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关于社会主义初级阶段的历史任务和我国对外政策的几个问题(中英文)

温家宝
(2007/03/04)

  一、关于社会主义初级阶段的历史任务

  深刻认识我国国情和所处的历史阶段,是我们党提出科学理论和制定正确路线方针政策的基本依据,也是做好各项工作的重要前提。

  我国正处在并将长期处在社会主义初级阶段。初级阶段就是不发达的阶段。这个“不发达”首先当然是指生产力的不发达。因此,我们一定要毫不动摇地坚持以经济建设为中心,大力发展生产力。但讲初级阶段,不光要讲生产力的不发达,还要讲社会主义制度的不够完善和不够成熟。邓小平同志指出,社会主义的本质,是解放生产力,发展生产力,消灭剥削,消除两极分化,最终达到共同富裕。这就告诉我们,巩固和发展社会主义,必须认识和把握好两大任务:一是解放和发展生产力,极大地增加全社会的物质财富;一是逐步实现社会公平与正义,极大地激发全社会的创造活力和促进社会和谐。上述两大任务相互联系、相互促进,是统一的整体,并且贯穿于整个社会主义历史时期一系列不同发展阶段的长久进程中。没有生产力的持久大发展,就不可能最终实现社会主义本质所要求的社会公平与正义;不随着生产力的发展而相应地逐步推进社会公平与正义,就不可能愈益充分地调动全社会的积极性和创造活力,因而也就不可能持久地实现生产力的大发展。我们贯彻落实邓小平理论和“三个代表”重要思想,贯彻落实科学发展观,构建社会主义和谐社会,都离不开对社会主义本质的科学认识和全面把握。

  我国在进入社会主义的时候,就生产力发展水平而言,远远落后于发达国家。我国必须经历一个相当长的历史阶段,去实现工业化和现代化。建国以来特别是改革开放以来,我国社会生产力有了巨大发展,综合国力大幅增强,人民生活显著改善,实现了由解决温饱到总体上达到小康的历史性跨越。但是,我国人口多、底子薄,城乡发展和地区发展很不平衡,生产力不发达的状况并没有根本改变。我们在进行经济体制改革的同时,稳步推进政治体制改革,社会主义民主法制建设不断加强,人民的政治生活日趋活跃,人民在政治、经济、文化、社会等方面的权利得到了较好维护。但是,我国的社会主义市场经济体制还不够完善,民主法制还不够健全,社会不公、贪污腐败等问题仍然存在,社会主义制度还不够成熟。所以,我国今天远没有走出社会主义初级阶段,仍然是一个发展中国家。至于整个社会主义的长远发展,那就正如邓小平同志在1992年南方谈话中精辟指出的:巩固和发展社会主义制度,还需要一个很长的历史阶段,需要我们几代人、十几代人,甚至几十代人坚持不懈地努力奋斗,决不能掉以轻心。

  在改革开放和现代化建设的进程中,我们将不断加深对什么是社会主义、怎样建设社会主义的认识,将不断丰富和发展社会主义,坚持实践是检验真理的唯一标准。为此,有两点必须非常明确:第一,对社会主义初级阶段的基本国情要有全面的、深刻的理解。在一个拥有十几亿人口的大国建设富强民主文明和谐的社会主义现代化国家,这是人类历史上前无古人的一个创举,也是长期而又艰巨的历史任务。第二,始终坚持改革,鼓励创新。江泽民同志指出:“20多年来,我们党领导人民进行改革开放和现代化建设取得的伟大成就,都是与我们不断进行的理论创新、体制创新、科技创新等分不开的。”改革和创新,不仅要总结和发扬我们党在长期的社会主义建设和改革中积累的极其丰富、极其宝贵的经验,同时要大胆吸收和借鉴人类社会创造的一切文明成果,吸收和借鉴当今世界一切反映现代社会化生产规律的先进经营方式、管理方法。只有这样,我们的社会主义制度才能赢得同资本主义制度相比较的优势。正是从这个意义上说,社会主义是大海,海纳百川,不会枯竭。社会主义制度,从理论到实践,从不成熟到成熟,需要经历一个相当长的历史进程。因此,我们必须坚持党在社会主义初级阶段的基本路线100年不动摇,坚持改革和创新,使中国特色社会主义永葆蓬勃生机。

  我们的各级领导干部,要有历史的、国际的眼光,要有全局的、战略的思维。只有对社会主义初级阶段的长期性和历史任务有一个全面的、深刻的认识,才会懂得我们今天为什么要实行这样的而不是别的方针政策,从而增强工作的原则性、坚定性和创造性。

  二、关于我国发展战略机遇期

  本世纪头20年,是我国必须紧紧抓住并且可以大有作为的重要战略机遇期。抓住并用好这一战略机遇期,对于实现全面建设小康社会的目标,推进中国特色社会主义事业,具有极其重大的意义。

  对我国来说,历史上大的发展机遇不多。近代以来中国落后了,闭关锁国、列强侵略使中国丧失了发展机遇。新中国成立以来,我国社会主义建设取得了巨大的成就。但是,我们的某些重大失误,特别是“文化大革命”十年浩劫,又使我们丧失了一次大的发展机遇。机遇难得,稍纵即逝,有了就要牢牢抓住。改革开放28年,中国经济持续快速增长,这是一个奇迹。今后,中国还有没有这样的机遇期,还能有多长时间?我说有,多长时间在很大程度上取决于我们自己的内外政策和应对能力。

  当前,国际形势正在发生深刻复杂的变化,出现了许多值得高度重视的新情况、新特点。但外部环境总体对我们有利,和平与发展仍是时代的主题,大的战争一时打不起来,我们争取一个较长时期的和平国际环境和良好的周边环境是完全有可能的。历史告诉我们,落后被人瞧不起,落后就要挨打。我们要抓住当前国际有利时机加快发展自己。发展是硬道理,不仅是解决国内一切问题的基础,也是增强我国外交实力的基础。国家间的竞争,基础在实力。事情有大道理,有小道理,小道理都归大道理管着。服从和服务于社会主义现代化建设这个中心,就是大道理。各条战线都要以现代化建设为大局,配合大局,从大局出发,根据自己工作的性质和特点为大局服务。

  三、关于和平发展道路

  中国走和平发展道路,是由中国国情决定的,是由中国文化传统决定的,是由中国适应世界发展潮流决定的,归根到底,是由中国共产党领导的社会主义国家的性质决定的,由中国实现社会主义现代化的目标决定的。和平发展道路的精髓是什么?就是争取和平的国际环境来发展自己,又以自己的发展促进世界的和平。走和平发展道路,既是外交,也是内政,因而,要统筹国内国际两个大局。

  从国内来讲,就是把发展放在主要依靠自己力量的基点上,依靠扩大内需来促进发展,不断满足人民群众日益增长的物质文化需求。中国拥有世界上最多的人口,有广袤的土地和比较丰富的资源,有潜力巨大的市场,这些都是中国能够主要依靠自力更生,实现发展的重要基础。中国在发展中会遇到资源、能源、环境等瓶颈制约,但经过多年努力,我们已经找到了一条全面协调可持续的发展道路。这就是树立和落实科学发展观,建设资源节约型、环境友好型社会。同时,我们还要继续深化改革,扩大开放,不断消除影响发展的体制障碍,为现代化建设注入强大动力。讲清楚中国的发展主要靠自己,有利于从根本上消除外界认为中国发展到一定阶段就要对外掠夺和扩张的疑虑。事实上,中国发展了,不仅会对周边而且会对整个世界的发展做出越来越大的贡献。

  从对外来讲,就是要高举和平、发展、合作的旗帜,奉行独立自主的和平外交政策。独立自主的和平外交政策主要是:维护国家的独立、主权、统一和领土完整;根据事情本身的是非曲直自主地、独立地判断国际问题,决定自己的立场和政策;不以意识形态和社会制度划线,不将自己的价值观强加于人,不同任何国家和国家集团结盟;不干涉别国内部事务,也不允许任何国家干涉我国内政;反对搞霸权主义和强权政治,自己也永远不称霸。在今后的对外交往中,要更好地贯彻独立自主的和平外交政策,就要在和平共处五项原则的基础上同世界各国友好相处。无论国家大小贫富强弱,一视同仁,一律以平等的态度对待;就要致力于推动国际政治经济秩序朝着公正合理的方向发展。这个新秩序的核心是平等、尊重、互利,最终目标是构建和谐世界;就要在对外经贸往来和对外文化交流中体现互利共赢、彼此尊重的原则;就要坚持防御性的国防政策,不搞军备竞赛和军事扩张。中国在鸦片战争后的100多年里饱受列强的侵略和欺侮,深知侵略和压迫给一个民族带来的苦难。我们坚持走和平发展道路,是真诚的、坚定的。

  走和平发展道路,是我国必须长期坚持的战略选择,也是必须长期坚持的外交方针,决不是权宜之计。坚持这个方针,就要抓住机遇,排除干扰,专心致志,发展自己;在国际上坚持不扛旗、不当头。正是由于坚持了这个方针,我们才得以不断扩大在国际事务中的回旋余地。随着我国综合国力的增强和国际地位的提高,国际社会对我国的期待会日益增多,在这种情况下还要不要继续坚持这个方针?答案是肯定的,没有任何理由改变这个方针。当然,我们应当保持良好的精神状态,增强对外工作的主动性和进取性。我国是联合国安理会常任理事国,是许多重要国际组织的成员,要利用这些有利条件,积极发挥作用,有效维护我国的根本利益。要积极参与国际规则的制定,推动国际政治经济秩序朝着公正合理的方向发展。要积极参与经济全球化,并且本着互利共赢的原则推进国际和区域经济合作。

  四、关于文化建设和文化交流

  我国要受到国际社会的尊重,必须靠经济和科技实力的增强,靠人民生活富裕幸福,还要靠国民素质、民主法制、精神文明和道德力量。近些年来,我们在以经济建设为中心的同时,坚持加强政治建设、文化建设与和谐社会建设,重视对外文化交流,显示出改革开放、团结进取、平等友好、坦诚负责的国家形象。国际上对我们客观、理性、友善的评价越来越多,欢迎中国的发展、主张加强对华合作的声音越来越大,这为国内现代化建设创造了良好的环境。因此,我们要从全面建设中国特色社会主义的战略高度,重视和加强文化建设与文化交流。

  要尊重文化的多样性。现在世界上有两千多个民族,人类文明随着多种民族的相互交往而不断丰富和发展。世界文化的多样性或文明的多样性,不仅过去存在,现在存在,将来也会长期存在。科学、民主、法制、自由、人权,并非资本主义所独有,而是人类在漫长的历史进程中共同追求的价值观和共同创造的文明成果。只是在不同的历史阶段、不同的国家,它的实现形式和途径各不相同,没有统一的模式,这种世界文明的多样性是不以人们主观意志为转移的客观存在。正是这种多样文化的并存、交汇和融合,促进了人类的进步。要承认世界文化的多样性,不同文化之间不应该互相歧视、敌视、排斥,而应该相互尊重、相互学习、取长补短,共同形成和谐多彩的人类文化。

  中国的民主政治建设,要走自己的路。我们从来认为,社会主义制度与民主政治不是相背离的,高度的民主、完备的法制,恰恰是社会主义制度的内在要求,是成熟的社会主义制度的重要标志。我们完全可以在社会主义条件下,建成民主和法治国家。我们要立足国情,在实践中积极探索中国特色的民主政治建设规律。当前,我们要以促进经济发展、保障公民权益、反对腐败行为、提高政府公信力和执行力、增进社会和谐为重点,扩大民主、健全法制,继续推进政治体制改革。这样做,就能使中国人民自己选择的发展道路在国际上得到更广泛的理解和认同。

  要全面提高国民素质。这就要优先发展教育。必须强化政府对义务教育的保障责任,普及和巩固义务教育,大力发展职业教育,提高高等教育质量,全面提高全民族的科学文化水平。这就要大力加强思想道德建设,加快建立与社会主义市场经济体制相适应、与中华民族传统美德相承接的思想道德体系。尤其要注重诚实守信教育,推进社会诚信建设,在国际交往中树立讲信用、重承诺、言必信、行必果的良好形象。这就要加强对公民在涉外场合的文明修养教育,引导他们在境外尊重当地法律法规和民俗习惯,注意公众场合的言谈举止,当好中国文化的传播者和中国形象的展示者。随着越来越多的人走出国门,我们要加强涉外管理,打击偷渡、走私、贩毒等违法犯罪活动,建立对外人员交往的良好秩序。

  要扩大对外文化交流。文化交流是沟通各国人民心灵的桥梁,也是展示国家形象的重要途径。中华文化源远流长、博大精深,对世界文明进步做出了重大贡献。中国传统文化中有许多精华,例如:“和而不同”的哲学思想,“民为邦本”的民本思想,“尊师重教”的教育思想,“己所不欲,勿施于人”的社会伦理思想,等等。我们要运用各种形式和手段,包括巡演巡展、汉语教学、学术交流和互办文化年等,进一步推动中华优秀文化走出国门、走向世界,增强国际影响力。要积极实施文化走出去战略,大力发展文化产业,提高文化企业和文化产品的国际竞争力,扩大图书、影视等文化产品的出口,推动中国文化产品特别是文化精品走向世界。

  要加强和改进对外宣传工作。全面、准确、及时地向外界介绍我国改革开放和现代化建设取得的成就,也不回避我国存在的问题。善于运用灵活多样的对外宣传和交往方式,尽量使用国际社会听得懂、易理解的语言和喜闻乐见的方式进行交流,增强宣传的有效性,努力引导各方面客观理性地看待中国的发展和国际作用,营造友善的国际舆论环境。

 

Our Historical Tasks at the Primary Stage of Socialism and
Several Issues Concerning China's Foreign Policy

Wen Jiabao


I. Our Historical Tasks at the Primary Stage of Socialism

A keen appreciation of China's national conditions and its historical stage is the basis for our Party to put forward theories in a scientific way and adopt correct principles and policies. It is also a key prerequisite for ensuring the success of all our endeavors.

China is at the primary stage of socialism, and will remain so for a long time to come. The primary stage means a stage of underdevelopment, which manifests itself, first and foremost, in the low level of the productive forces. Therefore, we must unswervingly take economic development as the central task and go all out to boost the productive forces. However, when we talk about the primary stage, we should not just think about the underdeveloped productive forces. We should also recognize that the socialist system still has room for improvement and that it is not yet a mature one. Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that in essence, socialism is about liberating and developing the productive forces, eliminating exploitation and polarization, and ultimately, it is about achieving prosperity for all. This means that in consolidating and developing socialism, we must be clear about and focus on two major tasks: one is to liberate and develop the productive forces to vastly increase the material wealth of the whole society, and the other is to achieve social fairness and justice, fire the creativity of the whole nation and promote social harmony. The two tasks are interconnected and reinforce each other. As a holistic endeavor, they should be pursued throughout the historical course of all the development stages of socialism. Without the sustained and full development of productive forces, it will be impossible to achieve social fairness and justice, an essential requirement of socialism. Without gradual progress in social fairness and justice along with the growth of productive forces, it will be impossible to give full play to the initiative and creativity of all the people and ensure sustained and full development of productive forces. In implementing Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents", following the scientific thinking on development and building a socialist harmonious society, it is critical that we have a full and scientific understanding of the essence of socialism.

When China began to build socialism, it was way behind developed countries in terms of productive forces. It will take a fairly long historical period before China can achieve industrialization and modernization. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and particularly since the introduction of reform and opening-up policy, China has greatly enhanced social productive forces and its overall national strength, and markedly improved the well-being of its people. China has achieved a historic leap from meeting the basic living needs for its people to making life moderately prosperous for them. However, given China's huge population, weak economic base and development imbalances between urban and rural areas and among different regions, its low level of productive forces remains basically unchanged. While continuing economic reform, we have steadily proceeded with reform in the political system. Socialist democracy and legal system are being enhanced, and the Chinese people are playing an increasingly active role in political affairs. People's political, economic, cultural, social and other rights are duly protected. Nonetheless, China's socialist market economy and its democracy and legal system are not yet fully developed. Social unfairness, graft and corruption still exist. The socialist system is not yet mature. Therefore, China still has a long way to go before it can move to a stage higher than the primary stage of socialism. It remains a developing country. Regarding the overall long-term development of socialism, Comrade Deng Xiaoping made a keen observation in 1992 in his remarks during his inspection tour to south China: It will take a very long historical period to consolidate and develop the socialist system, and it will require persistent struggle by many generations, a dozen or even several dozens. We can never rest on our oars.

In the process of reform, opening-up and modernization, we will gain a deeper understanding of what is socialism and how to develop socialism, and we will be able to enrich and advance socialism by adhering to the principle that practice is the only criterion for testing truth. In this connection, two points must be made clear: First, we need to have a full and profound understanding of the basic conditions of China at the primary stage of socialism. To build a country of more than one billion people into a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern socialist country is an unprecedented endeavor in human history. It is a historical mission that requires persistent and arduous efforts. Second, we must press ahead with reform and encourage innovation. Comrade Jiang Zemin pointed out, "The great progress our people have achieved under the leadership of our Party in reform, opening-up and modernization in the past more than 20 years has been possible because of the theoretical innovation, institutional innovation, scientific and technological innovation we have pursued." In pursuing reform and innovation, we should not only benefit from and carry forward the inexhaustibly rich and valuable experience our Party has gained in the long years of socialist development and reform; we should also boldly draw upon all the progress of human civilization and all advanced business and managerial expertise that embody the laws governing modern social production. This is the only way for our socialist system to gain strength in competing with the capitalist system. It is with this in mind that we say that socialism is like an ocean which never runs dry as it admits hundreds of rivers. It will take a considerably long historical process for socialism to gain maturity in terms of both theory and practice. Therefore, we must unswervingly adhere to the basic lines of the Party for the primary stage of socialism for the next 100 years and persist in carrying out reform and innovation to ensure enduring vigor and vitality for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Leading officials at all levels should develop historical and global perspectives and view things from an overall and strategic angle. Only with a full and deep appreciation of the long-term nature of the primary stage of socialism and our historic mission can we truly understand why we have adopted the policies we are pursuing today instead of any other policy and work with stronger commitment, determination and creativity.

II. The Period of Strategic Opportunities for China's Development

The first 20 years of this century will be a period of important strategic opportunities for China. We must not miss it, and we must make full use of it. To embrace this period of strategic opportunities and make good use of it is of utmost importance to our goal of building a society of moderate prosperity in all respects and building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

China did not have many major opportunities for development in its history. In modern times, China closed itself and fell victim to imperialist aggressions. As a result, China lost an opportunity for development and fell behind. After the founding of New China, great achievements were made in its socialist development endeavors. However, we missed a major development opportunity because of some big policy mistakes, and particularly the disastrous ten-year-long "Cultural Revolution". Opportunity is rare. When it presents itself, we must seize it, or it will be lost for good. In the past 28 years of reform and opening-up, China's economy has maintained fast and sustainable growth. This is a miracle. Will China have another period of opportunity in the future? My answer is yes. How long will it last? This will depend on what domestic and foreign policies we follow and on our ability to respond to new developments.

Profound and complex changes are taking place in the world, and many new international developments deserve our close attention. But the overall international environment is a favorable one for China. Peace and development remain the general trend of the times and no major war is likely to break out. It is fully possible for us to have a fairly long-term peaceful international environment and a favorable neighborhood environment. History shows that those remaining backward are invariably despised and bullied by others. We must seize the favorable international opportunities to speed up our development. Achieving development is the overriding principle. It is the basis for solving all problems in China and for China to conduct effective diplomacy. Competition between states is based on strength. There are major principles and secondary principles, and the latter should be subjected to the former. Then what is the major principle? It is to accomplish the central goal of socialist modernization drive. People of all walks of life in China should recognize the larger interest of the modernization drive, comply with it and work to advance it.

III. Take the Path of Peaceful Development

China takes the path of peaceful development. This is made necessary by its national conditions, cultural traditions and its embracing of the global trend of development. And, in the final analysis, it is determined by the nature of China as a socialist country led by the Communist Party of China and by the goal of achieving socialist modernization in China. What is the essence of the path of peaceful development? It is to foster a peaceful international environment to develop itself and, in turn, promote world peace with its development. Taking the path of peaceful development is an initiative that has both external and domestic dimensions. Thus, we must keep firmly in mind our overall interests on two fronts, both internal and external.

Domestically, we need to rely mainly on our own effort in pursuing development. We should promote development by expanding the domestic demand to meet the people's growing material and cultural needs. China is the most populous country with a vast territory, relatively rich resources and a market of huge potential. All this has made it possible for China to achieve development mainly through its own efforts. In the course of development, China is bound to encounter bottleneck constraints in areas such as natural resources, energy and the environment. But thanks to years of hard work, we have succeeded in embarking on a path leading to all-round, coordinated and sustainable development. Our goal is to foster and implement a scientific thinking on development and build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society. At the same time, we must give a strong impetus to the modernization drive by continuing to deepen our reform, opening wider to the outside world and removing institutional obstacles to development. It is important that we send a clear message to the world that China will achieve its development mainly through its own efforts, and this will help fundamentally remove misgivings in the international community that China is bound to engage in external plundering and expansion when it reaches a certain stage of development. As China develops itself, it will make greater contribution to both the development of its neighborhood areas and that of the whole world.

Internationally, we should advocate peace, development and cooperation and pursue an independent foreign policy of peace. China works to uphold its independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, makes judgment independently on the merit of each international issue and takes position accordingly. It does not use ideology and social system as a criterion in conducting diplomacy, nor does it impose its values on others. China does not enter into alliance with any country or country group. It does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs, nor does it allow others to interfere in its internal affairs. China opposes hegemonism and power politics and will never seek hegemony. In conducting foreign exchanges, we should fully implement the independent foreign policy of peace. This means we should live in friendship with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and treat all countries, whether big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, as equals. It means we should work for a just and equitable international political and economic order which is based on equality, respect and mutual benefit and whose ultimate goal is to build a harmonious world. It means we should follow the principle of mutual benefit and mutual respect in expanding overseas business ties and conducting cultural exchanges. And it means we should follow a defense policy that is defensive in nature and do not engage in arms race or military expansion. Since it suffered bitterly from imperialist aggression and oppression for more than a century after the Opium War (1840-1842), China knows just too well what foreign aggression and oppression will bring to a nation. We are sincere and firm in our commitment to taking a path of peaceful development.

To take a path of peaceful development is a strategy and foreign policy to which China is committed. It is definitely not an expediency. In following this guiding principle, we should seize opportunities, remain unswayed by provocations and concentrate on our development, and we will not seek a leadership role in the international arena. It is thanks to following this policy that we have been able to gain more room for the conduct of China's diplomacy. As China's overall national strength and international standing grow, the international community will have higher expectation on China. One might ask if it is still necessary for China to follow this policy. The answer is yes, as there is no reason whatsoever to change it. Of course, we should remain actively engaged in international affairs. China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member in other important international organizations. We should make full use of this favorable condition to uphold China's fundamental interests. We should take an active part in the formulation of international rules to work for a fair and equitable international political and economic order. We should be actively involved in economic globalization and promote international and regional economic cooperation to achieve mutual benefit and win-win progress.

IV. Cultural Development and Exchanges

If China is to gain respect of the international community, we must grow our economy, advance science and technology and ensure that our people live a prosperous and happy life. We must also raise the educational level of our people, improve democracy and legal system and raise cultural and ethical standard. In recent years, at the same time of speeding up economic development, we have endeavored to promote political and cultural development and the building of a harmonious society, and we have given high priority to cultural exchanges with other countries. We have thus fostered an image of China as a country that is committed to reform and opening-up, a country of unity and dynamism, a country that upholds equality and values friendship, and a country that is sincere and responsible. As a result, China is increasingly viewed in an objective, rational and friendly light, and there is growing call for strengthening cooperation with China. All this has created a favorable external environment for China's modernization program. Therefore, we should enhance cultural development and exchanges and view it as a key endeavor in building socialism with Chinese characteristics in all respects.

Cultural diversity should be respected. There are more than 2,000 ethnic groups in the world. Human civilization has evolved and enriched itself through interactions among different ethnic communities. Diversity of world culture and civilization has existed for centuries and will remain so in the future. Science, democracy, legal system, freedom and human rights are not something peculiar to capitalism. Rather, they are common values pursued by mankind in the long historical process and they are fruit of human civilization created by mankind. It is only that at different historical stages and in different countries, they are achieved through different means and in different forms. There is not just one model for the realization of these values. The diversity of civilization is a reality, whether you face it or not. It is the coexistence, interaction and convergence of different cultures that have promoted human progress. Cultural diversity in the world should be recognized. Different cultures should not discriminate against, be hostile to or exclude each other. They should respect and draw on each other's strength, and this will make it possible to create a harmonious and colorful human culture.

China should take its own path in enhancing democracy. We never view socialism and democracy as something that is mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, we see a high degree of democracy and well developed legal system as the inherent requirement of socialism and a key important feature of a mature socialist system. We are fully capable of building China into a country of democracy and rule of law under socialist conditions. We should explore ways to develop democracy with Chinese characteristics in light of China's particular conditions. We should focus on efforts to promote economic development, protect lawful rights and interests of the people, fight corruption, increase public trust in government, strengthen government functions and enhance social harmony. And we should continue the reform in the political system by expanding democracy and improving the legal system. This will enable other members of the international community to better appreciate and accept the path of development taken by the Chinese people.

We should fully improve the educational level of the Chinese people. This means giving a high priority to the development of education. The government must work with a stronger sense of responsibility to extend and consolidate compulsory education. More efforts should be made to develop vocational education and improve higher education. The scientific and cultural level of the whole Chinese nation should be uplifted. That requires a major effort to foster values and ethics among the people and accelerate the establishment of a system of values and ethics which is in keeping with the socialist market economy and which carries forward the traditional virtues and values of the Chinese nation. In particular, high priority should be placed on fostering a sense of honesty and integrity so that the public will have greater sense of integrity and credibility. In international exchanges, we should be credible and trustworthy, act in good faith and honor commitment. Thus, we need to ask people to act in a civilized way in their contacts with foreigners, respect local laws, regulations and customs and behave properly in public places overseas so that they will contribute to promoting China's culture and its image. As more Chinese are traveling overseas, we should strengthen foreign-affairs administration and crack down hard on crimes such as smuggling, human trafficking and drug trafficking to ensure order in people-to-people exchanges.

We should expand cultural exchanges with other countries. Cultural exchanges are a bridge connecting the hearts and minds of people of all countries and an important way to project a country's image. The rich and profound Chinese culture, which has a time-honored history, has made significant contribution to the progress of human civilization. The traditional Chinese culture is noted for its many luminous ideas: the philosophical precept of "harmony without uniformity", the political belief that "people is the foundation of the nation", the educational guideline of "respecting teachers and valuing education", and the moral ethic of "do not do to others what you would not have them do to you". We should use various forms and means, including tour performance and exhibition, Chinese language teaching, academic exchange and sponsoring culture year activities, to promote Chinese culture and increase its appeal overseas. We should implement a "going global" cultural strategy, develop culture industry, improve the international competitiveness of Chinese cultural enterprises and products, increase the export of books, films, TV programs and other cultural products, so that these Chinese cultural products and particularly the best of them, will reach the rest of the world.

We should conduct public diplomacy in a more effective way. We should inform the outside world of the achievements we have made in reform, opening-up and modernization in a comprehensive, accurate and timely manner. At the same time, we should be frank about the problems we have. We should be good at using flexible and diversified ways in conducting public diplomacy programs. We should use persuasive ways to communicate with the international community to ensure that our message is effectively put across. We should work to enable the international community to develop an objective and balanced view on China's development and international role, so as to foster an environment of friendly public opinion for China.



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