The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Chen Yuming, delivered a spirited defence of the emerging super power's record on human rights and compliance with international commercial regulations in Canberra this week.
''We believe that these problems aren't limited to China only,'' he said. ''These problems and difficulties affect many other countries.''
He said China's efforts to improve human rights, compliance with international commercial laws and the standard of living of its 1.3 billion people were a source of pride to the country.
Mr Yuming was responding to a question from The Canberra Times at an Australian Strategic Policy Institute lunch at Grevillea Park.
Asked if the change in China's senior leadership expected to take place over the next two years would affect relations with Australia he said ''no''.
Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping is set to replace Hu Jintao as Communist Party leader late in 2012. He will succeed him as president in 2013.
China's domestic, foreign, economic and security policies had been consistent for quite some time, the ambassador said.
''China will continue to follow policies of peace, development and co-operation,'' he said.
In a presentation that featured the words ''peace'', ''prosperity'' and ''co-operation'' more than 20 times, he told the audience - drawn mainly from the defence and security sectors - that China's rise to power was peaceful and should not be seen as a threat.
''We are a 5000-year-old culture,'' he said.
Mr Yuming diplomatically dodged questions on the Chinese government's view on the strengthening of military ties between Australia and the United States and the possibility the US could assist Australia acquire nuclear submarines.
He was equally reticent on whether he would prefer to see a Mandarin-speaking prime minister in The Lodge.
''China works for peace and prosperity,'' he said. It cannot develop in isolation to the rest of the world. China is concentrated on its internal affairs; it does not have the energy for hegemony.''
The ambassador said the Chinese government's goal was a modern and prosperous society and that his nation welcomed the US and Australia playing a constructive role in the Asia-Pacific region - so long as that role was defined by peace, development and co-operation.
He praised Australia's adherence to the ''one China policy'' when it came to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and linked future sales of Australian produce such as cheese in mainland China to improvements in human rights.
The ambassador said cross-strait relations between the PRC and the ROC had been ''developing peacefully and well'' in recent times and expressed confidence this would continue.
Mr Yuming, who was born in Guangdong Province in 1956 and has represented his country in Romania, Lithuania and at the United Nations, said the international community had recognised China's