On October 15, the 45th Chongyang Forum, which was sponsored by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY) and China-US People-to-people Exchange Research Center, RUC, invited John J. Mearsheimer, the founder of the "Offensive Realism" and R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science at the University of Chicago to dialogue with Wu Xiaoqiu, Vice President of Renmin University of China and First Class Professor (Finance) about Will the US and China be falling into “the tragedy of great power politics”. The dialogue was moderated by Wang Wen, Executive Dean of RDCY. In "A dialogue between John J. Mearsheimer and Wu Xiaoqiu", more than 600 guests attend.
Can China rise peacefully? Mearsheimer: No!
Mearsheimer believes that China must be eager to be the super power in Asia for survival in international system instead of militancy or aggression. When the aims of your competitors are unknown, for China the best way is to drive US out of East Asia. Certainly, it is possible that China will intervene the Western Hemisphere for China's interests as United States in Asia.
He believes that whoever the president of the United States is, containing China's rise is inevitable. And "Return to Asia" proposed by Hillary Clinton in 2011 is just the beginning.
Mearsheimeri raised an assertion that China's neighboring countries will become American alliances and maintain balance with China. "What will be Russia's choice?" he smilingly put a question for all audiences, “I believe that eventually Russia will in the United States side".
As to his theory, when Mearsheimer visited China seven years ago, he said to Chinese media: "I have always believed that China cannot rise peacefully. So far, no one can really refute my argumentation logic." Now, Mearsheimer still believes in his theory. But obviously, Mearsheimer said at the end of the speech that he hopes that the rise of China is 25% in the best theories of international relations. In his communication with the audience, he still guarded against it and defended what he said at the beginning of the speech "China's behavior and American behavior will conform to my theory".
Wu Xiaoqiu: China's rise is unstoppable!
As to Mearsheimer's theory, Wu Xiaoqiu pointed out that from the prospective of culture, Chinese traditional culture makes it impossible for China to expand. China's internal development determines that China will not expand. China's GDP has now reached 60% of the US, but China per-capita GDP account only 9,000 US dollars which are still in middle-income countries and far from the US's 60,000 US dollars. According to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China will be a modern powerful socialist one by 2050, but by then China's per-capita GDP may still be difficult to reach 60,000 US dollars.
Wu stressed that Chinese people were thinking about how to solve our internal problems. Wu Xiaoqiu said that at least the downward pressure on the current Chinese economy is very large, domestic demand has also been insufficient, and the external environment has become unstable. Therefore, the priority is internal affairs such as the gap between the rich and the poor, the environmental pollution, the maintenance of sustained and stable economic growth, and the elimination of corruption. "At least to now, China has no desire for external expansion."
It is believed to Wu that the Sino-US relations are the most important bilateral relationship and the most important big power relationship in the world between an established power and a rising power. China has put forward to build a new model of major-country relationship which actually is different from the "tragic" relationship. Our initiation is the concept of Peace, Sharing, and Win-win. We should believe concepts rather than interest.
In Wu's view, a brand-new model can be developed for Sino-US relations to make sure that China can rise peacefully. All means shall be taken to avoid war which means the catastrophic results to everyone. And negotiation is the best way to resolve conflicts and contradictions.
Finally, Wu Xiaoqiu pointed out that the rise of the great powers actually is to reconstruct the world. Therefore, no matter what method you apply to obstruct China, the rise of China is inevitable. This is a historical trend which no one can stop. And China's development will definitely bring new evangelism to the world.