China on Thursday issued a white paper on its peaceful development, stating that it is the inevitable way for the country to achieve modernization.
The 32-page white paper, titled "China's Peaceful Development Road" and published by the Information Office of China's State Council, fully explains the inevitability for the country to pursue peaceful development.
It also outlines the major policies China has taken to achieve the goal and demonstrates the country's resolve to stick to the road of peaceful development now and in the future.
"China's road of peaceful development is a brand-new one for mankind in pursuit of civilization and progress, the inevitable way for China to achieve modernization, and a serious choice and solemn promise made by the Chinese government and the Chinese people," said the white paper.
It is an inevitable choice based on its national conditions, its historical and cultural tradition and the present world development trend that China persists unswervingly in taking the road of peaceful development, said the paper.
"The road of peaceful development accords with the fundamental interests of the Chinese people," it said.
The white paper recalled that since the policies of reform and opening up were introduced at the end of the 1970s, China has successfully embarked on a road of peaceful development compatible with its national conditions and characteristics of the times.
Along this road, the Chinese people are working hard to build China into a prosperous, powerful, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern country, and continually making new contributions to human progress with China's own development.
China's development needs a peaceful international environment, noted the paper, pointing to the fact that for years, the Chinese government and people have made unremitting efforts to create a peaceful international environment.
"They cherish dearly the peaceful international environment jointly created by the peace-loving and progress-seeking countries and peoples," said the white paper.
The paper also listed many figures to illustrate the substantial achievements made by the country in seeking a peaceful international environment, saying that China's development has made positive contributions to world peace and development.
The country's per capita GDP rose from less than 300 U.S. dollars in 1978 to more than 1,400 dollars in 2004. It has created a miracle by feeding nearly 22 percent of the world's population on less than 10 percent of the world's arable land.
The Chinese government has lifted 220 million people out of poverty, and has provided minimum living allowances to 22.05 million urban residents and aid to 60 million disabled people, according to the paper.
"China cannot develop independently without the rest of the world. Likewise, the world needs China if it is to attain prosperity," said the white paper.
In recent years, despite increasingly severe global economic fluctuations, China's economy has maintained a stable and relatively fast growth, bringing hope and a new driving force to world economic development.
Statistics released by the World Bank show that China's economic growth contributed an average 13 percent to world economic growth from 2000 to 2004.
China imported 500 billion U.S. dollars worth of commodities annually during the period from December 2001 to September 2005, which meant 10 million jobs for the countries and regions concerned, according to the white paper.
In the next few years, it will import 600 billion dollars worth of goods annually, and the amount will exceed 1 trillion dollars by 2010.
"Over the years, China has persisted in the policies of peace, development and cooperation, and pursued an independent foreign policy of peace," said the paper. "China has been playing a constructive role in, and making efforts to attain the lofty goal of, building a harmonious world together with all other countries."
According to the white paper, China has joined more than 130 inter-governmental international organizations, is committed to 267 international multilateral treaties and actively participates in international cooperation in such fields as anti-terrorism, arms control, non-proliferation, peacekeeping, economy and trade, development, human rights, law enforcement, and environmental protection.
Thanks to the joint efforts with various countries, China has, so far, signed boundary treaties with 12 continental neighbors, settling boundary issues left over from history.
China has also provided assistance to more than 110 countries and regional organizations for over 2,000 projects so far. China has reduced or canceled 198 debts totaling 16.6 billion RMB yuan owed to it by 44 developing countries.
The white paper said the Chinese government and people are well aware that China is still a developing country facing a lot of difficulties and problems on its road of development.
"Past experience indicates that fundamentally China must rely on itself to solve the problems in its development," said the white paper. "China will not shift its own problems and contradictions onto other countries, much less will it plunder other countries to further its own development."
It said that the road of peaceful development accords with the fundamental interests of the Chinese people; it also conforms to the objective requirements of social development and progress of mankind.
"China is now taking the road of peaceful development, and will continue to do so when it gets stronger in the future," said the white paper.