BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- More than two centuries ago, Napoleon Bonaparte said China was a sleeping lion and the world should let her sleep because when she woke up she would shake the world.
Two hundred years later, Chinese President Xi Jinping borrowed the lion metaphor during his Europe tour in late March to show the world his country's firm commitment to peaceful development.
"Today, the lion has woken up. But it is peaceful, pleasant and civilized," said Xi, outlining the inner core of China's foreign policy in a clear-cut way.
China is a country that loves peace, and its pursuit of peace and harmony is in the blood of the Chinese people.
"Only by following the path of peaceful development and safeguarding world peace with all other countries can China realize its own goal and make more contributions to the world," Xi told an audience at the Korber Foundation during his Germany visit.
Xi said China has pledged to adhere to the path of peaceful development for a long time and the Chinese people are confident of realizing their goals through peaceful development.
In pursuing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, China, the world's largest developing country, clearly knows that it needs both internal stability and a peaceful international environment to realize that goal.
"The path of peaceful development will benefit both China and the world at large," he said. "We can not find any reason that we don't stick to the way that has been proven right."
To really understand China, the world needs to see it from a more objective, historic and multi-dimensional perspective: China opposes hegemonism and power politics, and never interferes in other countries' domestic affairs, nor seeks hegemony or expansionism.
On the one hand, China will staunchly safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests, and will never tolerate any move that aims to harm those interests.
On the other hand, China will neither seek development at the cost of other countries' interests, nor pursue success by harming its neighbors.
SEEKING COMMON GROUND, SHARING OPPORTUNITIES
In an article published in Belgian paper Le Soir ahead of his visit to Belgium in late March, Xi wrote: "The time we live in is both a time of cooperation and a time of distinctive dynamism. It is a time of both unprecedented opportunities and challenges unmet before."
"'The wise seeks common ground while the unwise clings to differences.' China and Europe should respect each other, treat each other as equals, seek common ground while shelving differences, and pursue win-win cooperation," Xi wrote. "By doing so, we will enhance our dialogue and engagement, maximize common interests, share opportunities and jointly meet challenges."
The article explores how China and Europe deal with each other in the new century, and also provides guidance on the exchanges between China, a civilized oriental lion, and the world.
Countries with different histories, cultures, national conditions and social systems should understand and treat each other sincerely, hear each other's views and think with each other's perspectives.
The world is at a crucial stage of reform and adjustment, amid slow post-crisis recovery and both traditional and untraditional safety threats.
Although the world is developing toward multilateralism, economic globalization, cultural diversification and democratization of international relations, the cold-war antagonistic idea of zero-sum and the arrogant concept of "the end of history" linger on.
Xi said during his speech at the Korber Foundation that Beijing will share its wisdom and experience in peaceful development with the outside world.
In fact, China has been engaged in safeguarding the post-war international order and the UN Charter, striving for a more just and fairer global, political and economic governance and contributed to the development of the world.
The rise of the oriental lion will bring the world opportunities, peace and progress, instead of threats, turmoil and reverse. Therefore, the international community should welcome, help, and support, instead of fearing, blocking and containing this "peaceful, pleasant and civilized" lion.