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Peaceful diplomacy boosts China's image
China Daily  Updated: 2006-01-11 05:53

China has presented a dazzling diplomatic image to the world in the past year, said Wu Jianmin, president of Foreign Affairs College, in an interview with Beijing News.

By adhering to the peaceful development ideology, the country has garnered a lot of diplomatic achievements in all dimensions, according to Wu.

Through hard work of the whole nation, China's national strength has achieved outstanding growth. While bringing a lot of benefits to other countries, China's fast-paced development has also brought certain impacts upon their economies, and some nations are concerned with the so-called "China threat."

However, these impacts have not been brought about merely by the Chinese, Wu emphasized.

In the globalization era, the global economy is undergoing profound structural adjustments and all members in the world community should embrace the impacts brought about by the irreversible tendency.

Due to globalization, tens of millions of Chinese workers have been laid off. As a world member, the country must adapt itself to the new situation, and so must other members.

Historical experience tells us that at any time when a new power emerges, there will always be worries and misgivings that arise from other players, who already hold dominating seats in the established power arrangement.

Thus, efforts to build mutual trust with other countries are badly needed. However, this will be a long process, Wu said in the interview.

At a high-level academic dialogue between China and the United States in November, scholars and veteran diplomats from the two nations gathered and discussed significant issues of common concern, deepening their understanding about each other's national interests.

Over the past 27 years since China adopted the reform and opening-up initiative, what has featured China's development most is its sharing with other world members the benefits brought by its marvellous economic growth.

For instance, in 1980, the total foreign direct investment (FDI) volume in China was only US$1 billion, while investments in Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK) were respectively US$3.3 billion and US$1.3 billion.

The figures in the three nations in 2004, however, were respectively US$560 billion, US$96 billion and US$56 billion.

Take another example. In 2004, the overall economic volume of the United States was about 28 to 29 per cent of the world's total, and the superpower's contribution to the world's economic growth was 35.7 per cent. However, China contributed as much as 23.6 per cent in the same year to the world's economic growth, but with only one-seventh of the US economy.

The great progress China has made in the economic domain is inseparable from its co-operation with the outside world.

Under this logic, the more developed China becomes economically, the more interdependent it becomes with other nations, said Wu.

People should still remember Chinese great navigator Zheng He's seven western voyages during 1405-1433. At that time, China enjoyed an overwhelming economic, military, technological, and cultural advantage over other nations. However, the nation held no intention of conquering the world.

The cultural essence of China decides that the country will not be an aggressor at any time.

Through the idea of peaceful diplomacy and making friends with all countries, China has achieved marked success in developing relations with neighbouring countries, with the exception of Japan, according to Wu.

With its active participation and pushing, the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and ROK issued a joint declaration in Kuala Lumpur, committing themselves to constructing an East Asian community.

Under the context of globalization and regional integration and at a time when Asian integration has been lagging behind other regions, the event undoubtedly bore a historical significance.

The first-ever East Asian Summit, which was held in Kuala Lumpur in November and aimed at mapping out the prospect of Asian integration, attracted worldwide attention. It also absorbed participation of non-East Asian members of India, Australia and New Zealand.

China advocates the bloc should be built in the manner of complete openness.

Without active efforts from China, the fastest-growing major economy, Asian countries would have had more difficulty achieving such a great breakthrough in their process of regional integration.

A closer East Asian bloc will also provide a wider diplomatic platform for China and Asian neighbours to discuss issues of common concern and pursue further development.

As the host nation, China has also deeply impressed the world community with its hard work and wisdom in tackling the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Under China's active brokering, the Six-Party Talks aimed at defusing the nuclear tension have made a stride forward.

At the latest round of talks, the participants finally issued a document in the manner of a joint announcement, an obvious progress compared with the previous rounds of talks.

In the past year, the country's co-operative relations with neighbours within other regional blocs, such as the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, have also made a tangible headway, Wu told the paper.

As regards its relations with world's major powers, China has also made noteworthy headway over the past year.

Last year, US President George W. Bush made his third visit to China, the most by a US president. Including other international occasions, he and Chinese President Hu Jintao have had five meetings in a single year.

Such a high frequency of meetings between the heads of two influential powers demonstrates the great importance the two countries attach to relations with each other, said Wu.

The country's relations with the European Union (EU) made a larger stride forward in the past year.

With both advocating multilateralism in the international arena and enjoying economic complementariness, China and EU members have maintained and carried forward long-standing momentum in bilateral ties.

In particular, the two have carried out fruitful co-operation in the high-tech field.

For instance, at a recent visit to France by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, a big deal was reached that China would purchase 150 Airbuses from the EU, and the Airbus corporation also agreed to build a production line in China, a significant move towards deepening high-tech co-operation between the two sides.

At multilateral occasions, the country's diplomatic efforts have also harvested good results, such as on the reform of the United Nations, Wu concluded.

(China Daily 01/11/2006 page4)

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