Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, January 01, 2004

President Hu: China seeks peace, prosperity

Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday, Dec 31, called for efforts to build a world of peace and prosperity in his New Year's address. Hu extended New Year greetings to Chinese people of all ethnic groups, including those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and overseas Chinese, as well as friends from all other countries.


China will continue to work with other nations to push forward world peace and development, President Hu Jintao said in his New Year's speech to the nation Wednesday.

He also expressed sincere hope that a peaceful reunification of the country can be achieved.

"It is an irreversible trend that the world wants peace, people want co-operation, nations want development, and society wants advancement," Hu said in the speech broadcast throughout the nation on television and radio.

The Chinese Government believes the future of humans is bright and no matter how international situations change, China will always take the side of justice, the president said.

Last year meant much to the Chinese people, Hu said, referring to issues like the nationwide fight against the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and the successful launch of the country's first manned-space flight.

Guided by Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, Chinese people of all ethnic groups, united as one, had conquered the difficulties and challenges brought about by the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic and natural disasters including earthquakes, floods and droughts.

It was also a year in which China pressed ahead with its reforms and opening-up and the socialist modernization drive, Hu said. The country continued to register fairly rapid growth in economy and maintained a momentum for the all-round development of various social causes, he said.

Today's China is full of enthusiasm for reform and development, and people of all ethnic groups in the country are confident of building a prosperous future, Hu said.

Last year the Chinese Government further developed its friendships with other nations, especially with neighbouring countries and developing ones and actively took part in global and regional co-operation, according to Hu.

The government played constructive roles in addressing key international issues, regional security and development issues, and contributed to maintaining world peace and pushing forward common development, he added.

The year 2004 would be crucial for the Chinese people in carrying out the tasks set by the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the nation's 10th Five-Year Plan, the president said.

Hu said China would maintain all-round, coordinated and sustainable development in the new year while taking economic development as the central task.

The country would deepen its reforms and open further and maintain sustainable, coordinated and healthy development of its economy, he said.

The country will stick to "one country, two systems" and its highly autonomic principles that let "Hong Kong people to govern Hong Kong" and "Macao people to govern Macao."

The mainland will enhance its economic and trade ties with Hong Kong and Macao and maintainlong-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao.

Hu said the Chinese mainland cares deeply for the interests of its 23 million Taiwan compatriots.

Cross-Straits economic and cultural interchanges will be strengthened and the mainland will try its sincere best to achieve the reunification of the entire country, he said.

"We firmly oppose all kinds of separatist activities aiming at the independence of Taiwan and will not allow anybody to separate Taiwan from China by any means," said Hu.

"We believe the reunification of the motherland will be achieved at an early date as long as all Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, make joint efforts."

As multipolariziation in world politics and economic globalization deepens and science and technology are developed at an ever-faster pace, people from all over the world will have new development opportunities, Hu said.

However, great challenges also exist as regional conflicts appear now and then, the harm of terrorism accelerates, the world economy grows slowly, and the gap between the South and the North expands.

Hu said China cares for and sympathizes with all people in the world who are suffering from war, hunger and poverty, and the Chinese people hope all can lead happy lives as soon as possible, and noted China is willing to offer help.

By People's Daily Online

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