Peaceful development poses no threat

Updated: 2011-09-05 07:57

By Feng Zhaokui (China Daily)

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China's rapid development in the recent decade has caused worries among some in the West that Beijing will go to war in the future to pursue hegemony and thus is a threat to other nations.

Such a concern is groundless. China has never harbored the idea of exporting to the outside world the "China model" as some Westerners have claimed.

Although China continues to push for the establishment of a new international political and economic order, it follows the trend of globalization and has never stopped integrating itself into the current US-led world framework.

It is China's consistent policy that it will seek neither military expansion nor an arms race with any other country, as indicated by its low proportion of military expenditure to its gross domestic product (GDP). In 2010, China's national defense budget was only 6.3 percent of its fiscal revenues. In comparison, according to a data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the US' defense spending in 2009 was six times China's military spending, amounting to 43 percent of the world's total. China's high-tech development, a core gauge of a country's military muscle, is also still far behind that of the US.

Despite its efforts to push for military modernization to safeguard its national security, China is conscious that its economic imbalances pose a big threat to its vowed endeavor to promote sustainable development and realize modernization. China knows that it should pay particular attention to worsening environmental issues and increase financial input into social security, healthcare and education. At the same time, it knows it must concentrate on the issues of food security and water resource security.

The rapid development of the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and other coastal areas over the past three decades since the adoption of reform and opening-up has hammered home to China the knowledge that it benefits by following the road of peaceful development.

China adopts a good-neighborly and friendly foreign policy, contributing much to regional peace and prosperity. China always tries to resolve its territorial and maritime disputes with neighbors through peaceful negotiations. Such a policy has also created a stable surrounding environment.

China always connects its national security with world peace and stability. That decides that China will act as a responsible power while pursuing its own national security interests. It is China's long-cherished stance that it will not pursue alliances with other countries.

Against the backdrop of globalization and climate change, countries have become increasingly interconnected and any large-scale war would undoubtedly produce no winners. For China, its ecological construction is closely related to the interests of its people and the future of the Chinese nation. According to a recent survey, global warming is the main concern of 67 percent of the Chinese people polled, with an aging and growing population seen as other major threats to China's development.

It is ridiculous to see China's rapid growth as a threat. China's GDP exceeded that of Japan in 2010, but its per capita GDP only ranks 105th in the world and its human development index ranks 92nd among the 182 countries and regions.

At the same time, China's accelerating aging issue has become increasingly serious and in another 10 years the country will no longer enjoy its population dividend. This means that China will have to concentrate on resolving domestic issues.

The author is a researcher with Institute of Japanese Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

(China Daily 09/05/2011 page8)