China plays the role of a force for world peace and will firmly defend the existing international order, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told academics and reporters on Friday, dismissing allegations that China as the world's second-largest economy is seeking hegemony and intends to replace the U.S. as the leading global power.
Wang made the remarks during a speech at an event organized by U.S. think tank Council on Foreign Relations, after his speech at the annual United Nations General Assemblygathering in New York.
He said China has followed and will follow a path of peaceful development, one that is with Chinese features and different from that of historical powers.
Wang addressed concerns over China's ambitions, saying that assuming that a great power is seeking hegemony is a "big strategic miscalculation."
"The essence of Chinese philosophy is about joint growth without harming each other. We always believe the world should be diverse. Nations could get along and seek harmony in diversity," Wang added.
He stressed that peace, development and win-win results are the call of the times, and the old practices of aggression and expansion can no longer work.
He acknowledged the flaws in the current international rules, but insisted it is effective and countries should preserve, reform and improve the system.
"China cannot and will not start a new order. Multilateralism, free trade, and other well-established international norms must never be undermined. To reform and improve a system is only to make it more just and equitable, and more responsive to the current circumstances."
Echoing the moderator of the discussion Bob Rubin, who said it is imperative to get U.S.-China relations back on a constructive track, Wang said bilateral ties are a common asset, a result of generations of people's efforts, and must be preserved and valued.
The two sides must work on a constructive relationship based on mutual understanding and cooperation, he stressed.
China always pursues peace, cooperation, openness and opportunity, and it plays a positive and constructive role on global stage, Wang said, adding: "Anyone with no bias or hidden agenda will come to a sensible conclusion."