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劉廼強 | 28th Oct 2009 | China Daily | (41 Reads)

In rejecting G2 to replace G8, China paved the way for the full recognition of G20 as the new global economic forum. This demonstrates once again that China has no desire for dominance even when the role is thrust upon it, as this is in line with traditional Chinese thinking inherited from Lao Tze more than 2,000 years ago.

However, among the G20 China cannot help but shine as an emerging power and the leader among developing countries. This is destined to be China's new position in the international community. Everybody is watching how China would perform in this capacity, but the country still needs getting used to this recent role and its accompanying responsibilities.

Not many people fully appreciate what it means to be a world power, and what it takes to be one. This statement applies to the Chinese people as much as all others. For example, the United States government wants China to act as a "responsible stakeholder", and some in this country echo this view. Little do they realize that should China take up this prescribed role, it would have to behave in such a way to satisfy the criteria of a responsible stakeholder laid down by the US. In short, China will then become part of Pax Americana, and as a result it cannot qualify as a true international power.

That, perhaps, explains why the Chinese government never accepted the "responsible stakeholder" role. China has always been acting in a most responsible manner all along, but in many instances not to the US liking. To Western powers, China never falls in line. But that is China, never content to be a second liner, and aspiring to regain its position as a world power.

Even when China was downright weak and poor, out of national pride, it refused to be subservient to any super-power. It paid a hefty price when Russian expert advisers deserted the country in the late 1950s when Mao Zedong declined to take orders from Stalin. To date, no one blames Mao for making this decision and there is no regret.

To put it more directly, being an international power means not having to follow rules laid down by others. More than that, as an international power it creates rules and institutions. This is what it means to be a world power, and that is how China will behave in this new role.

To the West, I pull a gun at you, and you accept my rules, and that is all it takes to be a world power. Throughout most of recorded history, China has been a world power, but never achieved this prominence through bullying. It did use military force for sure, but invariably in defending its territories and people from neighboring tribes. Its boundaries were expanded by fending off invaders and being garrisoned behind the Great Wall.

China's increasing role in international affairs is because other countries want it to do so. China unwillingly took up the leading role in the Six-Party Talk on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, because all the other five countries desperately need China's participation. Time and again it was China which broke the various deadlocks during the long and tedious negotiations. Recently, Kim Jong-il, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), wanted to throw away the six-party structure and have direct negotiation with the US, but the latter insisted bilateral talks have to be undertaken within the old framework. Again it took Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to end the stalemate and extract a conditional return to the talks from DPRK.

China wins friends in the Third World because through decades of ups and downs, it has proved itself a loyal friend, treating those countries as equals. The Chinese know what it is to be weak and poor because we have been there before. Our assistance to our Third World brothers is out of empathy and not condescension and self-interest. That is why we always give them what they need, not what we want; in many instances unconditionally and without imposing our values and judgment on them. Even today when China's achievement in national building and economic development is acclaimed worldwide, and many countries try to emulate its success, it repeatedly refused to accept that there is a Chinese model applicable to other countries.

On the other hand, China is open to sharing its developmental experience. China does not want to be rich and prosperous by itself at the expense of everybody else. This is in line with the Confucian philosophy of tui ji ji ren, or doing unto others what one wants to be done unto oneself. According to Deng Xiaoping, socialism is everybody getting rich together.

This is what it takes to be a world power, at least according to the Chinese thinking. This is in line with Chinese wisdom to win international respect through virtue, not coercion. A leader is supposed to take care of the rest, not bully and exploit them. And, that is why China condemns hegemony, because following the traditional Chinese code of conduct this is not the right way to achieve the status of world power or superpower.

The above is a very rough outline of the vision of the harmonious world the Chinese leaders are now trying to construct. It is clear that this is going to be a totally different world from what the West has been building for the past 300 years. From now on, as the new leader in town, China will have more say in drawing up the blueprint for the world's future.


[1] 16 May defacto referendum

Legco councillors returned by the functional constituencies, being the running dogs of the HK tycoons, are the root causes of the prevailing social injustic. Together with the DAB dogs, they ensured the adoption of every bill chanelling interests to the commercial sector. CY Leung recently said he was not in favour of abolition of the functional constituencies. For such outright partiality, Leung should delay no more to resign as Execo convenor. Remember to vote on 16 May


[引用] | 作者 Tong Ying Lin Lin | 19th Apr 2010 | [舉報垃圾留言]