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President Jiang Spells out Chinese Values

President Jiang Spells out Chinese Values Reported by the Renmin Ribao (People's Daily October 22, 1999

President Jiang Spells out Chinese Values
Reported by the Renmin Ribao (People's Daily)

October 22, 1999

People's Daily
Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in Cambridge, London October 22 that "it is absolutely necessary to know the basic Chinese values in order to have a good understanding of what has happened and what will happen in China."
"In a speech at the University of Cambridge, Jiang said that the Chinese nation has always valued human dignity and value. Even in the ancient days, Chinese ancestors came up with the idea of people being most important, believing that "man is the most valuable among all things that heaven fosters," he said.

"The immense vitality displayed by China today is a vivid reflection of the broad freedoms and democratic rights enjoyed by the Chinese people," he said.

"For several thousand years, to provide for the people's need for food, clothing, housing and transport has all along been the primary human rights challenge for successive governments in Chinese history," Jiang said.

"In today's China, top priority should still be given to ensuring the greatest possible majority of its people the rights to subsistence and development," he said, adding that otherwise "there would be no other rights to speak of."

"While collective and individual human rights have to go hand in hand and their coordinated development should be pursued, he said, so do economic, social and cultural rights on the one hand and civil and political rights on the other."

"This is in keeping with China's specific national conditions and is therefore the only way to progress in the human rights cause in China," he said.

"The Chinese nation has persistently pursued an independent national spirit and road to development, said Jiang, adding that " we, the Chinese people, regard independence as the foundation on which to build the country."

"Independence and self-reliance should not rule out learning from other countries and drawing upon the fruits of world civilization since the two are complementary to each other," he said.

"However, it must be pointed out that the absorption and learning process is by no means one of simple imitation and China can not copy the development model of Western capitalist countries, nor can it mechanically follow other countries' models of building socialism," he said.

"On the contrary, it must take a road to development that is suited to its national conditions, namely the road to building socialism with Chinese characteristics, which we have found through long-term practice," he said.

"The Chinese will move forward unswervingly along this road," he said.

"The Chinese nation has always valued the great unity of all the ethnic groups and the reunification of the country," he said.

"Since ancient times, people of 56 ethnic groups have toiled and multiplied on the vast land of China. They have helped each other and learned from each other over long years and thus formed a unitary multi-ethnic country," he said.

"The preservation of solidarity and unity of the Chinese nation is the very foundation for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and is where the fundamental interests of the people of all ethnic groups lie," he said.

He quoted Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the great forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution and the founder of the Kuomintang (the Nationalist Party) as saying that "China is a unitary country. This has already been deeply etched in its historical identity. It is this identity that has kept us together as one nation."

"It is the unshakable will of all the Chinese people to ultimately resolve the Taiwan question under the principle of 'peaceful reunification, one country two systems' and accomplish the great cause of national reunification," he said.

"The Chinese nation always loves freedom and peace, said Jiang, adding that "it is our hope that the people of all countries can live in a world free from war and violence and free from suppression, discrimination and bullying."

"A developed, strong and prosperous China will pose no threat to anyone, and it will only promote world peace, stability and development. "China will never seek hegemony. This is a solemn commitment of the Chinese people to the world", Jiang said.

"As the road to socialist development and the basic domestic and foreign policies chosen and followed by the Chinese people have their origin in the logical development of modern China and in the fine national tradition of the Chinese nation formed over thousands of years, they are well founded and firmly grounded in terms of both history and realities," he said. (Xinhua)

People's Daily, World News 1999-10-23 Page4


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