Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday China is ready to increase
military exchanges and boost defense dialogue with Japan.
China and Japan have a great deal of influence both in northeast
Asia and in the world at large, Wen said. Developing military
exchanges and a defense dialogue will help them increase
understanding, avoid confrontation and safeguard peace and
development of the region and the world.
Meeting with a group of Japanese reporters, Wen emphasized that
China is on the road to peaceful development -- the country's
condition, system and cultural traditions make any other option
"Our development will not have a negative impact on other
countries, nor pose a threat to any country," Wen said.
He gave a joint interview to 16 Japanese news organizations on
Wednesday ahead of his upcoming Japan trip.
"China is still a developing country, and we will not seek
hegemony." There is a long way to go before China becomes a
developed country, the premier said.
"Even if China were highly developed, it would never seek
hegemony," he added.
With regard to China's defense expenditure, Wen said that
relative to population Chinese defense spending is modest, less
than many developed and developing countries.
"The key point is that China's limited military power is used to
safeguard the country's security and unification," Wen told
In the last two hundred years, China has been invaded a number
of times, the premier said, adding the country knows quite well
what disasters war inflicts on a country and its people.
"China's adherence to peaceful development and a national
defense policy based on self-defense is absolutely sincere, and
beyond doubt," the premier said.
Wen is scheduled to visit Japan from April 11-13. His visit will
be the first trip to Japan by a Chinese premier in the last seven
During the three-day tour, Wen will visit Tokyo, where he will
meet with Japanese leaders, and Kyoto, where he will visit a
(Xinhua News Agency April 5, 2007)