Getting to Know the Real China Statement by H.E. Wen Jiabao Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China At the General Debate of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly
Getting to Know the Real China
China is a member of the big family of the United Nations, and China's development and changes have attracted worldwide attention. I wish to take this opportunity to share with you my observations on how one should get to know the real China.
Since the founding of the People's Republic, and especially since the start of reform and opening up more than 30 years ago, profound changes have taken place in China, a big, ancient country in the East. Its economic and overall national strength has substantially increased. The livelihood of its people has markedly improved. Its social and cultural programs have made considerable progress. And its exchanges and cooperation with the outside world have kept expanding. In sum, my country has made a historic leap from mere subsistence to moderate prosperity.
We in China are proud of our achievements accomplished through strenuous efforts. At the same time, we are clear-headed about our place and role in today's world.
China's GDP is the third largest in the world, but in per capita terms, it is only one-tenth of that of developed countries. China has enjoyed over 30 years of fast growth, but its further development faces energy, resources and environmental constraints. China is a leading producer of many important products, but it remains at the lower end of the global industrial chain. China is a big trading nation, but its exports are low in technology content and value added. In many cases, we have to rely on imports to meet the demand for core technologies. China's coastal areas and some of the big and medium-sized cities thrive in modernization, but many places in the central and western regions and the vast rural areas are still rather backward, and we have 150 million people living below the poverty line set by the United Nations. The Chinese people's livelihood has made significant improvement, but we do not yet have a full-fledged social security system, and we are confronted with high employment pressure. Our people are more and more actively engaged in the country's social and political development, and citizens' basic rights and interests are better protected, yet our democracy and legal system still have room for improvement and such social ills as inequity and corruption still exist.
China, which has come a long way in modernization, is fairly advanced in some areas of development but remains backward in others. And it faces unprecedented challenges brought by problems both old and new. Taken as a whole, China is still in the primary stage of socialism and remains a developing country. These are our basic national conditions. This is the real China.
China has set the strategic goal of basically achieving modernization by the middle of this century. Looking into the coming decades, the Chinese people will continue to move forward along the path of reform and opening up and peaceful development. This path has changed China's destiny and has benefited people throughout the country. We must stay on this path and make further improvement. There is no reason whatsoever for us to deviate from it.
China will continue to focus on developing the economy.Development is our top priority, as it constitutes the basis for addressing all issues. We will mainly rely on our own efforts in pursuing development. With the progress in China's industrialization and urbanization, hundreds of millions of farmers will move to towns and cities. This will create more domestic demand than ever, open up broad market and development space, and serve as a powerful engine sustaining the growth of the Chinese economy and the world economy at large. We will work hard to transform the economic development pattern, restructure the economy and set out on a path of balanced and sustainable development.
China will continue to deepen institutional reform. We will make consistent effort to improve the socialist market economy. We will unswervingly strengthen and develop the public sector of the economy, and also unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector. We will pay greater attention to ensuring and improving people's well-being. We will further reform the income distribution system and improve the social security system, including old-age support, medical care and unemployment benefit programs. We will endeavor to narrow the gap between urban and rural areas, between different regions and between the rich and the poor. We want to make sure that each and every citizen shares the benefit of China's reform, opening up and development. While deepening economic restructuring, we will also push forward political restructuring. Otherwise, we cannot achieve the ultimate goal of economic reform and we will lose what we have gained from our modernization drive. We respect and protect human rights, uphold social equity and justice, and strive to achieve the free and all-round development for our people. This is the important hallmark of a democratic country under the rule of law. It is also a basic guarantee for a country's lasting peace and stability.
China will be even more open to the world. Mutually-beneficial cooperation for win-win progress is a long-term strategy that we will stick to in opening up to the world. We will follow established international rules in expanding business ties with other countries. We will continue to improve the environment for foreign investors, optimize the structure of foreign capital utilization and explore new ways for overseas investment and cooperation. We are committed to promoting the establishment of a fair, equitable, inclusive and well-managed new international financial order and an open and free international trading regime. We are against protectionism in all its manifestations. In the course of modernization, we will not only continue to bring in and utilize advanced achievements from the rest of the world in the economic, scientific and technological fields, but also boldly draw upon the achievements of human civilization in the fields of social management and cultural development.
China will continue to develop education, science and technology.How can China narrow the development gap with the advanced countries and enhance the sustainability of its strong growth? I believe two things are of fundamental importance: first, education and second, science and technology. China has formulated medium- and long-term development programs on education and on science and technology respectively. Going forward, we will focus our efforts on implementing these two programs and build China into a country strong in human resources and innovation by 2020.
China will continue to carry forward its fine culture.The development of a country and rejuvenation of a nation require not only great economic strength, but more importantly great cultural strength. The moral values and wisdom drawn from the 5,000-year Chinese civilization belong not only to China but also to the world. We will vigorously develop cultural programs and accelerate the development of a moral and ethical code that is commensurate with our socialist modernization drive and consistent with the traditional virtues of our nation. We respect the diversity of civilizations and will increase dialogue and exchanges with other civilizations to forge a common cultural bond for humanity. The Chinese nation, who has created an economic miracle, will create a new cultural splendor as well.
The world of the 21st century is far from tranquil, but gone are the days when problems were ultimately settled by war. Peace and development remain the defining features of our time.
China will stay firmly committed to peaceful development. You may ask what is the essence of peaceful development. It is to foster a peaceful international environment for our development and at the same time contribute to world peace through our development. This is something inherent in the concept of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
In the course of development, China will continue to take it as its own duty to promote the common progress and prosperity of mankind. We will seek and expand converging interests with other countries. China's development will not harm anyone or pose a threat to anyone. There were powers who sought hegemony once they grew strong. China will never follow in their footsteps.
China values friendship and also sticks to principles. It firmly upholds its national core interests. When it comes to sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity, China will not yield or compromise.
China will continue to firmly support the leading role of the United Nations in international affairs. We will, as always, abide by the UN Charter and fulfill in good faith our obligations under international conventions. We will intensify cooperation with fellow developing countries, and support their greater say in international affairs. We will remain forever a good partner and brother of developing countries.
China's stability and development is conducive to a more peaceful international environment, a more democratic international order, a more prosperous global economy and a more harmonious and civilized world. China's development is an opportunity to the world. And the world stands to gain from a China that is better off. History will continue to prove this.
A China that develops peacefully, a China that is full of vigor and vitality and a China that is willing and ready to fulfill its responsibilities will always move forward together with the world. Let us join hands to work for a world of enduring peace and prosperity.