China is firmly committed to peaceful development and endeavors to uphold world peace and common development internationally, Chinese President Hu Jintao said Sunday in Stockholm.
"China's continued and fast economic development has become a major driving force behind the stable growth of the global economy," Hu said in a speech delivered at a welcome dinner hosted by the Sweden-China Trade Council.
Since the launch of the reform and opening-up program in 1978, he said, China has witnessed a rapidly-growing economy, boosted its productivity and increased the well-being of its people.
Between 1978 and 2006, China's gross domestic product jumped from 216.5 billion U.S. dollars to more than 2.6 trillion dollars, growing at an average annual rate of 9.6 percent.
China's fast economic development has both improved the lives of the Chinese people and offered more development opportunities to the world, he said.
However, Hu said, China remains the largest developing country in the world, and it needs to make long-term and hard efforts to modernize itself.
"The most pressing task facing China is to grow its economy and increase people's welfare," said the president.
"The message that I wish to send to you is this: China is firmly committed to peaceful development," he said. "It concentrates its efforts on development at home and endeavors to uphold world peace and common development internationally."
What China needs most is an international environment of peace, Hu said, adding that China is striving to develop itself by upholding world peace and to promote world peace through its development.
Hu also said that China is committed to sustainable development and the protection of intellectual property rights, and will continue to implement its strategy of win-win opening up.
Hu is currently on a three-day state visit to Sweden and is scheduled to return home on Sunday night.