President Hu Jintao said yesterday China posed no military threat to other countries, and that import demand from its roaring economy has generated 14 million jobs overseas.
Hu’s comments were made in a speech to United States business leaders and underscored the key message of his state visit to the US – that China’s rise is good for America and the world.
President Barack Obama struck a similar note after formal talks with the Chinese leader, announcing job-creating deals with the Asian giant worth US$45 billion ($60 billion) to US companies.
“We will remain committed to the path of peaceful development,” Hu told a US-China Business Council lunch. “We do not engage in arms races, we are not a military threat to any country. China will never seek to pursue an expansionist policy.”
The group of US business leaders whose companies have significant dealings within China proved a far more receptive audience than the Chinese leader found an earlier meeting on Capitol Hill, where Hu drew fire over China’s human rights policies. House Speaker John Boehner said participants at the House meeting with Hu “raised our strong, ongoing concerns with reports of human rights violations in China, including the denial of religious freedom and the use of coercive abortion”.
He said House members also addressed a need for China to better protect intellectual property and curtail the aggressive behaviour of North Korea. Several legislators also assailed the Chinese Government’s record on military expansion, financial strategy and weapons sales.