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Improving crisis management

By Zhang Tuosheng | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-03 08:17

China must strengthen its ability to prevent, prepare for, manage and control frictions with other countries

China has run into more security challenges and greater international pressure in recent years, and this means there will be frequent frictions with the outside world. However, this is a necessary stage for a rising country. Whether China can handle the intensifying frictions and stick to its path of peaceful development, presents a challenge that must be clearly answered with deeds rather than words.

So what measures can China take?

First, China must stick to the effective foreign policies adopted since reform and opening-up; mainly the foreign policy of peace initiated by Deng Xiaoping. But this should be adapted to meet changing circumstances.

The 2011 white paper titled "China's Peaceful Development" was a solemn declaration of the Chinese government to its people and the world community of this principle. According to the white paper, China believes that the world is now "a community of common destiny in which the members are closely interconnected", that "no one would emerge victorious in an all-out conflict between big powers", that foreign relations should be developed from the perspective of a community of common destiny and by "sharing weal and woe and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation", and that "China's overall goal of pursuing peaceful development is to promote development and harmony domestically and pursue cooperation and peace internationally".

These ideas and concepts are of particular significance and must be put into practice.

In the white paper, China formally defined its core interests, an act of great significance to the safeguarding and development of its national interests. Such a definition, however, has been interpreted in a variety of ways and provoked a great deal of discussion. People, both at home and abroad, have been giving generalized interpretations. Some have even seen it as drawing a red line, which, if crossed, would trigger the use of force. Such an interpretation is obviously one-sided and harmful.

Core interests are those critical interests that bear on overall national survival and development and must thus be firmly defended. As to the scope of core interests, it is better to be narrow rather than broad. To safeguard core interests, comprehensive means should be used, a military response may only be the last option. In order to better safeguard national interests, it is necessary for China to define and declare its core interests more precisely.

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