Beijing: Vowing to pursue a defensive military policy, China on Tuesday claimed that it does not seek hegemony and poses no threat to its neighbours and other countries, as it advocated dialogue to settle regional disputes.
It also hoped to become a growth engine for global development through its imports which are expected to reach USD 8 trillion in the next five years.
China will assume more international responsibility as its comprehensive strength increases, but at the same time will promote regional cooperation and good-neighbourly relations, a white paper titled “China’s Peaceful Development”, issued by the country’s Cabinet, said. China actively enhances friendly cooperation with its neighbours and works with them to promote a harmonious Asia, it said. Apparently referring to its border issues with India and maritime differences with a host of ASEAN nations and Japan, it called on countries in the region to respect each other, increase mutual trust and seek common ground while putting aside differences.
Disputes, including those over territorial claims and maritime rights and interests, should be settled through dialogue and friendly talks, it said.
“China does not seek regional hegemony or sphere of influence, nor does it want to exclude any country from participating in regional cooperation. China’s prosperity, development and long-term stability represent an opportunity rather than a threat to its neighbours,” it said.
According to the paper, China plans to import goods worth an estimated USD eight trillion in next five years, which it says could create lot of business opportunities to the countries around the world, making it a growth engine for global development.
The size of China’s domestic market will be one of the biggest in the world, and the accumulated import volume is expected to reach USD eight trillion dollars. “All this will create more business opportunities to other countries,” the paper said. China’s imports were expected to rise more in the next five years as it planned to transform its export-oriented economy to that of the one based on more domestic consumption.
China is committed to pursuing a military policy which is defensive in nature, said the document, which according to analysts, was issued by Beijing to allay fears of rapid modernisation of its army, navy and air force creating an air of suspicion over its objectives.
“China faces multiple traditional and non-traditional security challenges and the threat of separatists and terrorism,” which justifies its modernisation of defence capabilities in order to uphold its security and protect its peaceful development, it said. (PTI)