What is Xi Jinping saying in his speeches in Europe?

By Shang Han
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail People's Daily Online, April 4, 2014
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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso welcomes China's President Xi Jinping (L) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels March 31, 2014. [Xinhua]

Chinese president Xi Jinping expressed his views on China- EU relations in his speeches during his recent visit to Europe. He said: "China is a sleeping lion. Today, the lion has woken up. But it is peaceful, pleasant and civilized." He added: "China will not stir up trouble, but we are also not afraid of trouble." The statements sparked a lively debate in the international media.

Xi's speeches have unveiled China's overall strategic thinking in terms of domestic and foreign affairs, and also provided answers to some of the questions that the international public is asking about China. European politicians in particular, through this close interaction with Xi, have been given the opportunity to find the answers to some important questions.

What kind of role will Europe play in China's diplomacy?

Some people said that Europe is no longer so important for the future China. Xi's visits to the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and the headquarters of the EU have refuted this argument. China has a lot to learn from Europe, in areas such as French culture, German industry, and the divisions as well as the cooperation between regional economies, which may become the engines of future growth in China.

Will China change its diplomatic philosophy?

With the fluid situation in the areas around China's own borders, some think that China has altered course from a "low profile" diplomatic philosophy towards aspirations to becoming a regional power. This view has amplified concerns about the current conflicts between China and its neighboring countries, and also led to serious concerns and even suspicions about China's future development.

China's diplomatic philosophy is a strategic necessity and it also comes from the country's traditional culture and philosophy. Xi's speeches served to reaffirm to the world the consistency of China's diplomatic philosophy.

How to deal with a rapidly changing China?

Xi talked about China's reform and the common development of China and Europe, which also conveyed an important message to the world that Europe and the international community can play a role of co-developer in China's reform, and be a stakeholder in the process.

China needs further development that goes beyond GDP growth, but also a reasonable distribution of social wealth, and refinement of social governance. Thanks to the industrial revolution, Europe has rich experience in all these areas. China and Europe can learn from each other and develop in harmony.

As an emerging market, China has a different culture, and different diplomatic and strategic needs; it will choose its own unique path of development. Those are also the important messages that Europe should take from Xi's speeches.

Read the Chinese version:习近平欧洲演讲传递出什么信息; Source:Beijing News.

Edited and translated by Huang Jin, People's Daily Online

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