BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Vice President Xi Jinping met Wednesday with members of the InterAction Council who gathered in Beijing to attend the council's 30th Annual Plenary Session to be held in Tianjin in north China.
Xi, on behalf of the Chinese government, extended his congratulations on the opening of the session, noting that the InterAction Council has become a significant platform for senior statesmen and political leaders to discuss international and global issues.
"The 30th Annual Plenary Session focuses on the current international situation, global financial crisis, security issues and water crisis, which all bear great significance," Xi said.
On behalf of the members, the council's president, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, acknowledged the increasingly important role China plays in world affairs, and the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt also expressed his confidence that China would score bigger achievements in future.
Peace can be only achieved among different civilizations by mutual respect, Schmidt said, noting that thousands of years of Chinese civilization has endowed the people with such a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.
Schmidt said China and the whole world are faced with various problems and challenges and China will set an example for other nations on how to address these problems and challenges.
"It is not acceptable to interfere in one nation's internal affairs in the name of human rights concern," Schmidt added.
Agreeing with the two political leaders' views, Xi said China has discovered a development path to boost the socialist construction with Chinese characteristics.
"We will firmly follow this path to score prosperity for the Chinese people," Xi said.
Xi said China is willing to step up cooperation with other countries to jointly safeguard world peace and stability and promote global prosperity, expressing his hope that the InterAction Council can continue to keep a close eye on the significant international issues, support China's endeavors to proceed reform and opening up and promote the understanding, trust and cooperation among different peoples.
The InterAction Council was established in 1983 under the initiative of former Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda.
The idea was that a group of former world leaders would be free to reflect on their experiences and look beyond the immediacy of current issues and the limitations of national interests to focus on the long-term structural factors driving the global agenda.