CHINA / National

China, US officers underline peace, prosperity
Updated: 2006-05-18 06:54

Beijing - Military officers of China and the United States said here Wednesday that peace and prosperity are most vital for both countries.

Xu Qiliang, deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), made the remarks during a meeting with a US National Defense University Capstone delegation led by Retired General Thomas Morgan, a senior consultant of the University.

Morgan agreed with Xu's remarks, saying that "peace and prosperity, for your nation and for our nation, is the most important thing."

Morgan and his delegation were on a six-day trip to China, during which they visited the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China before their arrival in the national capital.

Xu briefed Morgan on China's policy of pursuing the road of peaceful development and enunciated why China had kept to the policy.

Xu told Morgan that if he looks at China from the historic, present and future perspectives, he will understand that it is natural and a must for China to keep up on the road of peaceful development.

Noting that China has been a peace-loving nation in history, he said it has never invaded other nations. Instead, he added, it was invaded by other nations, even by those weaker ones.

Taking into account its present domestic situation, Xu said, China needs to take a road for peaceful development, as the country generally remains a developing nation with an arduous task of eliminating poverty.

Based enumerated some figures he enumerated, he said China still has 26 million people with an annual income of less than 668 yuan (about US$80) and 70 million people have an income of less than 948 yuan (some US$120) a year.

The United Nations standard for poverty is an income of less than 1 dollar per day, Xu added.

Taking the above two factors into consideration and looking ahead into the future, Xu said China has to and will always persevere in the road of peaceful development.

Xu invited Morgan and members of his delegation to visit more of China's rural areas in the future rather than those developed cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Noting that China's vast countryside is still underdeveloped and lagging far behind those developed cities, Xu said it is only by visiting the rural areas can one has a better knowledge of the reality and situation of China.

Morgan thanked Xu for his explanation, saying his valuable words would help the students from the US military academy who have come to China for the first time to know more about the country's focus and direction for future development.

He said he has had no opportunities to visit China's rural areas though he has visited China 15 times and he was pleased to accept Xu's invitation.

Morgan suggested the two nations and their armed forces have more direct, candid dialogues for the better growth of bilateral ties. "The more open we are with each other, the less opportunities there will be for us to make each other nervous," he said.