Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo said in Washington on Thursday that China is committed to peaceful development and seeks to enhance relations with the United States.
"Development is the key to China's success in overcoming difficulties and is China's top priority," Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, said in a speech delivered at a dinner hosted by American friendly organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S.-China Business Council and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
He noted that China's development is a contribution to the world.
Wu said China's development is inextricably linked to the common interests of humanity, presenting development opportunities to all other countries and strengthening the forces for world peace and common development.
"We are committed to peaceful development," he said.
"We will develop ourselves by upholding world peace and maintain world peace through developing ourselves. This is the strategy the Chinese government and people have opted for in keeping with the trend of times and our own fundamental interests. It is our own abiding pursuit rather than a stopgap," Wu said.
The top legislator stressed that China is against the practice of using differences in perception as an excuse and freedom of religion and speech as a cover to support separatist forces for "Taiwan independence", "Tibet independence" and other separatist agendas and meddle in China's internal affairs.
Respecting each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and respecting and accommodating each other's core interests constitute the political foundation for China to establish and develop relations with other countries and international organizations, he said.
"This is something that will never change," Wu added.
On China-U.S. relations, the top legislator pointed out that bilateral tie "now stand at a new historical starting point."
Since U.S. President Barack Obama took office, thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides, China-U.S. relations have achieved a smooth transition and got off to a good start and maintained a positive momentum of growth, he said.
"It is our shared view that, in the new situation, the strategic significance and global impact of China-U.S. relations have become all the more prominent," Wu said.
Furthering China-U.S. relations, he said, serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples and contributes to peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Wu made three proposals to enhance China-U.S. cooperation: expanding the scope of cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win progress, building up support for cooperation through increased exchanges, and properly handling differences in line with the principle of mutual respect.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her welcoming speech that the relationship between China and the United States has the potential to help shape a right course "not only for our nations and peoples, but also for the world."
"President Obama and I agreed that we have entered a new era for U.S.-China relationship. Building a strong relationship with China is a strong goal of the Obama administration," she said.
"We want to work as much as possible in the years ahead to build a strong foundation for our future cooperation," said Clinton.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke also delivered a welcoming speech.
Wu is here on a week-long official goodwill visit to the United States, the final leg of his three-nation tour to the Americas which has taken him to Cuba and the Bahamas.
Earlier in the day, Wu met separately with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.
(Xinhua News Agency September 11, 2009)