SINGAPORE -- China's modernization has contributed significantly to safeguarding world peace, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu said Sunday.
"We firmly pursue a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and have endeavored to safeguard world and regional security," Li said in his speech at the 20th Shangri-La Dialogue.
Over the years China has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations, making it the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, said the defense minister.
China has maintained exchanges and cooperation on peacekeeping with more than 90 countries and over 10 international and regional organizations including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Li said, adding that 16 service members of the Chinese army have devoted their lives to their peace-keeping missions.
The Chinese defense minister went on to say that China's modernization has also played a positive role in improving global governance.
"Facing growing deficit in global governance, China holds high the banner of multilateralism and endeavors to follow a vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits," he said.
Voicing China's commitment to advancing global security governance, Li said China upholds justice and equity, and commits itself to bridging differences and enhancing solidarity.
On the Ukraine issue, China has taken an objective and impartial stance based on the merits of the issue, he said, noting that China has published a document entitled China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, and sent a special envoy to conduct consultations with relevant parties.
Li said that China has helped Iran and Saudi Arabia successfully hold a dialogue in Beijing, and the two countries have signed a joint statement on restoring diplomatic relations.
"Their rapprochement has led to a chain reaction of reconciliation in the Middle East. This is a victory of dialogue and a victory of peace," he said.
Also, China's modernization has become a powerful force driving development for all, said the defense minister.
"As a major country with more than 1.4 billion people, China is pursuing modernization in a peaceful way, and this will surely inject a strong impetus into global development and progress," Li said.
In the past decade, China's contribution to global economic growth averaged 38.6 percent, Li said, adding that today, China is a major trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions.
China will continue to pursue a mutually beneficial, high-standard opening-up strategy, and deliver more development benefits to people of other countries, he said.