Should China shoulder greater global responsibilities in world affairs?
Quite a few international observers and politicians have evinced such a position, citing China's rising economic clout and growing influence in the international arena.
To this, Chinese leaders have reiterated on many occasions that the nation is indeed willing to consider more international responsibilities in a transforming and inter-linked world. Such international duties should be commensurate with the country's national strength and its international status, they have said.
There is ample evidence to show that China is playing an active role in global matters.
The Shanghai World Expo, now on in full swing, offers a ready example. To assist the developing world in the unprecedented gala, China made available a special corpus worth $100 million, benefiting more than 120 developing nations.
China is a key player in many regional and international initiatives, including the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, G20, the BRIC and Six-Party Talks aimed at defusing the Korean Peninsula nuclear standoff.
The country participates and strives for multilateral consultations and negotiations on gnawing issues affecting regional peace and global security, such as climate change and the safety of nuclear materials worldwide.
As a result, an image of China as a responsible member of our global village is being widely acknowledged.
This will help the developing world defend its interests and garner better say in the international arena. It will also contribute to the building of a multipolar world and a new world order.
On the other hand, national strength and international status should determine the international responsibilities China should accept. Given China's developing country reality and the current West-dominated world order, it is far-fetched, if not ill-timed, to demand that the country undertake duties that are beyond its prowess.
China's newfound influence at the World Bank would help it play a bigger role in this world body. If more such calls should come the country's way, it should be welcomed.
(China Daily 06/17/2010 page8)