US President George W. Bush said he would pursue a constructive, co-operative relationship with China in what has been billed as his administration's first comprehensive explanation of its foreign policy. In a report made public yesterday, Mr Bush said he welcomed the emergence of a 'strong, peaceful and prosperous China', while calling on Beijing to increase the pace of reform and pursue a more democratic system of government. 'China has begun to take the road to political openness, permitting many personal freedoms and conducting village-level elections, yet remains strongly committed to national one-party rule by the Communist Party,' he said. 'To make that nation truly accountable to its citizens' needs and aspirations, however, much work remains to be done. Only by allowing the Chinese people to think, assemble and worship freely can China reach its full potential.' China figured prominently in the 33-page policy document titled The National Security Strategy of the United States, and Mr Bush acknowledged the mainland had emerged as a major player both in the region and internationally. However, he had some criticisms about increased military spending and weapons proliferation. 'In pursuing advanced military capabilities that can threaten its neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region, China is following an outdated path that, in the end, will hamper its own pursuit of national greatness. In time, China will find that social and political freedom is the only source of that greatness,' he said. Mr Bush identified Taiwan's relationship with the mainland, along with human rights, as areas where the US and China 'have profound disagreements'. 'We will work to narrow differences where they exist, but not allow them to preclude co-operation where we agree,' he said. Meanwhile, Mr Bush urged China's leaders to push ahead with political and economic reforms. 'A quarter-century after beginning the process of shedding the worst features of the communist legacy, China's leaders have not yet made the next series of fundamental choices about the character of their state,' he said. The document identifies several areas where the US and China have reached common ground including the war on terrorism and in promoting stability on the Korean peninsula. 'Likewise, we have co-ordinated on the future of Afghanistan and have initiated a comprehensive dialogue on counter-terrorism and similar transitional concerns,' he said. The policy paper pledges US support in helping China deal with 'shared health and environmental threats', such as Aids and pollution. 'Addressing these transnational threats will challenge China to become more open with information, promote the development of civil society and enhance individual human rights,' he said.