BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang said Sunday that China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region and the whole world, pledging stronger ties with major powers, including the U.S. and Russia.
China is capable of achieving sustainable economic development and a stronger China will not seek hegemony, Li said at a press conference held after the annual session of the national legislature concluded Sunday.
"There are more than 1.3 billion people in China and we are still on a long journey towards modernization. That requires an international environment of lasting peace," he said. "Even if China becomes stronger, we will not seek hegemony," the premier said in response to concerns from overseas.
China has an unswerving commitment to peaceful development and an unshakable determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Li said.
When talking about China-U.S. relations, Li said the Chinese government is committed to maintaining strong relations between the world's largest and second-largest economies, despite differences that are not necessarily inevitable,
"More opportunities in trade and investment between China and the United States might emerge in the years to come," he said, citing the rapid growth in annual bilateral trade volume from only 1 billion U.S. dollars three decades ago to more than 500 billion U.S. dollars last year.
"I don't believe conflicts between big powers are inevitable," Li said. "Shared interests often override disputes."
When asked about Sino-Russian relations, Li said more practical cooperation is needed and both sides should leverage their economic integrity.
He said he hopes bilateral trade can increase rapidly from the current level of about 80 billion U.S. dollars a year.
Both China and Russia should join hands to more than double their bilateral trade in the years to come, Li said.
China has been working with its neighbors to advance mutually beneficial cooperation and take such cooperation to a new level by joining respective strengths so as to make peaceful development and cooperation an irresistible trend, Li said.
His remarks echoed President Xi Jinping's pledge that China will adhere to a road of peaceful development, as well as a policy of mutually beneficial cooperation.
We will raise the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, Xi said Sunday at the closing ceremony of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress.