- Language Tips
This may or may not be coincidence, but Xi Jinping's first meeting with foreigners as general secretary of the Communist Party of China was with foreign experts working in China.
That is a great way to highlight the nation's gratitude to overseas friends who have contributed to its pursuit of prosperity. And an ideal occasion to showcase the desire to befriend the rest of the world.
Those who were invited to sit down with the new CPC chief in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday, and compare notes with him, were but a very few of the foreign experts working for this country. The knowledge, technology, management expertise and new thinking they brought to China are crucial for the country's modernization drive. Their observations of Chinese reality can serve as precious food for thought.
Xi Jinping's emphasis on adhering to the opening-up policy goes paired with emphasis on preserving the willingness to learn. The country's progress in the past 30 years relied on an attitude of modesty, he told the audience, and it will continue to rely on that attitude in order to make further progress in the future.
It was especially impressive that Xi defined the country's cause as opening up to and learning from the rest of the world. That position took a step forward with the 18th CPC National Congress' vision of the country's relationship with the outside world. China's development is not selfish, self-serving at others' expense, or of a zero-sum nature, he stated, and would "absolutely not" be a challenge or threat to other countries and the world.
The statement that China will never seek hegemony, and will "absolutely not" become expansionist is not new from Chinese lips. But Xi's definition of the country's relations with the outside world appeared more illustrative of the constructive approach the CPC has committed to.
The idea of a harmonious world, as an extension of the proposal of the "harmonious society" that the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao duo put forward, embodies the Chinese vision of an ideal new world order. The modesty Xi accentuated testifies to the same longing for world peace at the core of contemporary Chinese foreign policies.
China's cause, according to Xi, is one of cooperating with countries of the world, and seeking win-win solutions. These are not empty words, because China has benefited tremendously from the relatively peaceful environment for more than 30 years, and it knows too well what peace and good neighborly ties means to its further prosperity.
In spite of some countries' recent attempts to distract and demonize China, few countries in the world today are keener on preserving peace than this country is.
Xi's idea to cultivate good feelings at people-to-people levels, again, reflects the wish for rapport between countries. And it is conducive to eliminating misgivings about Chinese intentions.
(China Daily 12/06/2012 page8)