Vice Premier Wu Yi reiterated in Beijing Thursday China will adhere to the path of peaceful development.
"The choice by the Chinese people to follow a peaceful path to development is a wise decision based on China's traditional culture, painful history and her tremendous achievements at the current stage," said Wu in a keynote speech at the first China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue that opened earlier Thursday.
She said China is an ancient civilization boasting 5,000 years' history with the tradition of seeking mutual complementarities, accommodation and integration with foreign cultures.
"In China's history of interactions with the outside world, she has consistently focused on the practice of befriending her neighbors while pursuing harmony out of a respect for differences," said Wu.
"Such a cultural heritage has decided that today's China will inevitably choose peaceful development to sustain the continuity of history as well as to align herself into the currents of peace and development in the global context," said Wu.
She recalled the history from the Opium War and the First Sino-Japanese War after the 1880s, China's War on Foreign Invaders1900 to the Japanese War of Aggression against China in 1930s, saying China was subject to the butchering of the then strong powers in the West and East and their extremely barbarian economic depredation.
"This, coupled with feudal corruption and years of successive civil strife and chaos, led to the loss of China's sovereignty and the horrendous suffering of her people, her national strength failing and people barely surviving," said Wu.
"Such a historic experience has shaped the psychology of the Chinese people in our quest for peace and hope for stability, consolidating our belief in following a path to peaceful development," Wu added.
She said after the founding of new China in 1949, the Chinese people have made arduous explorations in the course of development and starting from 1978, China has embarked on a new journey of transforming from a planned to a market economy, from cloistered up to opening up, from exclusive self-sustaining to integration into globalization.
"By following a path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics in an independent and self-reliant manner, we have scored glorious achievements that attracted worldwide attention," said Wu.
"Practice has amply demonstrated that it is right to adhere to a path of peaceful development, as it conforms to both China's reality and the trend of the times. China will unswervingly march onward alongside this path to peaceful development," said Wu.
The two-day dialogue, the highest-level one among the existing China-US dialogue and consultation mechanisms, is aimed at examining long-term strategic issues in bilateral trade.
Wu said she hoped this dialogue enable the US side to have a relatively comprehensive and systemic perspective of China, a better knowledge of the country, thus enhancing mutual understanding and trust.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2006)