Canberra, Australia - China's pursuit of a peaceful development road is a
choice made by its people in accordance with its national interests, said Cai
Wu, minister in charge of the State Council Information Office. Cai is heading a
Chinese media delegation on a weeklong visit to Australia.
Cai Wu meets with Kim Randall,
chairman of Australian National Press Club at Canberra, April 12, 2006.
Addressing the National
Press Club of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday, Cai said that China's peaceful
development should be interpreted as an attempt to accelerate growth in a
peaceful international environment while simultaneously promoting world peace
and prosperity through its own development.
"It requires China to show an all-dimensional openness to the world, " Cai
said. " It aims for mutually beneficial win-win results and common development
with the international community in step with the trend of economic
"China's peaceful development is development characterized by peace, opening
up, harmony and cooperation," he emphasized.
For some time, China's rapid economic ascension has aroused concerns in the
international community, at times even stoking the "China threat" theory.
China noticed that at a
recent occasion, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer made an explicit
denial of the policy of containment of China, describing it as a grave mistake,
Cai told his audience at the press club.
Cai Wu delivers a speech in
English at the Australian National Press Club at Canberra, April 12, 2006.
"We don't want to pursue a policy of containment towards China," said Downer
in mid March at tri-party security talks with foreign ministers from Australia,
Japan and the United States. "There's nothing wrong with the growing economic
power of China. It's a good thing for Australia."
"This is wise policy," said the Chinese cabinet minister, adding that what
China's growth brings to the world are investment opportunities, a huge and
profitable market, and more production and employment opportunities.
Cai said Sino-Australia cooperation and friendship is bound by history for
the good of mutual prosperity and peace in the Asian-Pacific region.
Cai noted that Chinese President Hu Jintao has reaffirmed once again that
"China will always regard Australia as an important partner - past, present and
Top leaders from both countries have paid visits to each other's capital
cities, which is a sign of improving relations, he said.
Although the two countries have different social systems, and have different
historical and cultural backgrounds; China and Australia have neither historical
grievances nor conflicts of fundamental interests, Cai said. During the past 34
years since bilateral diplomatic relations were established, China and Australia
have always showed respect for each other's interests and concerns over major
The agreements that China and Australia clinched during Premier Wen Jiabao's
just-concluded visit are expected to open the door for wider cooperation,
especially in the area of trade; with one country a rich reservoir of natural
resources and the other a huge, stable and rising market. Two-way trade, at
US$27.5 billion in 2005, has grown at a remarkable 30 per cent annually in the
past few years.
However, as China has a population of 1.3 billion, its per-capita GDP of
US$1,703 last year is a mere one-18th that of Australia, explained Cai, adding
China has a lot to learn from developed Australia.
Recalling his first trip to Australia some 20 years ago, Cai highly
appreciates Australia's all-round achievements. "In just over 100 years, the
'Southern Continent' has sprouted into a modern country," said Cai.
With an innate geological affinity, China and Australia were first connected
600 years ago by the Chinese explorer Zheng He. Zheng was the first Chinese to
set foot in Australia during his epic voyage.
"We Chinese hold strong sense of history, which in this case serves as a tie
connecting the two peoples," said Cai, adding that the relationship is not
confined to the past alone.
Today, nearly 100,000 Chinese students are studying in Australia. Each year,
some 800,000 people from both countries visit each other.
As the whole of China gears up for the coming 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing,
the Chinese minister conveyed sincere admiration and interest in the experiences
of Sydney holding the successful 2000 Games.
"We need to learn from Australia's two Olympic triumphs. To learn from
Sydney's successful experience in hosting the Olympics is partly why we are
here," said Cai.