COLOMBO, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, who is currently in Sri Lanka for an official goodwill visit, has reiterated China's national defence policy featured with peaceful development.
Since the beginning of its reform and opening-up, China's overall national strength and international influence have grown remarkably, but some people in the international community suspect that China would take the road of expansion with force, and have been actively spreading the "China Threat Theory", said Liang at the Defence Services Command and Staff College of Sri Lanka.
"On this point, the Chinese government issued a whitepaper China's Peaceful Development in 2011, solemnly declaring to the world that China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development. The core idea of this path is that China will develop itself through upholding world peace and contribute to world peace through its own development," Liang, China's the first defense minister to Sri Lanka, said on Thursday.
He explained that China's adherence to the path of peaceful development is determined by its history, culture and traditions, which center on the idea of peace and harmony.
He said in the Sri Lanka National Museum stands a stone tablet carved in 1409, which was gifted by Zhenghe, the famous navigator in ancient China during his stopover in Sri Lanka, as a commemoration for his donation to a local Buddhist temple. "The three languages carved on the stone tablet, namely, Chinese, Persian and Tamil, expressed respect for Buddhism, Islam and Brahmanism. This shows the inclusiveness of the Chinese people towards different religions, and the respect for the harmonious co- existence of multiple cultures. Such a historical culture and tradition that values peace above all has exerted profound influence on China's choice of a peaceful development path."
He also China's adherence to the path of peaceful development is also a choice necessitated by its national conditions as China was plagued by invasions and wars brought by foreign powers in history and the Chinese people know the value of peace and the importance of accelerated development.
He further said China's adherence to the path of peaceful development conforms with the trend of peaceful development in the world.
World-multipolarity, economic globalization and social informationalization are gaining momentum and countries are becoming increasingly interdependent and more closely linked with each other in terms of interests, which determine that the pursuit for peace, development and cooperation has become an irresistible trend of the times, said Liang.
He said China has realized that its development "must conform with the trend of history, must stick to peaceful development and common development and prosperity with the rest of the world."
Liang said among China's 14 land neighbors, five are in South Asia and China attaches great importance to its relations with the South Asian nations.
He said the Chiese army's efforts in conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts in the South Asian nations are intended for maintaining regional security and stability and not targeted at any third party.
China's national defence policy is subject to and in service of national development strategy and security strategy and China's adherence to a peaceful development path determines that China will pursue a national defence policy that is defensive in nature, said the defence minister.
He said the fundamental goals and tasks of China's national defence is to curb separation, promote reunification, guard against and resist aggression, protect state sovereignty, territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests, and safeguard national development interests.
He said China pursues a coordinated development of its national defence and economy."China's defence spending in 2010 and 2011 took 1.4 percent and 1.28 percent of its GDP respectively. Compared with the developed countries, and some developing countries, China's defence spending stays at a very low level."
He said China exercises a military strategy of active defence, with the basic principle of adhering to a self-defence position that not to take the initiative to offend others, stand for non- military means to solve disputes, take defensive posture strategically, conduct self-defence and attack only after being attacked. "Take the recent Huangyan Island incident as an example, it is obvious that China's military strength is stronger than that of the Philippines, but we didn't use force or threat to use force, on the contrary, we have been committed to seeking solution of the dispute through diplomatic means."
He said China sticks to improving the quality of its military with informationalization as the main objective and it firmly upholds world peace and stability.
"Up to now, China has dispatched around 21,000 person/times to 30 UN Peace-keeping missions, making it the largest personnel contributor among the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. We have sent rescue teams for 18 times to conduct humanitarian rescue operations. Since 2008, China has sent 12 batches of naval task forces to conduct escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. With the further modernization of China's national defense, China will make greater contributions to world peace as a responsible member of the international community," he said.