Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

No Asian Monroe Doctrine

By Zheng Xiwen (China Daily) Updated: 2014-09-29 07:53

China is a responsible regional power committed to consolidating friendship with neighboring nations and mutual cooperation

Some in the international society wearing tinted spectacles recently made a fuss over China's "show of muscle", claiming Beijing is attempting to change the status quo in the East and South China seas by means of force and the violation of international laws.

They have also denounced the new concept of Asian security raised by China as an Asian version of the Monroe Doctrine and said it aims to build a China-dominated new framework for regional security cooperation and even resume the regional order and sphere of influence established by China's imperial dynasties in the past. At the same time, China's efforts to establish development bank for the BRICs countries, an Asian infrastructure construction bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are also alleged to be an attempt to build China-dominated multilateral financial bodies to overthrow the established international and regional financial orders.

All these sensational remarks, filled with misgivings and prejudices, are in essence the latest version of the "China threat". The fact is that, in the long-term interests of itself and the international community, China has consistently made and carried out correct domestic and foreign policies.

Over the 30-plus years since its reform and opening-up, China has successively become an important member of the international political, economic, financial and security systems, such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization, and signed more than 400 multilateral treaties and 23,000 bilateral treaties, making itself an important participant, builder and protector of international laws and rules. As a participant and signatory of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, China consistently advocates the building of a peaceful and tranquil maritime order and the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue.

It is China's stance that the parties concerned should shelve their disputes and promote common development before the disputes are resolved, to maintain regional peace and development. China's border demarcation with Vietnam in the Beibu Bay in 2000, its signing with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002 and its agreement with the Republic of Korea to start talks on sea borders in 2015 have all embodied its responsibilities for maintaining international laws and regional peace. The recent strained relations between China and some Asian countries in the East and South China seas are the result of the provocative actions of these countries.

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