BEIJING - A top diplomat said on Thursday that China's peaceful development represents an opportunity rather than a threat for the world, and it needs understanding and support from the international community.
State Councilor Dai Bingguo, who oversees foreign affairs, made the remarks at a forum in Beijing attended by around 200 scholars discussing China's future path of development.
The forum was held following the release of a white paper on China's peaceful development last week by the State Council Information Office.
"Peaceful development is a strategic choice for China ... it has become China's national will, and has been translated into national development plans," Dai said.
"It is important that the international community respects the emphasis and value placed by the Chinese people (on peaceful development) ... international society should sincerely welcome it (China's development) and not worry about it," Dai said.
China's path of development has been widely discussed as the newly emerging economic power has become an important global player and, together with other emerging economies, it is changing the current world political landscape.
Some politicians in foreign countries fear China's development might become a threat to the world, as it might become "more assertive" and "energy hungry". Some others argue that a stronger China should "shoulder more responsibilities in world affairs".
The 13,000-character paper, the second of its kind released within six years, clarifies China's strategic intentions, showing that the experiences of the past several decades have proved that the strategy of peaceful development is the correct path and there is no reason to deviate from it.
It also said that China does not seek regional hegemony or a sphere of influence, nor does it want to exclude any country from participating in regional cooperation.
It is the first time that China's six core national interests have been stated clearly - sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity, national reunification, China's political system and overall social stability, and the basic safeguards for ensuring sustainable economic and social development.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who also attended the forum, said that China chose peaceful development and cooperation as its fundamental way to achieve national modernization and conduct its foreign relations.
Yang said that "the foremost global responsibility that a country should shoulder is to manage well its own affairs, and not become a troublemaker".
Yang also noted that a country should only shoulder its global responsibility according to its capacity, which includes its national situation, strength and level of development.
"As for what responsibilities a country should shoulder, and how it can be counted as responsible, it cannot be determined by a few countries," said Yang.
State Council Information Office Minister Wang Chen, China's top government spokesman, told the forum that China's development is open and inclusive, and will be closely integrated with global development.
Wang Yiming, deputy director of the Institute of Macroeconomics at the National Development and Reform Commission, told the forum that China's development during the past several decades has contributed to global growth.
According to Wang, with huge domestic market demand, China's imports will be worth more than $8 trillion in the next five years, bringing the world great employment opportunities.
China has imported goods worth around $7.5 trillion over the past decade, which account for about 14 million jobs in other countries and regions, making it one of the major global economic engines, according to figures in the white paper.
"While only 1 billion people, roughly 15 percent of the world's total, enjoy a modern life, the remaining 85 percent are still on their way to pursue modernization. If China can realize industrialization that benefits 1.4 billion people based on peace and win-win ties with the rest of the world, it can help more people enjoy a better life within a shorter time span," said Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China.