for China under the current international situation was to rise peacefully, namely, to develop by taking advantage of the peaceful international environment, and at the same time, to maintain world peace through its development," Zheng expounded the concept in this way.


"A country can emerge victorious from tough international competition and enjoy faster development only when it gets along with the tide of the times, seizes the opportunities for development, blazes a trail suited to its national conditions and relics on wisdom and resourcefulness of its own people," said President Hu Jintao in his keynote speech.


China's strategy embodied the traditional culture as well as Chinese people's sober perspective toward itself, observers agreed.


China's traditional culture features on the idea that "peace is the most precious". In China's long history, China never launched territorial expansion or invasion.


In the meantime, Chinese leaders have a sober understanding on its national power. Hu said though China has achieved impressive results in its development, there are still many acute problems, such as overpopulation, weak economic foundation, underdeveloped productivity, highly uneven development, and a fairly sharp contradiction between the country's ecological environment and natural resources on the one hand and its economic and social development on the other.


China's per capita GDP, though reaching the record high of US$1,000 last year, still ranks behind the 100th place in the world.


"To make China's modernization program a success and deliver a prosperous life for all the Chinese people still requires a long and uphill battle, "said Hu.


Chinese leaders see that China's peaceful rise should rely on its own efforts for development.


"Taking the initiative in our own hands with independence and self-reliance in development is an important experience of ours," said Hu.


Even when China getting stronger, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, China's rise "will not stand in the way of any other country, nor pose threat to any other country, nor at the cost of any other country."


Observer see a bright future for a "peacefully rising" of China, though "it would require a long time and probably efforts of several generations".


In fact, China's gestures with olive branches has got welcome from international communities. At last year's Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conferences, Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said several times that China's growth will not pose a threat to the world.


(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2004)



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