CHINA / National

Hu: China sticks to peaceful development
Updated: 2006-04-21 23:05

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Thursday that China sticks to the path of peaceful development and will stay firmly committed to promoting the country's development and world peace.

"Let me tell you in explicit terms that China sticks to the path of peaceful development," Hu said in a speech delivered at a dinner here hosted in his honor by 12 friendly organizations in the United States.

China "is firmly committed to promoting development domestically and maintaining world peace and promoting common development internationally." he said.

Hu said China must pursue a path of peaceful development if it is to meet the goal of modernizing itself.

The most pressing and immediate task facing China is to give top priority to economic development and continue to raise the living standards of its people, he noted.

"We hope to develop ourselves through safeguarding world peace and better promote world peace as we develop ourselves." he said.

The president said China's decision to pursue peaceful development is deeply rooted in its historical and cultural traditions, and the Chinese nation has always been a strong advocate of good-neighborliness.

Hu said China was long subjected to aggression in a period of over 100 years from the Opium War in 1840 to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and therefore the Chinese are most appreciative of the value of peace.

China's pursuit of peaceful development also conforms to the trend of the times and is in keeping with human progress, he said.

Noting that countries in today's world are increasingly interdependent and the destiny of their people is more connected than ever before, Hu pointed out that only by strengthening exchanges and broadening cooperation can countries realize common development.

"In pursuing peaceful development, China strives to advance both the fundamental interests of its own people and the common interests of the peoples in the world, and it plays a responsible and constructive role in promoting world peace and development." Hu said.

President Hu arrived in Washington Wednesday evening from Seattle.

The United States is the first leg of his five-nation tour, which will also take him to Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya.