China will Continue to Rise Peacefully
How has China risen so fast in such a short period of time? What opportunities has this brought to the world? Can China sustain this rise and should the rest of the world feel worried?
China has experienced tremendous changes over the past 70 years. What once was a large but underdeveloped country, has risen to become an economic giant, a technological wizard and an eradicator of poverty.
In recent years, problems faced by the international community have been mounting, such as an energy shortage, environmental pollution and terrorism. In this context, China has continuously deepened its reform and opening-up and gradually strengthened its comprehensive national strengths in economy, technology, diplomacy and culture. Meanwhile, it has actively participated in global governance, promoted the peaceful settlement of various regional disputes, made important contributions to international peacekeeping, and played a key role in addressing global warming and climate change. All of its efforts reflect China’s willingness to take responsibility as a major power and cooperate with other countries to overcome difficulties.
China is increasingly approaching the center of the world stage. So, how has China risen so fast in such a short period of time? What opportunities has this brought to the world? Can China sustain this rise and should the rest of the world feel worried?
These were all questions China Focus posed to fifteen world renowned leaders from politics, academia, media and technology. Find out why former Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt thinks China’s rise has made it the perfect partner, how Lord Davidson, Member of the UK House of Lords, predicts China’s rise will continue and what the special advisor to the president of the Republic of Korea thinks of China’s international involvement.
What Opportunities has China Brought to the World?
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz once met some people from Africa at an airport in China and asked them what they were doing. He found out that these people were here for shopping but not shopping for themselves, for their company back in Africa.
And they told Aziz that if they know there is a new factory opening in China, they will order products from there and then send it back to Africa. “So, China is in a way a universal factory for the world，and now they are having some of their own brands too which will be good. And now they are producing capital goods also. ”
“If you go into the streets of Pakistan and you talk about China, who’s your closest friend in the world? They’ll say China.” He added.
Moon Chung-in, Special Adviser to the President of the Republic of Korea also shared his experience of how China has changed over the last 40 years. “China has risen peacefully, so now we have an expectation that China behaves as a really successful nation.” And he made it clear that “in certain areas, China has been very supportive, like climate change, World Trade Organization, all these kinds of things.”
“Whenever it moves, it shapes the whole global economy, and it takes both sides, including China to recognize this responsibility, and the other side, to adjust the rules around the world. But then also China to accept those newly-formed rules.”
“China is learning, growing into and learning, and realizing that it is not only responsible for itself and for its own citizens. Whenever it moves, its movement is shaking the world around itself, because it is so big. It is the price of success.” Said Gordon Bajnai, former Prime Minister of Hungary.
Is China’s Rise A Threat to Other Countries?
China’s influence is on the rise however there are people in the world who are spreading a new round of rumors on the “China Threat” argument. They make up these sensational stories that China’s rise and its “powerful nation strategy” has caused external hostility or doubts, which is not only completely groundless, but also negated by most of the countries in the world.
Many Western media outlets always describe China’s peaceful rise as a threat to many countries, but Lord Davidson holds a different opinion: “I think China is going to continue along a peaceful rise and not seek out wars or territorial expansion. It’s a peaceful country and doesn’t seem to wish to engage in the kind of wars that have bedeviled, for example Europe, in the past.”
Former Denmark prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has been to China several times, thus her impression about China has grown with every visit. ” I’ve always been personally very fascinated with China. I came to China for the first time in 1986, and spent a few months here, travelling around because I always thought that this amazing nation was somewhere you have to partner up with and be friends with. And I continued that approach when I was prime minister myself.”
“So, I have come back several times as prime minister to China, which was very fruitful because we appreciate the engagement. We don’t always see things the same way and there can be disagreements but I really feel that dialogue is the best way to solve disagreements. And that’s why I always feel that China is a partner. We share the same planet, the same globe. So, we need to partner up.” Said Schmidt.
Dai Min, CEO of the America-China Partnership Foundation says China is not a threat; it’s a misunderstanding. She suggests that China should find more ways, methods and channels for dialogue, to make it known that it is not a threat.