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British experts call for balanced views on China
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China and the West have different cultures, but they share some common values, he added.

On human rights, Brendan O'Neill, organizer of the Beijing 2008 -- Challenging China-Bashing Campaign, said the Western countries should not apply double standards in dealing with China's human rights issue.

During the session on environment, Lu Yiyi, research fellow from the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, made a frank statement about water and air pollution faced by China now and briefed the audience on the Scientific Outlook on Development advocated by the Chinese government to address the problem.

Lu's views on China's environmental challenges were shared by three British experts, who described these as issues in the course of the economic growth just like what the British experienced during the industrialization.

They will be resolved with economic prosperity and technology advancement, they said.

As for China's role in the new world order, Philip Cunliffe, a scholar on international relations, suggested that as Chinese people become richer and have more oversea tours, Mandarin might become a global language just as French or Spanish. This is especially true given the fact that China now has the world's largest number of internet surfers.

He also warned that along with China's rise, there will be more friction between China and the West. Any issue, however trivial it seems in China, might be played up out of proportion in the West. But he said that the West should not impose its values on China.

Bill Durodie, associate fellow from the Chatham House, defended China's role in Africa.

China's investment is well-intentioned and the Chinese always get things done and pay promptly," he said.

China is a developing country with "no strings attached to" its aid and investment in Africa, he added.

"Battle for China" debate is part of China Now, a six-month celebration of Chinese culture in Britain in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. The Institute of Ideas, organizer of the annual debates, will run another forum on emerging economies this year.

(Xinhua News Agency July 13, 2008)

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