Home / International / Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
When 'smart power' meets 'harmony' philosophy
Adjust font size:

Addressing an audience at the Asia Society on Friday on the eve of her Asian trip, which includes a visit to China on Feb. 20-22, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated that Washington will use "smart power" to work with historic allies and emerging nations to address common global problems.

"Smart Power" is a new concept she has brought to U.S. foreign policy. It bears hope the United States can change its image in the world.

She said at the Senate confirmation hearing on her appointment in January that the Obama administration must use what has been called "smart power": the full range of tools -- diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural -- "picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation" when dealing with international issues.

During the same hearing, Clinton pledged to set a positive and cooperative relationship with China, "one where we deepen and strengthen our ties on a number of issues, and candidly address differences where they persist."

In her Friday speech, Clinton devoted much to China-U.S. relations, saying Washington believes it is "in our interest" to work harder to build on areas of common concerns and shared opportunities with China.

She cited a Chinese saying that "when you are in a common boat, you need to cross the river peacefully together," adding she believes this ancient Chinese wisdom must continue to guide both countries today.

The saying could also be a reflection of the "harmony" philosophy, which not only the Chinese culture, but also China's foreign policy, is saturated with.

The tradition of the "harmony" philosophy, emphasizing coordination, combination, integration and peace among different elements, could be traced to thousands of years ago. Philosopher Confucius (551 B.C. to 479 B.C.) expounded the philosophical concept -- "a world is full of differences and contradictions, but the righteous man should balance them and achieve harmony."

The main goal of China's foreign policy is defined as "building a harmonious world," and the country is making great efforts in coexisting and cooperating with all other countries and maintaining world peace.

As China and the United States are both important to each other and key players in the global arena, the China-U.S. relationship is undoubtedly vital to the world's harmony. So it is attached great importance not only by Chinese and Americans but the whole world.

"Even with our differences, the United States will remain committed to pursuing a positive relationship with China, one that we believe is essential to America's future peace, progress and prosperity," Clinton said on Friday.

President Barack Obama in his first telephone conversation with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Jan. 30, said the U.S. side is willing to develop a more active and constructive bilateral relationship with China.

Despite differences, China and the United States have a wide range of issues to cooperate on, such as keeping sound economic growth amid the global financial crisis, maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East, and other regions in the world, and protecting the environment.

Just as President Hu said in his telephone conversation with Obama, China is willing to strengthen dialogue, promote mutual trust and expand cooperation with the United States to confront various global challenges.

When "smart power" meets "harmony" philosophy, the world could be better if both the Chinese and U.S. sides stick to the path of cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency February 15, 2009)


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
- Hillary Clinton's Asian tour meaningful
- Clinton highlights Asia, China in first major speech
- Hillary Clinton to visit China during her Asian tour in February