|China, Australia share a dream|
The outline of China's 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, approved by the National People's Congress last month, has set the path to accelerate the transformation of the country's economic development pattern, deepen the reform and opening-up process and improve the Chinese people's wellbeing.
The outline will consolidate and expand the success achieved in meeting the international financial crisis, promote long-term, continuous and rapid development of the economy, and maintain social harmony and stability.
It lays a strong foundation for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
China will continue to champion peace, development and co-operation. We will adhere to the win-win strategy of opening up, working with the international community to jointly tackle global challenges and sharing development opportunities.
We will work with other countries for enduring peace and the common prosperity of the world.
I am very pleased to be back in Australia after 12 years. I see that Australians are showing greater interest in China and talking more about it.
This is not only because China is Australia's biggest trading partner, biggest source of international students and fastest growing overseas tourism market, but also because China's rapid economic growth has aroused more interest around the world, including Australia.
Many of our Australian friends are keen to know what kind of development path China will follow and what that means for Australia, the Asia Pacific region and beyond.
Through its own development, China can make a positive contribution to world peace and prosperity.
Chinese culture traditionally values trust, harmony and peace. China has never engaged in colonisation or the plunder of other countries, even when its GDP accounted for 30 per cent of the world's total and it had the world's largest fleet in the Ming Dynasty over 500 years ago.
China is still the world's biggest developing country. Although in aggregate terms, our economy has risen to second place in the world, our per capita GDP is just one-tenth of Australia's, ranking behind more than 100 countries.
To achieve modernisation, we need to make a persistent effort. A peaceful and stable international environment is essential for China's development. Peace, development and co-operation are the shared aspirations of people in all countries.
Development of a country can be achieved through equal and fair international competition and mutually beneficial co-operation. Having suffered long from the bullying of foreign powers in the past, China is determined to stick to the peaceful development path.
What does this mean for the world? Politically, we pursue an independent foreign policy of peace. We are committed to developing friendships and relations of mutual benefit with all countries. We advocate a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and co-operation. We pursue a national defence policy which is defensive in nature.
All this has enabled China to play a constructive role in international affairs. China takes seriously its World Trade Organisation commitments. We promote multilateralism and democracy in international relations.
We are actively opening up the domestic market, promoting win-win economic co-operation and trade and making an important contribution to world economic development.
China works with other parties to improve world economic and financial governance. We are making strenuous efforts to help attain the UN Millennium Development Goals.
We are actively engaged in multilateral co-operation on climate change, energy and resources security, major natural disaster relief, counterterrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and humanitarian assistance.
The economies of China and Australia are complementary. In the 39 years since our two countries established diplomatic ties, our relations have enjoyed sustained, healthy and steady growth, bringing benefits to our two peoples.
Australia has a strong economy, rich resources and advanced science and technology. It is leading in agriculture, clean energy and information technology.
China's new Five-Year Plan will generate enormous investment and consumption demand, which will bring more opportunities for China-Australia co-operation of mutual benefit and to Australia's development as well.
There are bright prospects for the China-Australia relationship because it is built on a solid foundation. We are full of confidence in the future of our relationship.
As the old saying goes, those who cease to dream are lost. China and Australia share the same dream of improving our peoples' wellbeing.
A better China-Australia relationship can contribute to it, if we seize the opportunities, make new progress with a pioneering spirit and advance our comprehensive and co-operative relations.
Published by the West Australian on April 5, 2011.
Jia Qinglin is the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of the People's Republic of China