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China and the World in the New Era

China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-28 10:27

5. China will never seek hegemony

It is true that in the past, countries that grew strong have sought hegemony, but this is not a historical law. The conclusion is bound to be absurd and distorted if one judges China against the experience of some Western powers and applies their logic to China. China's pursuit of peaceful development is not diplomatic rhetoric, or an act of expediency, or a strategic ambiguity. Rather, it showcases China's confidence in thought and readiness for practice, and represents China's unswerving strategic choice and solemn commitment. China will never pursue hegemony or expansion, nor will it seek to create spheres of influence, no matter how international situation changes, how China develops itself.

China takes the road of peaceful development, which comes from the profound heritage of Chinese civilization. Chinese civilization originated from inland and farming; it is a moderate and defensive civilization. With a history dating back more than 5,000 years, Chinese culture contains the cosmological view of the unity of man and nature, the international view of harmony between all countries, the social view of harmony in diversity, and the moral view of kindness and benevolence. Since ancient times, China has advocated that "the strong should not oppress the weak, and the rich should not abuse the poor", and "do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you", knowing that "a warlike state, however big it may be, will eventually perish". The Chinese nation does not have the gene to invade others and dominate the world. From the mid-19th century, China was abused by the Western powers and left with indelible memories of the suffering brought about by war and instability. It will never impose the suffering it has endured on other nations.

China's peaceful development comes from its understanding of the conditions for achieving development goals. Development is China's top priority. Over the past 70 years, China has benefited from a peaceful and stable external environment, and in the future it also needs such an external environment. The key to China's success lies in concentrating on running its own affairs well and realizing the mutual promotion of peace and development. Expansion and hegemony go against China's interests and the will of the people. It has always been China's unswerving national will to strive for a peaceful international environment favorable to its own development, and to better safeguard world peace and promote common development through its own.

China's peaceful development comes from a profound understanding of the general trend of world development. Today, countries are becoming a close-knit community of shared interests and future, and peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are the trends of the times. Any country, big or small, strong or weak, can achieve sustainable development only if it participates in international cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. In contrast, pursuing hegemony and militarism will only consume national strength and lead to decline. In human history, the struggle for hegemony of the major powers has resulted in frequent wars, loss of life, setbacks for humanity, and even the retrogression of human civilization. The lessons have been painful and profound. Peace, development and stability, rather than war, poverty and chaos, are the true aspirations of the people of all countries. China's path of peaceful development is in line with the trend of history and the general trend of the world.

China has the right to development, and its people have the right to pursue a better life. As a country that suffered abuse and humiliation in the past, China aims to win dignity, security and a better life for its people through its own development. China naturally develops and becomes stronger, but does not want to threaten, challenge or replace any other country in the process, nor will it seek hegemony. China's future is in its own hands. It is the Chinese people who decide their own destiny. No one can deprive the Chinese people of their right to pursue a better life. No one can stop China from moving forward.

China is firmly committed to peaceful development and hopes that all countries in the world will do likewise. Only when countries take peaceful development paths can we develop and live peacefully together. China will never develop itself at the expense of others, nor will it give up its legitimate rights and interests. No foreign country should expect China to trade its core interests or to accept anything that is damaging to China's own sovereignty, security and development interests.

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