BRUGES, Belgium, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Tuesday that the uniqueness of China's cultural tradition, history and circumstances determines that China needs to follow a development path that suits its own reality.
He made the remarks when addressing the students of the College of Europe during his state visit to Belgium.
"In fact, we have found such a path and achieved success along this path," said the president.
In 1911, the revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the autocratic monarchy that had ruled China for several thousand years. But once the old system was gone, where China would go became the question, said Xi in his speech.
The Chinese people then started exploring long and hard for a path that would suit China's national conditions. They experimented with constitutional monarchy, imperial restoration, parliamentarism, multi-party system and presidential government, yet nothing really worked, he added.
"Finally, China took on the path of socialism. Admittedly, in the process of building socialism, we have had successful experience and also made mistakes," he said, adding that "we have even suffered serious setbacks."
"After the 'reform and opening-up' was launched under the leadership of Mr. Deng Xiaoping, we have, acting in line with China's national conditions and the trend of the times, explored and blazed a trail of development and established socialism with Chinese characteristics," he added.
"Our aim is to build a socialist market economy, democracy, an advanced culture, a harmonious society and a sound eco-system, uphold social equity and justice, promote all-round development of the people, pursue peaceful development, complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and eventually achieve modernization and prosperity for all," the Chinese president said.
Belgium is the last leg of Xi's four-nation Europe trip, which has already taken him to the Netherlands, France and Germany. He also attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.