by Xinhua writers Ban Wei, Rao Bo
For those who have watched the panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference on China’s global role, they might get the impression that it has quite a different style, miles away from the heated debates on Syria, Ukraine and the refugee crisis in Europe.
However, it is undeniable that China is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage, and that the country is making great contributions to the improvement of global governance.
At the panel discussion, Fu Ying, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, expounded on China’s role in the world from a strategic point of view.
China is not challenging the existing international order, and China sees itself as part of the UN-based system, including the international institutions and norms, said Fu.
With globalization going deeper and international politics fragmenting, the current world order is being overstretched in providing new and effective solutions to challenges, she said.
In this context, China has proposed mechanisms where the existing international order falls short, such as the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, she said.
These are new public goods China offers and these mechanisms are inclusive and in conformity with UN principles, Fu added.
The different style of China was illustrated by an episode in the session when moderator Sebastian Heilmann, president of the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies, asked if China “has completely lost control” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“That sounds very Western. … We never control other countries and we don’t want to be controlled,” Fu answered with a smile.
Commenting on the live broadcast of the session, Christian Hacke, a Bonn University professor, said China is actually playing a stabilizing role in the troubled world and acting very responsibly.
A hallmark of the Chinese foreign policy is that China does not interfere in other countries’ internal affairs and recognizes differences between countries, Qu Xing, a Chinese scholar of international relations, told Xinhua.
“That means China does not think what is best for me is necessarily best for you, that you must do as I said, and if not, I have to change you, and even use force to overthrow you. That approach has brought many troubles. China is not doing so,” Qu said.
Taking anti-terrorism and the refugee crisis as an example, Qu noted that China believes the fundamental solution lies in development.
“Only by promoting economic development and improving people’s living conditions could the breeding ground for terrorism and root causes of refugee crisis be eliminated,” he said.
China’s approach to promoting world peace and development could be best illustrated by the “Belt and Road” initiative, which was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
The thinking behind the initiative is that if one country only cares about its own development while other countries remain underdeveloped, that would lead to economic inequality and instability, which in turn would undermine one’s own development, Qu explained.
Projects under the “Belt and Road” initiative will bring jobs, investment and economic development for some 60 countries, Qu said, adding that it is a concrete step taken by China toward “building a community of common destiny for all mankind.”
Gu Xuewu, director of the Center for Global Studies of Bonn University, told Xinhua that from a geo-economic point of view, realization of the “Belt and Road” projects could help create economic corridors spanning Asia, Europe and Africa.
The projects could also make a difference in social and cultural terms, Gu said. “As the economy is modernized, people will be more open-minded and the process will also reduce fundamentalist hotbeds.” Enditem