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Xi Jinping Delivers Important Speech in Germany, Stressing China Will Unswervingly Adhere to the Path of Peaceful Development

2014/03/29

In the afternoon of March 28 local time, upon the invitation of the German Körber Foundation, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech in Berlin. He expounded on China's adherence to the path of peaceful development and the independent foreign policy of peace. He stressed that China's pursuit of the path of peaceful development is to inherit and carry forward the Chinese cultural tradition of the love of peace. It is the conscious choice of Chinese people based on their own experiences, an organic unity of confidence in ideology and self-consciousness in practice. China will unswervingly adhere to the path of peaceful development and sincerely hopes that all countries in the world will follow a path of peaceful development.

Xi Jinping said, China made a solemn declaration to the world long ago that China unswervingly pursues the path of peaceful development, which is China's response to international concerns about the direction of China's development and, moreover, Chinese people's confidence and self-consciousness in realizing the goal of self-development. Such confidence and self-consciousness have originated from the rich heritage of the Chinese civilization, from the understanding of the conditions for achieving China's goals of development, and from the assurance of the tendency of global development.

Xi Jinping said, the Chinese nation is a peace-loving nation. The pursuit of peace, concord and harmony has been deeply rooted in the spiritual world of the Chinese nation, which is grounded deep in the blood of the Chinese people. China's unswerving pursuit of peaceful development represents the peace-loving cultural tradition the Chinese nation have inherited and carried forward over the past thousands of years.

Xi Jinping said, China has set the goal for its future development, which is to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. There are two basic conditions that will enable China to focus on construction, namely a harmonious and stable domestic environment as well as a peaceful and stable international environment. Only by adhering to the path of peaceful development and by working with other countries to maintain world peace, can China realize its own goal and make a greater contribution to the world. Peace, development, cooperation and win-win results mark the trend of the world today. China does not subscribe to the outdated logic that a country will inevitably seek hegemony when it grows strong. Only the path of peaceful development is feasible.

Xi Jinping pointed out, over the past few decades, China has always adhered to the independent foreign policy of peace, opposed hegemonism and power politics, never intervened in other countries' internal affairs, never sought hegemony and never been going for expansion. We have stated so in policy, laid out such system, and we have been acting accordingly in practice. Of course, China will unswervingly safeguard its sovereignty, security and interests for development. No other country can count on China to swallow the bitter fruit of damaging China's sovereignty, security and interests for development.

Xi Jinping stressed, China's pursuit of the path of peaceful development is not an expedient, nor is it a diplomatic parlance, but a conclusion drawn from the objective judgment of the history, the reality and the future, an organic unity of confidence in ideology and self-consciousness in practice. The path of peaceful development is conducive to China and to the world. China cannot find any reason not adhering to this feasible path which has been proven correct by practice.

Xi Jinping said, China is willing to enhance dialogue and communication with the outside world in an open and inclusive attitude and to listen to the voice of the world in a modest manner. China also expects the outside world to look more into China in an objective, historical, and multidimensional perspective, so as to really understand China in a comprehensive, authentic and tridimensional way. China's development is not and will not be achieved at the price of sacrificing other countries' interests and China never harms others or neighbours to benefit itself. We will, in line with the cardinal principle of world peace and development, contribute our China wisdom and China solutions.

Xi Jinping pointed out, the Chinese nation and the German nation are two great nations, both of which have made significant contributions to the progress of human civilization. The two peoples have profound friendship with each other. China and Germany now enjoy such a good momentum for exchanges and cooperation. One key factor for this is that, both sides, through long-term efforts, have got to understand that countries with different histories and cultures, different national conditions and different social systems should understand each other and treat each other genuinely, and that they should be adept in listening to each other's opinions and thinking about problems from the perspective of the other. The next five to ten years are a critical period for the reform and development in both China and Germany. I believe that when Made-in-Germany and Made-in-China could join hands in good faith to cooperate, what we make will not only be high-quality products but also the happiness and ideals of our two peoples.

To conclude, Xi Jinping expressed, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. Remembrance of the past is the guide for the future. Based on our own experiences, Chinese people have made the conscious choice of following the path of peaceful development. We sincerely hope that all countries in the world will follow the path of peaceful development, joining hands together to build a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.

Following the speech, Xi Jinping answered the questions from the audience.

Answering the question on the reform in China, Xi Jinping stressed, reform in China has only the progressive tense, never the perfect tense. Currently, the reform in China has already entered deep water zone, where a slight move in one part may affect the situation as a whole. It requires the courage to crack a hard nut. The Chinese reform is a comprehensive reform, covering the fields of economy, politics, culture, society and ecological civilization, as well as institutional reform in the self construction of Chinese Communist Party (CPC). We have laid out the top-level design and come up with a time-table and a road map, and implementation is being carried out on an individual basis.

Answering the question on China's defense budget, Xi Jinping said, China's defense budget conforms to the just demands of the national defense buildup of such a major country as China. China will never follow the path of big powers which seek hegemony once they grow strong. However, China will not repeat its historical tragedy of being enslaved and colonized under the threat of big powers' strong weapons after the Opium Wars. China must possess a national defense strength that is sufficient to defend itself.

Answering the question on China's policy towards the neighbouring countries, Xi Jinping pointed out, a far-off relative is not as helpful as a near neighbor. As for country-to-country relationship, one can choose a friend but cannot choose a neighbour. You have to get along with your neighbours for generations. For both sense and sensibility, we regard it as the only right choice to develop friendship and partnership with our neighbours. China adheres to the ideas of "affinity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness" for its relations with neighbouring countries. China maintains an overall sound relationship with its neighboring countries at present. We advocate to properly manage differences and handle disputes through negotiations and dialogues. On the major issues concerning the principles of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, we will not stir up troubles, but will never be afraid of troubles. We will be persistent and firm to safeguard the just and legitimate rights of China.

Mme. Peng Liyuan, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present.

Prior to the speech, Xi Jinping met with former President Richard von Weizsaecker and former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of Germany. Xi Jinping praised them for their long-term attention to and support for China's development, and being the pioneers and promoters of China-Germany relations as well as old friends respected by the Chinese people. He hoped that they will continue to make contributions to promoting China-Germany relations.

Weizsaecker and Schmidt spoke highly of China's development achievements, and expressed that they will continue to make all-out efforts to push forward Germany-China friendly cooperation.

In the afternoon, President Xi Jinping's wife Mme. Peng Liyuan came to visit Berlin Academy of Music in the company of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's husband Joachim Sauer. Peng Liyuan observed the vocal music class, and exchanged with the teachers and students. She said that music is the common language for all human beings, and hoped that academies of music in both countries could strengthen communication.

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