On November 9, 2005, Hu Jintao made an important speech on China's development direction and other issues at the city hall of the City of London. Hu made it clear that what China chooses and adheres to is the road of peaceful development.
On the night of the same day, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Michael Savory held a grand ceremony and banquet to welcome President Hu Jintao's state visit to Britain. When President Hu accompanied by Lord Mayor Savory stepped in the banquet hall, about 700 personnel from all sectors of the British society and foreign diplomats in Britain all stood up and applauded warmly to express their respect for President Hu.
When addressing the banquet, Hu said that as the world multi-polarization and economic globalization keep progressing, people around the world must strengthen mutual understanding and increase mutual trust to promote their development and jointly build a harmonious world with long-lasting peace and common prosperity.
He pointed out that over the past 27 years since reform and opening up China has made world-acclaimed achievements of economic and social development. China's growth has drawn worldwide attention. To understand China's development direction, it is very important to understand what kind of development road China chooses. I assure you that what China chooses and adheres to is the road of peaceful development and China's development is peaceful, open and cooperative. To adhere to the road of peaceful development means that China will seek development through securing a peaceful international environment, promote world peace through its own development and always be a resolute force for maintaining world peace and promoting common development. China will mainly depend on itself to realize its development through reform and innovation while sticking to the basic national policy of opening up, conducting exchanges and cooperation with all the other countries in the world on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and trying to forge a win-win outcome.
He noted that China's adherence to the road of peaceful development is based on both its real development needs and historical reasons.
To stick to the road of peaceful development is a logical choice based on China's national conditions. Despite of great development achievements, China remains to be the largest developing country in the world. China still has to work hard for years to come to catch up with the economic level of moderately developed countries. Such a basic national condition makes promoting economic and social progress and improving people's livelihood the central task of the country.
To stick to the road of peaceful development is a logical choice based on China's history and cultural traditions. The Chinese nation always attaches great importance to promoting mutual trust and cultivating good-neighborliness and advocates peace. In the modern history China frequently suffered invasion and was enslaved by imperialist forces, so the Chinese people deeply understands how valuable peace is. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China we have been insisting on the independent foreign policy of peace and always been a firm force for maintaining world peace and promoting common development.
To stick to the road of peaceful development is a logical choice based on the current development trends in the world. It is the common aspiration and irreversible historical trend to maintain peace, promote development and seek cooperation. To realize its development goals, any country in the world must comply with the development trends. The purpose of Chinese diplomatic policy is to maintain world peace and promote common development. China proposes the democratization of international relations and diversification of development models and actively pushes the economic globalization in a direction beneficial to realizing common prosperity and building a fair and rational international political and economic new order. China's development will create more opportunities and bigger market to all the other countries in the world. China will unswervingly hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation and consistently pursue the road of peaceful development and join hands with people around the world to push forward the lofty cause of peace and development of mankind.
When talking about the relations between China and Europe, Hu indicated that China and EU have established the all-round strategic partnership and the bilateral cooperation in such fields as science and technology, culture, education, environmental protection and social progress has achieved fruitful results. China is the largest developing country while EU is the biggest group of developed countries in the world. Both sides shoulder the major responsibilities of maintaining world peace and promoting common development and should become closer partners.
On China-Britain relations, Hu said that at present China-Britain relations are in a new stage of sustainable development and in particular the bilateral economic and trade cooperation has achieved encouraging results. Facts show that the close bilateral economic and trade cooperation brings tangible benefits to the two peoples. In today's world with peace and development as the main theme, so long as we increase mutual trust, work hard together and explore aggressively China-Britain all-round strategic partnership will surely score greater achievements.
In his welcome speech Savory made highly positive comments on China's achievements after over 20 years of reform and opening up and the goals set by the Chinese Communist Party in the 11th Five-Year Plan. He added that Britain and China share economic interdependence and the City of London attaches great importance to the relations with China and will actively expand the cooperation with Chinese partners.