2008-08-01 — China will stick to the path of peaceful development and remain committed to maintaining peace and stability
This year is destined to be one of the most important in the history of China’s pursuit of peaceful development.
Internally, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will elect a new leadership later this year, and thus inject new vitality into China’s reforms.
Externally, neighboring countries with territorial disputes with China are taking advantage of the United States’ strategy of accelerated “return to the Asia-Pacific” to create trouble with China in an attempt to infringe upon China’s territorial sovereignty.
Under the garb of “maintaining regional stability” and “keeping its commitments to allies”, the US has increased pressure on China by rearranging its forces deployed abroad, holding joint military exercises with its allies, as well as supplying weapons to regional countries and issuing diplomatic statements. Turning a blind eye to the remarkable economic and political progress China has made over the past years, the US has mobilized its machinery of opinion to overstate various “uncertain factors” in China.
As a result, China faces numerous internal and external problems, which threaten to end the three-decade-long peace and development momentum in Asia and turn it into the most dangerous region in the world.
That territorial and maritime disputes among countries in the Asia-Pacific region exist is an indisputable fact. Compared with Europe, Africa and West Asia that have experienced wars and violent conflicts since the end of the Cold War, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have not only managed to appropriately handle their disputes, but also achieved unprecedented peace, prosperity and stability.
“Shelving disputes for common development”, a great strategic concept put forward by Deng Xiaoping, has contributed immensely to the realization of peace and development in Asia-Pacific over the past decades. The region has also benefited from China’s reform and opening-up policies and its unremitting efforts to build good cooperative ties with neighboring countries.
Over the past 30-odd years, East Asian countries have made full use of their geographical adjacency, cultural likeness and similar economic development models to build win-win interdependence. From a long-term perspective, regional countries can continue their development, and find ways to resolve their territorial disputes only by enhancing mutual trust, eliminating their security dilemmas and pushing forward East Asian integration to maintain prosperity and stability in the region.
Any attempt to force the region’s countries to give up their viable development models and instigate them to resolve mutual disputes as soon as possible in defiance of their historical and real conditions will be an irresponsible and impractical act. If such shortsightedness does not change, it could turn Asia-Pacific into another Middle East, a result that would by no means be in the interest of any East Asian country.
Some countries in the region wrongly assume that a stronger China, thanks to its fast economic development, will try to establish its hegemony. They not only doubt China’s commitment to peaceful development, but also see China’s development through the tinted glasses of the Cold War.