From New Perspectives Quarterly, via Blackwell Synergy:
Zheng Bijian is a close associate and adviser to Chinese President Hu Jintao. When Hu was Director of The Central Party School, where many of the Communist Party’s ideas are shaped, just before China’s president, Zheng was vice director. Since Hu came to power, Zheng has headed the China Reform Forum, a government-affiliated think tank. He spoke to Jehangir S. Pocha, NPQ’s Beijing correspondent, in Beijing.
NPQ | You’re known for saying China’s rise will be completely peaceful, but how can you assure the world it will be so?
ZHENG | By 2030 or 2040, China will have more than 1.5 billion people, Given our need to develop and give these people a decent life, we need a wise strategy, in line with the values of the times. To ensure China’s peaceful rise, we’re pursuing three strategies aimed at overcoming three chailenges.
The challenges are: getting access to resources and energy; managing and maintaining our environment and ecology; and ensuring “harmonious development,” not class or social or regional conflict, as the economy grows.
The stategies we’re adopting to deal with these are, first, to transition from the old industrial ways and buid new sunrise businesses. That’s why scientific development is a key thing for us. Also, we want to continue opening up, connect with the global economy, develop international cooperation, realize win-win situations. And lastly we want to surpass the unreasonable, old-fashioned model of society to construct a more cultured, hamonious society. All this will take 30 to 5o years and our population will be 1.5 billion by then. So we just don’t have the time or interest to develop hegemonistic tendencies”not now, not in the future. [Full Text and Subscribers Only]
See also China’s Peaceful Rise: Speeches by Zheng Bijian 1997-2004 (in PDF format), China’s “Peaceful Rise” to Great-Power Status, The mission of the CCP in the 21st century, A peacefully-rising China is a resolute force in maintaining world peace by Zheng Bijian, Whither China: From Membership to Responsibility? by Robert B. Zoellick, Confucius Say–Caveat Emptor by Gary J. Schmitt, and China’s rise need not bring conflict by Martin Wolf.