By Liu Zongyi Source: Global Times Published: 2015-12-13
This year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN. Peace and development are two themes of the UN, human rights is the third one, but human rights can only be safeguarded by peace and development. China`s peaceful rise matches the UN principle. Peace and development are also magic codes that lead to China`s peaceful rise. Actually, China`s diplomatic goals and principles are based on those of the UN, but further developed. China`s experience is peace, development, cooperation and win-win. The principles are similar, so the implementation is the key.
Firstly, the core task of China`s diplomacy is to create peaceful and stable circumstances for development. China has played an important role in Cambodia, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear issues, and so on. Now China is making efforts in Afghanistan. China advocates resolving border and territory disputes through peaceful means, so China has stayed restrained on East China and South China Sea issues. Although there are hot disputes, no conflicts took place. China tries its best to maintain peace and stability in its periphery.
China adjusted to the trend of economic globalization, seeking win-win deals and cooperation with each country, and formed economic interdependence with many countries in the world. China is the largest trade partner of around 120 countries in the world. Especially in the Asia-Pacific region, a value chain, production chain and supply chain centered around China has formed. China and its neighboring countries have become a community of common interest. China`s development is inclusive and common development.
China defends world peace through its own development. China actively participated in cooperation on anti-terrorism, anti-pirate, non-proliferation, etc. China implemented the UN Millennium Development Goals earnestly. China actively conducts South-South cooperation and provided foreign aid to Asian, African, and Latin American countries. China insists on resolving climate change and sustainable development issues under the framework of the UN.
China`s peaceful development strategy has determined China`s peaceful rise from within over the past three decades. Nowadays some countries show anxiety about China`s fast rise, and a lot of new traditional or non-traditional challenges appear in the Asia-Pacific, so China puts forward the idea of "Asian Community of Common Destiny," and hopes to materialize the idea through concrete measures such as "One Road, One Belt."
So there is a shift of China`s peaceful development strategy: from adjusting the circumstances to shaping the circumstances.
"Asian Community of Common Destiny" means China wants to improve the reform of current regional order and establish a just, democratic, inclusive and cooperative political and economic structure in the region through sharing interest of economic development and security bonus, and improving communication and dialogue among civilizations. China will become a part of this structure, which will regulate China`s peaceful rise from outside. China would like to adopt peaceful measures and economic measures to realize this goal.
Now there are two trends in the Indo-Pacific region: One is a geopolitical or geostrategic structure designed by the US that would lead to competition, conflict and even war; another is a geo-economic cooperation structure represented by the "One Belt, One Road" initiative that will lead to peace and prosperity.
The "One Belt, One Road" initiative includes connectivity of road, trade, currency, policy and people-to-people exchanges. The UN can play an important role in the advancement of the initiative.
Although most regional economic cooperation is conducted through bilateral or multilateral negotiations, the importance of international organizations, especially the agencies of the UN, should not be neglected. But the UN specialized organizations should not become obstacle of regional cooperation, and should not become tools of some Western countries.
There are many trans-regional connectivity initiatives now, such as India`s Project Mausam, the US`s New Silk Road Project and Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor, EU`s Juncker Plan, and so on. The UN can play a leading role to connect these initiatives together, avoiding conflict between different initiatives. The "One Belt, One Road" initiative is open, and China welcomes other regional or domestic development plans to connect with it.
The author is a senior fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and a visiting fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.