H. E. Mr. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council
24 September 2008
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WEN JIABAO, Premier of the State Council of China, noted the two major events of China’s recent past. Both the Chinese people and the international community responded to the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan Province with unprecedented support and courage. The affected people were successfully relocated, and recovery and reconstruction went forward with strong results. The second event had been the successful Beijing Olympic Games, where China and the international community joined together and had created an experience of true sportsmanship. Both events had enabled China and the world at large to learn more about one another.
He highlighted China’s continuing commitment to peaceful development, reform and expanded international relations. However, even with a high GDP, he noted that China still trailed behind more than 100 countries in per capita income. This was illuminated by the inequity between urban and rural development, as well as different regions in China; the lack of adequate food and clothing for millions of Chinese; productivity constrained by the shortage of resources and energy; and by environmental concerns. Democratic policy and principles, and the rule of law, still needed to be incorporated into the socialist market economic system.
Although those issues challenged China’s continued growth and expansion, he declared China’s dedication to its ongoing development through reform and open relationship with the international community. Thirty years ago, China’s reform and “opening-up” policy had fundamentally changed its “closed and ossified” existence by generating great economic and social progress. China’s commitment to this policy would ensure its continued expansion and strong participation as a successful and productive member of the global family.
He restated the pledge of peaceful development, by stressing that China respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, and only maintained an appropriate level of military capability, with the single goal of safeguarding its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China was dedicated to promoting peaceful settlement in all international and regional conflicts, as well as addressing its own historical and current differences with other countries.
He concluded by observing that the international community was more closely linked now than ever before, and what affected one country would inevitably affect another. In that respect, China was committed to be a responsible and active participant and partner with the global community for harmonious and sustainable development.