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Global Viewpoint

China can meet US, Europe where their interests converge

The promoter of China's 'peaceful rise' argues that China needs a new approach in its relations with the United States and Europe. Beijing should build on common interests, such as investment in each other's countries, stability in global hot spots, and climate change.

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To build communities of interests, it is essential first of all to carefully handle issues sensitive to each other. Stability of Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait accords with everyone’s interest. China-US cooperation in this area is far from satisfactory. US arms sale to Taiwan remain a sensitive issue in bilateral relations. The two sides should try to solve it through consultation rather than letting it undermine our comprehensive cooperation.

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Building communities of interests is a long process. Disputes and divergences among us may surface here and there. But as long as we are committed to the building of communities of interests, we can surely find a solution. Otherwise, a confrontational relationship will only derail our efforts to address our domestic challenges and cause international tension.

Enlarging common interests and gradually building communities of interests in the way I have described has been adopted as the official policy of the Chinese government.

When President Hu Jintao visited the United States last January, he called for expanding converging interests in his speeches. In China’s 12th five-year plan for economic and social development, one can also find the phrase “expanding converging interests.” This shows the importance the Chinese Government attaches to it.

In the recently issued white paper on China’s Peaceful Development, the Chinese government reaffirmed its position on relations with other countries. Let me quote:

”China aligns its own interests with the common interests of the people of the world and seeks to expand convergence of interests of all parties and to build and develop communities of interests with other countries and regions in various fields and at various levels. China is committed to promoting the common interests of the entire humanity and sharing the benefit of human civilization with everyone.”

This is China’s commitment to the world.
Zheng Bijian was for many years the executive vice-chairman of the Central Party School in Beijing. As the world became wary of China’s growing role as a major power, he proposed the doctrine of “China’s peaceful rise.”

© 2011 Global Viewpoint Network/Tribune Media Services. Hosted online by The Christian Science Monitor.

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