Leader-in-waiting says no need to fear China

Vice President Xi Jinping at the World Peace Forum in Beijing.

BEIJING - China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping insisted Saturday that Beijing would never impose its will on the rest of the world and instead wanted to "abandon the old mindset" and strive for global peace.

Speaking at a forum in Beijing, Vice President Xi sought to reassure other countries that the rise of China, which in 2010 became the world's second largest economy, was not something to be feared.

"Even when China becomes developed in the future, it will never seek hegemony," Xi told the World Peace Forum. "China is always committed to economic development, world peace and common development of mankind."

"We must abandon the old mindset and approach that has been rendered obsolete, we must keep pace with the times, forge ahead with innovation and foster a new security concept," he added.

China has been pushing for emerging powers to take a bigger role in international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund where Beijing is playing a leading part, and Xi said this trend would continue.

"China will actively participate in the reform of the international system for governance with a view to move toward a more just and equitable international political and economic order."

Besides its growing economic power, China's increasing military might has also irked other countries, especially its regional neighbours and the United States, which has realigned its forces to address Beijing's buildup.

Xi is widely expected to be named head of the ruling Communist Party later this year and become president next March in the country's once-in-a-decade leadership transition, replacing Hu Jintao.

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