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China to continue along path of peaceful development: Hu
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China will continue its progress along the path of peaceful development, which is a strategic choice made by the Chinese government and people, visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Tokyo on Thursday.

China firmly adheres to its independent foreign policy of peace and the mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up, and devotes itself to promoting democratization in international relations and pushing forward economic globalization toward the goal of balanced, universal benefit and win-win results, Hu said in his speech at Waseda University.

China is also committed to boosting exchange among different civilizations, carefully nurturing the Earth, which is our indispensable homeland, joining hands with all other countries to share development opportunities and embrace risks as well as challenges, and promoting the creation of a harmonious world with everlasting peace and common prosperity, the Chinese president said.

China abides by its defensive national defense policy, and will not join any arms race or become a military threat to any other country, said Hu, asserting that: "China will never seek hegemony and territorial expansion."

The traditionally friendly ties between China and Japan were seriously damaged by Japan's imperialistic invasion of China, which lasted from the 1930s to 1940s, Hu said.

During that unfortunate period in history, the Chinese nation suffered severe disasters, and the Japanese were also deeply hurt by the war, he said.

History is the most philosophic textbook, Hu said, adding that his emphasis on remembrance of history is aimed at ensuring that instead of extending hatred, the two nations may take history as a mirror to look forward to the future, and cherish and maintain peace, so that the Chinese and Japanese peoples can maintain warm ties for generation after generation, and all peoples in the world can enjoy peace and stability forever.

President Hu arrived here Tuesday on a five-day visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese head of state in a decade.

The visit, dubbed a "warm-spring" trip, is seen as a step to further improve the once-chilly China-Japan relationship, which began to warm with the "ice-breaking" visit to China by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in October 2006.

Abe's visit was followed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's "ice-thawing" Japan trip last April and current Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's "spring-heralding" visit to China last December.

(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2008)

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