Stick to the path of peace­ful devel­op­ment

The Pak Banker - - Editorial5 - Dai Bing­guo

We want to be a good friend, good neigh­bor and good part­ner of ASEAN and all coun­tries in Asia. The bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ments we have signed with Asian coun­tries do not have a sin­gle ar­ti­cle that is ex­clu­sive. We are open to re­gional co­op­er­a­tion and our in­ten­tions are trans­par­ent and good. We hope that what other coun­tries do in Asia is not aimed to keep off, con­tain or harm China. We hope that what they say and do at our gate or in this re­gion where the Chi­nese peo­ple have lived for thou­sands of years is also well in­ten­tioned and trans­par­ent. Take China's devel­op­ment as an op­por­tu­nity and seize it, and one stands to ben­e­fit. Doubt China's re­gional and in­ter­na­tional strate­gic in­ten­tions and fo­cus on find­ing fault and mak­ing trou­ble, and one will lose the good op­por­tu­nity to co­op­er­ate with China. The at­tempts to team up to counter or con­tain China and the prac­tices of sow­ing dis­cords be­tween coun­tries in the re­gion and con­duct­ing joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises in China's ad­ja­cent wa­ters are a clear demon­stra­tion of the Cold War men­tal­ity. It is out of date and can­not stop China's ad­vances. It can only lead to the loss of the his­tor­i­cal op­por­tu­nity of de­vel­op­ing co­op­er­a­tion with China. It is doomed to fail­ure.

Some peo­ple mis­in­ter­pret the Chi­nese id­iom "keep a low pro­file and make due con­tri­bu­tions". They take China's an­nounce­ment of a peace­ful devel­op­ment path as a smoke­screen for its real in­ten­tion be­fore it gets strong enough. This is ground­less sus­pi­cion. That Chi­nese id­iom was quoted from Com­rade Deng Xiaop­ing's re­marks from late 1980s to early 1990s, say­ing that China should keep mod­est and pru­dent, not serve as oth­ers' leader or a stan­dard bearer and not seek ex­pan­sion or hege­mony. This is con­sis­tent with the idea of the path of peace­ful devel­op­ment.

In short, the Chi­nese is a good-will and re­spon­si­ble nation. We re­spect oth­ers, but do not al­low oth­ers to bully us. We are de­vel­op­ing so­cial­ist democ­racy based on our na­tional con­di­tions. We value, re­spect and pro­tect hu­man rights. We may en­counter many dif­fi­cul­ties on our way for­ward, but we will never wa­ver in re­form and open­ing-up. We will al­ways keep an open mind and learn from oth­ers. In our re­la­tions with other coun­tries, we will seek equal­ity, har­mo­nious co-ex­is­tence, mu­tual ben­e­fit and com­mon devel­op­ment. Ours is a coun­try that fol­lows the path of peace­ful devel­op­ment and treats oth­ers with can­dor and sin­cer­ity. The world may feel re­as­sured and con­fi­dent in deal­ing with such a coun­try as China.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should wel­come China's peace­ful devel­op­ment rather than fear it, help rather than hin­der it and sup­port rather than con­strain its ef­fort. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should un­der­stand and re­spect China's le­git­i­mate in­ter­ests and con­cerns in the course of its peace­ful devel­op­ment.

6: How will a fast de­vel­op­ing China han­dle its re­la­tions with other coun­tries?

As a Chi­nese say­ing goes, "Scoop­ing rice from the same pot, the la­dles may in­evitably knock against each other". As we live in a global vil­lage, fric­tions and clashes of var­i­ous kinds are in­evitable. It is noth­ing alarm­ing. What mat­ters is the prin­ci­ples that one fol­lows in try­ing to tackle the prob­lems: A tit-for-tat tac­tic or mak­ing a fuss of a mi­nor prob­lem, or rather, a to­tally dif­fer­ent ap­proach? We have our ba­sic prin­ci­ples in our ex­ter­nal re­la­tions, which have proven ef­fec­tive over the past decades. First, we fol­low the Five Prin­ci­ples of Peace­ful Co-ex­is­tence. To be spe­cific, we re­ject in­ter­fer­ence in oth­ers' in­ter­nal af­fairs and the use or threat of use of force and we do not en­ter into al­liance with any coun­try. Sec­ond, we fol­low the win-win strat­egy of openingup and never adopt the beg­gar-thy-neigh­bor pol­icy. We value, de­velop and pro­tect com­mon in­ter­ests and strive to make the pie of com­mon in­ter­ests big­ger and bet­ter. Third, we stand for set­tle­ment of dis­putes and con­flicts through di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion and by seek­ing com­mon ground while shelv­ing dif­fer­ences. That is what we have been do­ing over the past years. We have set up strate­gic di­a­logue and con­sul­ta­tion mech­a­nisms with the United States, Europe, Ja­pan and some emerg­ing coun­tries and have been en­gaged in in-depth ex­change of views with them on im­por­tant over­ar­ch­ing and long-term is­sues con­cern­ing the world sit­u­a­tion and bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. Those dis­cus­sions have helped to en­hance mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and trust, seek strate­gic con­sen­sus, ex­pand com­mon in­ter­ests and re­duce trou­bles and set­backs. For knotty prob­lems, we have pro­posed that they be put aside un­til con­di­tions are ripe for so­lu­tion. Some is­sues can even be left to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Some peo­ple ar­gue that since the Chi­nese govern­ment has never re­nounced the use of force for the set­tle­ment of the Tai­wan ques­tion and China's mil­i­tary spend­ing is grow­ing con­tin­u­ously, it is con­tra­dic­tory to China's state­ment about its path of peace­ful devel­op­ment. In my view, no devel­op­ment path should be cho­sen at the ex­pense of ma­jor na­tional in­ter­ests, core in­ter­ests in par­tic­u­lar. What are China's core in­ter­ests? My per­sonal un­der­stand­ing is: First, China's form of govern­ment and po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and sta­bil­ity, namely the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, the so­cial­ist sys­tem and so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

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