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Should China abandon its conservative foreign policy?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-4-26 10:34:52 |Display all floors
China can become a beacon for the world -- if it trades in its conservative foreign policy for one that emphasizes universal values.
BY DENG YUWEN | APRIL 23, 2013
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With Xi Jinping's elevation to the presidency in March, China's leadership transition is now complete. Yet Beijing still has not elevated foreign affairs to the top level of decision making -- it still prioritizes its domestic situation, even though China is the world's second-largest economy, with interests that stretch across the globe.

Indeed, China remains constrained by its own internal problems, including the rise of nationalism; defects in democracy and human rights; lagging political reform; an unbalanced economy; and the dangers posed by a society in transformation. These problems mold Beijing's current conservative foreign policy, which focuses on avoiding problems. When a problem happens, China's Foreign Ministry mobilizes all of its resources to extinguish it -- the same strategy it deploys with domestic affairs.

The two areas are closely intertwined. Effective diplomacy can create an external environment that would help China solve its domestic problems -- but a lot needs to be done. China's leadership should closely reexamine its principles, methods, and policies, and create a Chinese foreign policy that actually works. To do so, Beijing needs to reevaluate its view of international development and toss out former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's axiom of "keeping a low profile and hiding one's brightness."


Since economic reforms began in 1978, China has claimed "peaceful development" -- a term that means seeking domestic development and harmony -- with international cooperation and peaceas a foreign policy goal. But this is a doctrine better suited for the Cold War era. Back then, the U.S.-Soviet struggle for hegemony pushed the world to the brink of war,while poor countries in the global south like China only wanted a peaceful environment in which to develop. But the Soviet Union is gone, the United States has declined, and China has become a sophisticated world power: "peace" and "development" in foreign policy sounds as anachronistic as it is obvious. People everywhere always hope for peace and development -- China saying it adds nothing new.

Deng's policy had a special history. After 1989, China urgently needed to join the international system, so developed countries could provide it with the resources, technology, and market it needed to build its economy. As a country the West viewed with distrust, it had to hide its brightness.

But now, China is one of the world's most important powers. Relations between China and its neighbors, and with the United States, are growing increasingly tense because they are having difficulty adjusting to China's rise. China can't "hide its brightness," just like an elephant can't hide behind a tree. The more Beijing says that it can, the more it breeds mistrust.
Beijing's international economic affairs policy, meanwhile, lacks principles. It needs to stop emphasizing profit and ignoring justice, and start emphasizing both. Its diplomacy now serves the domestic economy. As a country with a relatively low per capita income, and a relatively large number of poor people, that is necessary, for now. But economic diplomacy doesn't mean ignoring human justice, or some of the most basic international moralities. Beijing has been giving up the moral high ground when it should have been holding fast to it.

Yes, Third World countries should be allowed to prioritize "peaceful development." And Beijing's advocacy of this concept has been a useful counterweight to the West's aggressive human rights diplomacy. However, when large-scale human rights violations erupt around the world, development has to give way to human rights. At the very least, the two should be equally important.

Beijing maintains that it adheres to a policy of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, because otherwise it won't be able to fight back when the West interferes in China's domestic affairs. But Beijing should not stop eating for fear of choking. Western countries' interference inside China doesn't go beyond talking -- China is now a large power, not a small one, and it has enough methods and resources to fight back. Moreover, even if Beijing advocates non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs, Western countries will continue to criticize China over human rights and other issues. China, therefore, should interfere in other countries' internal affairs: expressing concern when they severely violate human rights, and using its influence to push for improvement -- but not pushing for regime change like the West does. This would create a new, better image for China -- that although Beijing cares about human rights, it won't use human rights as an excuse to mask other interests.

If China wants to become a leader, and not just a follower of the international system, it needs to provide the world with an acceptable and universal set of values and doctrines and refine its reform experience into values and paradigms that can be reproduced and promoted throughout the world. Chinese Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping has recently spoken of a "Chinese Dream:"the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Beijing can make that an important part of its international public diplomacy. But for the international version to work it needs to remove the ideology particular to China -- instead focusing on universal values of openness and tolerance, so that people from other countries will be inspired to realize their own dreams.

China can become a beacon for the world -- it just has to let its light shine.

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Post time 2013-4-26 10:43:19 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-4-26 10:51

The first step China can take in getting involved in international peace is to make sure that Japan sticks to its Instrument of Surrender of 1945 and stop re-invading islands that it once invaded and then lost when it surrendered in 1945.  Once Japanese aggression is contained, peace in the rest of East Asia will be easy to achieve.  Alternatively, if Japan insists on reneging on its terms of surrender, then China must be prepared, as Truman was, to deliver on its promises as spelled out in the Potsdam Proclamation, that the alternative to Japanese surrender to its WWII enemies is "prompt and utter destruction".  Anyone who does not have the guts of Truman has no business leading China in the 21st century.  As they say, follow the leader, and the leader is Truman.  

There is no reason for China to sacrifice ten million men in invading Japan on its beaches.  Japan does not deserve it, and China does not have that many soldiers to begin with.  Of course, war is ugly, it is never to be embarked on lightly.  But if Japan re-declares war on China at Diaoyudao, for example, does China have any choice at all?  Does China have ANY choice but to accept the war waged on it, just as FDR bravely accepted the Japanese challenge after Pearl Harbor, despite starting off the Pacific War with a crippled Seventh Fleet, and the loss of its sole colony and base in the Far East, the Philippines, including its entire fleet of air planes in the Philippines, plus tens of thousands of American GI's forced to march to their death from Bataan to their hellish concentration camp in the jungles of Luzon.

The day that Japan kills another Chinaman on Chinese soil or in Chinese waters will be Japan's Second and Final Day of Infamy.

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Post time 2013-4-26 10:55:54 |Display all floors
TRUMAN, INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY, ONCE SAVED CHINA FROM THE JAPANESE, NOW CHINA MUST SAVE ITSELF FROM A RE-MILITARIZED RE-NAZIFIED SHINTO-CULT WAR-CRIMINAL-WORSHIPPING MODERN JAPAN ARMED TO THE TEETH WITH THE NEWEST WESTERN WEAPONS, THAT CONSIDERS ITS MASSACRE OF 35 MILLION INNOCENT CHINESE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, A PART OF ITS PROUD HISTORY AND TRADITION.

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Post time 2013-4-27 06:57:10 |Display all floors
China need to install military bases in South, Central, and North America to help the U.S. maintain security  in the region.
I am an Asian American. I came to Chinadaily forum hoping to share my experience, knowledge, and my point of view. And in return I want to get the same in return from friends from around the world.

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Post time 2013-4-27 07:04:38 |Display all floors
Hmoonhistorian Post time: 2013-4-26 14:57
China need to install military bases in South, Central, and North America to help the U.S. maintain  ...

Very good idea. Then the defects of democracy in the west might be corrected.
The people of the west would then be given a real choice.
Today the choice is candidate for the rich capitalist #1 and candidate for the rich capitalist #2.
If China had more influence in the west then we in the west might finally be given a choice between
candidate for the rich capitalist and candidate for the people who do all the work.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2013-4-27 07:05:50 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-4-27 07:13

ABE CHAMPIONS IMPERIAL JAPANESE BARBARISM WITH WESTERN SUPPORT - NOW IS CHINA'S TURN TO IMPLEMENT THE POTSDAM PROCLAMATION ACCORDING TO ITS OWN MEANS AND CAPABILITIES - THANK HEAVENS FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO RIGHT ALL THE WRONGS OF JAPAN ON 35 MILLION INNOCENT CHINESE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

The showdown with Japan over its imperial crimes against Chinese humanity, repeat "Chinese humanity", in case any western apologists for Abe should dare trivialize the sufferings and loss of lives of China under Japanese invasion, repeat "invasion", which Abe and Murayama now join hands in denying as having any objective meaning, cannot be avoided.  Avoiding what cannot be avoided is self-delusional and self-defeating, not to speak of self-demeaning.  Japan's challenge to China is, "Dare you fight like a man?"

If China says, "Let's negotiate", then China has no men, only women and eunuchs.

There is no turning back from Japanese wholesale denial of the CHINESE HOLOCAUST that it caused, numbering nearly six times the JEWISH HOLOCAUST in Europe, in sheer size alone, not to speak of the far greater suffering of dying by beheading, bayoneting, torture and biological experimentation that the Chinese and Korean peoples were subjected to.  Any denier of the CHINESE HOLOCAUST must be a dyed-in-the-wool NAZI speaking underneath the sheepskin of democracy and freedom.

Post-war Japan literally got away with the murder of 35 million innocent Chinese, on the strength of the Allied occupation authority over Japan, promising Japan will forever be a peaceful country, and will forever repent of its atrocities against the Chinese and Korean peoples.

Now, like the dog returning to its vomit, Japan has proven it is incapable of repentance and reform.  What a blessing it is that the Heavens looked with pity of the millions of Chinese dead whose brutal torture, rape and murder would otherwise have been swept under the carpet of a fake de-Nazification program that instead resurrected the Imperial Japanese regime, to fight one more time against China and Korea.  Thank Heavens, China has a SECOND CHANCE to face Japan in a final showdown, using her own arms, her own people, and on her own terms.



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Post time 2013-4-27 07:44:39 |Display all floors
Is it any wonder your neighbors question the true intentions of china's "peaceful rise"?
Don't tread on me

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