Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

A few things we learned from 2014

By Wu Jianmin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-09 09:59

A few things we learned from 2014

Second, the West-backed "color revolutions" in North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe failed not just by accident. They signal that neither wars nor revolutions have a big role to play in today's world.

In addition, a few basic facts should be learned by those worrying that a war might take place in East Asia. The first is, most regional wars and confrontations occur in the Middle East and North Africa, where the clashes between Arab states and Israel have lasted over 60 years and where the IS extremists control great swathes of Iraq and Syria. Moreover, major powers such as the US do not want another distraction while trying to handle these aforementioned thorny troubles.

In an economic sense, unlike recession-mired Europe, a major victim of the financial crisis in 2008, Asia, especially East Asia, is now acting as an economic engine of the world. A financially capable Asia is no doubt in the interest of countries suffering from unemployment and recession, as well as the near 2.8 billion people in poverty across the globe.

With the significance of peace and cooperation being widely acknowledged by most states, it is vital that they maintain the momentum in the years to come. The fruitful Chinese diplomacy in 2014, epitomized by the Beijing-based Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation week in November, has shown China's determination.

The APEC meetings in Beijing incubated a lot of diplomatic achievements, including a consensus to launch negotiations on a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, and the four-point agreement jointly reached by China and Japan. Besides the meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama, who paid a state visit to China after attending the APEC meetings, also resulted in a consensus to make renewed efforts to forge a new type of major-country relationship and commitments on climate change action.

Thanks to the promising prospects arising from its diplomatic successes in 2014, China will continue to increase its voice in global governance in the coming years.

The author is a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Committee affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, and former Chinese ambassador to France.

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