Home / International / International -- Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Embrace Golden Century of Peaceful Prosperity
Adjust font size:

By Yu Sui

China has been developing and perfecting its international strategies and foreign policies to facilitate its efforts to build socialism with Chinese characteristics and has formed an almost complete system since implementing the policy of reform and opening up to the world.

By studying the global situation, Chinese leaders have adopted basic viewpoints, which serve well as guidelines.

A dominant characteristic of world affairs in the half-century before and after World War II is the militarization of politics. The world witnessed many wars and revolutions throughout the years, making "war and revolution" a fitting theme of that era. As the global situation evolved, people of all countries began demanding ever more urgently a peaceful environment for rebuilding the society, economic development and raising people's living standards. In the mid-1980s, China identified the theme of the time as "peace and development" and is still of the view today. The nation has been pursuing peace, development and co-operation accordingly.

War and peace: Chinese leaders concluded in the mid-1980s that it was possible to avoid a large-scale world war for a relatively long period of time and adjusted the nation's international strategies accordingly, so as to focus as much energy as possible on its reforms, opening and the modernization drive. Later, they characterized the global situation as regional tensions amid overall detente; regional wars amid overall peace and regional unrest amid overall stability.

Structure of the world: This refers to the multi-polar structure of the world, globalization of the world economy and diversified development patterns. The Chinese leadership believes that multi-polarism is growing, albeit in twists and turns, that economic globalization is a "double-edged sword" and that diversified development patterns represent mutual recognition among different civilizations, which can learn from one another.

World order: China believes that all nations, big or small, strong or weak and rich or poor, should be equal as sovereign states and participate in international affairs together. They should discard the Cold-War mentality, solve international disputes or conflicts through peaceful means, never use or threaten to use force against one another and seek to build a new world order characterized by peace, stability, justice and reason.

Social systems: The Chinese leaders have renounced the old thinking that categorically separates socialism from capitalism and adopted the stand that socialism (at its initial stage or beyond) must utilize all achievements made by the human society in the capitalist period of development and the two social systems can co-exist. The capitalist world is by far the main purveyor of high- and new-technology and knowledge-centric economy. A threat to socialism as it is, capitalism suffers some defects that are in fact advantages for socialism in competition against capitalism.

China has to embrace the whole world for its development. To join the rest of the world, it must first know the world as well as itself. This knowledge covers the following:

Self recognition: China is, at the same time, a major and minor power, one that is in a hurry to become a bona fide major power with advanced productivity and culture and still at the initial stage of socialist development. China is also a developing country with an enormous population and inadequate economic foundation.

The theory about "the initial stage of socialism" serves as the basis for the formulation of China's domestic development strategy, while that of being a "developing country" is basis for the formulation of international strategy and foreign policies.

Diversified world and democratized international relations: The diversity of civilizations in various countries is a fundamental characteristic of the human society and the power that drives human civilization forward. Civilizations and social systems should learn while competing against one another and develop together by seeking common ground without losing their uniqueness. The democratization of international relations requires all countries to follow the universally recognized basic rules governing foreign relations as well as the aim and principles of the United Nations Charter. The democratization of international relations and diversification of the world are connected.

Interaction between individual nations: Competition and co-operation co-exist between individual nations just as frictions and compromises do. Nations should step up dialogue and negotiation to gauge the kind of interactive relationship characterized by universal benefit, non-hostility and mutual assistance. For the handling of its foreign relations, China follows the principles of national interest, equality and mutual benefit, anti-hegemony, non-alignment, no ideological discrimination, joint development, working for the future and supporting the United Nations' central role.

Opportunities and challenges co-exist: National interests demand an optimized international environment to maximize opportunities and deal with challenges. Challenges can be turned into opportunities when the right strategies are applied appropriately; otherwise opportunities could become challenges.

"Seize the opportunities, deepen the reforms, expand the scope of opening to the outside world, maintain stability and gear up development" is China's adopted guiding principle.

Since economic reforms began in 1979, China has gained some new experience in handling foreign affairs as seen in the methodology the country has been refining, which is best illustrated in the following aspects:

The relationship between national interest and contribution to mankind: Upholding the principle of national interest does not interfere with or counter the belief that "China should make considerable contributions to mankind."

China is a developing country. But that does not prevent it from supporting the just causes of the international community as best it can. The nation always seeks to create "win-win" or "all-win" situations in foreign relations maneuvering, while steadfastly guarding its own interest.

The relationship between developed and developing countries as seen in China's foreign strategy: China stands firmly in the ranks of developing countries, supporting one another with seamless teamwork to safeguard their rights and interests against any form of power politics.

At the same time, China also attaches importance to developing and improving its relations with developed countries according to the principle of not letting the differences in social system and ideology stand in the way of expanding the meeting point of their common interests and appropriately resolving any difference on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

The relationship between non-alignment and strategic co-operation: China is pushing for all-round strategic co-operation with friendly countries without forming the Cold War-style alliance.

It also emphasizes that the nature of healthy bilateral ties means no design against third countries, the sound handling of a three-party relationship must not pit any two against one and that gang politics is a way backward.

The nation advocates "mutual trust, mutual benefit; equality and co-operation" as well as "respect for different civilizations and desire for joint development."

It also calls for the construction of a harmonious world, or harmonious regions, with "lasting peace" and "common prosperity" in mind. All this is born of the Chinese traditional wisdom that "peace is gold."

The relationship between unequivocal principles and flexible strategies: China sticks to its principles while seeking common ground with other countries by sidelining differences. It also actively develops bilateral ties with other countries in the belief that mutual trust benefits security and mutual benefit enables co-operation.

All said, China's forward-looking foreign strategies are based on independence and self-determination, a peaceful nature and the desire to advance with the times.

The author is a senior research fellow of Research Centre of Contemporary World.

(China Daily September 4, 2006)


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
China Committed to Peaceful Development
Nation Becomes Land of Opportunity
China Plays Positive Role in Int'l Community
China Seeks to Promote a Harmonious World: Expert
China's Peaceful Rise Benefits World: Scholar
China to Be Mainstay for Peace After Peaceful Rise
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号