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Strengthen the Foundation for Pursuing Peaceful Development

Source: Xi Jinping The Governance of China Updated: 2021-01-06

Strengthen the Foundation for Pursuing Peaceful Development* 


January 28, 2013 


To pursue peaceful development in keeping with the development trend of the times and China's fundamental interests is a strategic choice made by our Party. We should, under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development, enhance our strategic thinking and confidence, and better balance China's overall domestic and international interests. We should pursue mutually beneficial development featuring openness and cooperation, develop China by securing a peaceful international environment and, at the same time, uphold and promote world peace through our own development. We should continuously improve China's overall national strength, make sure that the people share the benefits of peaceful development, and consolidate the material and social foundations for pursuing peaceful development. 

The Chinese nation loves peace. To abolish war and achieve peace has been the most pressing and profound aspiration of the Chinese people since the advent of modern times. Pursuing peaceful development is what the fine traditional Chinese culture calls for, and it is a natural choice made by the Chinese people who have suffered so much in modern times. With the agonizing sufferings inflicted by war etched in our memory, we Chinese cherish peace and stability. What we abhor is turbulence, what we want is stability and what we hope to see is world peace. 

Our pursuit of peaceful development was not an easy-going process. Rather, this pursuit was made possible thanks to the CPC's arduous quest and endeavors since the founding of the PRC in 1949 and, in particular, to the introduction of the reform and opening-up initiative in 1978. Our Party has always upheld peace and never wavered in this commitment. Over the years, we have put forward and adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and adopted and followed an independent foreign policy of peace. And we have made a solemn pledge to the whole world that we will never seek hegemony or commit any act of expansion, and that China is and will remain a staunch force for upholding world peace. We remain true to these commitments and we remain firm in honoring them. 

The CPC put forward at its 18th National Congress the Two Centenary Goals. We have also put forward the goal of achieving the Chinese Dream – the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. To realize these goals, we need a peaceful international environment. Neither China nor the rest of the world can develop without peace, nor can they enjoy lasting peace without development. We must seize the opportunity and run our own affairs well so as to make our country stronger and more prosperous, and our people lead a better life. This will enable us to pursue peaceful development by relying on our growing strength. 

"The tide of history is mighty. Those who follow it will prosper, while those who resist it will perish." Looking back on history, we can see that those who launched aggression or sought expansion by force all ended in failure. This is a law of history. A prosperous and stable world provides China with opportunities, and China's development also offers an opportunity for the world as a whole. Whether we will succeed in our pursuit of peaceful development to a large extent hinges on whether we can turn opportunities in the rest of the world into China's opportunities and China's opportunities into those for the rest of the world so that China and other countries can engage in sound interactions and make mutually beneficial progress. We must act in keeping with China's national conditions and stick to our own path. At the same time, we should acquire a global vision. In this way, we can both promote China's domestic development and open the country wider to the outside world and advance both China's development and the development of the world as a whole, as well as the interests of both the Chinese people and other peoples. In this way, we can continuously expand mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, be actively involved in international affairs, address global challenges together with other countries, and contribute our share to global development. 

While pursuing peaceful development, we will never sacrifice our legitimate rights and interests or China's core interests. No foreign country should expect China to trade off its core interests or swallow bitter fruit that undermines China's sovereignty, security or development interests. China is pursuing peaceful development, and so are other countries. This is the sure way for all the countries in the world to seek common development and peaceful coexistence. We should let the world learn more about China's strategy of pursuing peaceful development and let the international community view China's development for what it is and treat it accordingly. China will never seek development at the expense of any other country's interests, nor will it shift its problems onto others. We will actively pursue peaceful and common development, uphold the multilateral trading system and participate in global economic governance. 


* Main points of the speech at the third group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee which Xi presided over.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)