DIPLO­MACY

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - SPECIAL - Page Edi­tor: chenxi­meng@glob­al­times.com.cn

Mo­hamed Faisal, Mal­dives Am­bas­sador to China

There are many things that worry us, espe­cially as a small econ­omy that has very lit­tle re­sources and as an econ­omy and coun­try that de­pends on the rest of the world for our bread and but­ter. What­ever hap­pens out­side our bor­ders af­fects us, espe­cially given the sys­tem of econ­omy that we have which is very much de­pen­dent on tourism. Any up­set, any fi­nan­cial cri­sis, and any dis­ease, and wars can gen­er­ate very neg­a­tive ef­fects on our bor­ders. So of course, we would like the world to be peace­ful, for ev­ery­body to co­op­er­ate and also for the world to be more open be­cause for a small coun­try a closed econ­omy could be very dan­ger­ous. We im­port ev­ery­thing from all over the world, and we also rely on our part­ners in all parts of the world to pro­vide us with not only nec­es­sary goods and ser­vices to sus­tain our econ­omy and peo­ple but also for their good­will. So, of course, we would like to see a more open econ­omy and more open re­la­tion­ships be­tween coun­tries that are based on an equal foot­ing.

Ne­boj a Ko­harovi , Croa­t­ian Am­bas­sador to China

I think ev­ery ci­ti­zen in my coun­try un­der­stands how im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional or­der is. What could chal­lenge in­ter­na­tional or­der? The main is­sue here is do we clearly see the chal­lenges to in­ter­na­tional or­der. I come from the coun­try that has been shift­ing the tides in the last 30 years com­ing from one camp to an­other, not just in the sense of state­hood but also in the sense of the val­ues that we are rep­re­sent­ing to­day, and of course, we think that be­ing able to watch both sides or many sides, as you call it multi-vec­tor pol­i­tics, [is im­por­tant]. But there is more than one chal­lenge to the in­ter­na­tional or­der at this mo­ment. The coined phrase “ma­jor power pol­i­tics” is some­thing that presents a chal­lenge for al­most ev­ery­body else. So, the chal­lenges are not the ones that have the red but­tons in Py­ongyang. They could be far more, and in that sense, I think we have to be very cautious when we mod­elize the needs and goals of our coun­tries or re­gions not to en­dan­ger the in­ter­na­tional or­der that has been very care­fully for­mal­ized by nearly 60 years af­ter the Sec­ond World War.

Zhou Bo, Se­nior colonel and di­rec­tor of Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion of Of­fice of In­ter­na­tional Mil­i­tary Co­op­er­a­tion, Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense

It is not a ques­tion of how much China has changed be­cause China has, ever since its open­ing up and re­form, in­sisted that co­op­er­a­tion, peace and de­vel­op­ment be the main­stay of the day. But re­cently we have read some­thing dif­fer­ent. Frankly speak­ing, the US’ re­cent reports on na­tional se­cu­rity and de­fense strat­egy re­ally sur­prised me in that China is con­sid­ered a top strate­gic com­peti­tor. Doesn’t the tone sound a bit like a re­turn to the Cold War era? Is the US ready to chal­lenge China as it did the Soviet Union? It is not that China would chal­lenge the in­ter­na­tional or­der. Our po­si­tion on it is still more or less the same, but it is how the US might take a big risk to chal­lenge China. That would def­i­nitely bring a ma­jor shift in the in­ter­na­tional or­der.

Liu Chang, PhD, China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies

Let’s look back to 40 years ago. I think one of the most im­por­tant rea­sons that China’s re­form and open­ing up can be so suc­cess­ful is that Be­jing and Wash­ing­ton re­al­ized the nor­mal­iza­tion of diplo­matic re­la­tion­ships since the 1970s. So we share a rea­son­ably peace­ful in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment so that we can fo­cus on our eco­nomic con­struc­tion. But the nor­mal­iza­tion of diplo­matic re­la­tion­ships be­tween China and the US and China and the Western world is not a gift from the lat­ter, but a re­sult of in­ter­ac­tion be­tween China and the Western world. Speak­ing of the change of in­ter­na­tional or­der, we have fo­cused on the big pow­ers and coun­tries, but I think we should fo­cus more on de­vel­op­ing and Mid­dle Eastern coun­tries.

Ding Yi­fan, Re­searcher of the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the State Coun­cil

When China first launched its ini­tia­tive of Belt and Road, it re­ceived crit­i­cism and sus­pi­cion around the world. So, peo­ple thought that China might have hid­den some­thing be­hind the bor­der ini­tia­tive. But China’s phi­los­o­phy is very sim­ple. China is liv­ing in a glob­al­ized world. If the global econ­omy or global at­mos­phere is threat­ened by a lot of things, like cli­mate change, lack of in­vest­ment and so on the sit­u­a­tion could worsen. The only so­lu­tion of these global is­sues is to lend a hand to those coun­tries in dif­fi­culty. China would be bet­ter off only if its neigh­bor­ing coun­tries are bet­ter, and that’s why China’s pro­posed Belt and Road ini­tia­tive was ini­tially mainly fo­cused on its neigh­bor­ing coun­tries, the tra­di­tional coun­tries lo­cated on the an­cient Silk Road. It started like this and then for the past three or five years, the pro­ject has made re­mark­able progress in all these coun­tries. If you look at global eco­nomic growth, you will find that those coun­tries along the Silk Road are grow­ing faster. It is mainly be­cause of Chi­nese ini­tia­tive.

Geir O. Ped­er­sen, Nor­we­gian Am­bas­sador to China

It is ob­vi­ous that we see the rel­a­tive de­cline of the US, and that’s sure in its econ­omy. When China opened up in 1978, it was per­haps one to three per­cent of the world econ­omy, and to­day it’s closer to 17 per­cent while the US part of the econ­omy has de­clined. Ob­vi­ously, there is no com­peti-

to tion the mil­i­tary field. when it comes The third as­pect is soft power. My opin­ion, my Chi­nese friends may dis­agree, is that in this arena there is re­ally no com­pe­ti­tion, but with one im­por­tant as­pect miss­ing and that is the lead­er­ship of Mr Trump in the US. In my per­sonal opin­ion, I think that has tremen­dously in­flu­enced how we see the US. The State of the Union shows a very di­vided US, a US that is strug­gling to come to terms both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. Mean­while, we see China that is in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent in its do­mes­tic de­vel­op­ment, in its re­la­tion­ship to its neigh­bors and its role within in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions. But then the big ques­tion is we hear the right things from China but will China, as a ris­ing power, stick to its prin­ci­ples as they said, or will it be­have like the US has through­out his­tory – say many of the right things but act dif­fer­ently?

José Au­gusto Duarte, Por­tuguese Am­bas­sador to China

China is not the not the only coun­try to achieve tremen­dous rev­o­lu­tion through re­form and open­ing up; my coun­try has gone through rev­o­lu­tions as well in re­cent his­tory. Ma­te­ri­ally and so­cially, we have much more than we had 40 years ago. So, I think all the fields and all generations have their own chal­lenges. But that’s the beauty of a gen­er­a­tion is to have a chal­lenge and the op­por­tu­nity also to build and break the pyra­mid of a civ­i­liza­tion or the in­ter­na­tional or­der. So, I think the changes that we are fac­ing in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity are a part of life. His­tory and geo pol­i­tics never years. were com­pletely sta­ble for that many long

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