-- Anyone with a basic comprehension of Chinese culture knows that harmony is its core value; hegemony has never been part of its DNA. In its thousands of years of history, China has never sought to colonize others as Western powers have done in recent centuries.
-- Over the years, Beijing has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative to help kickstart economic growth in developing countries, taken a series of concrete steps to improve its business environment at home, and set up platforms like the China International Import Expo to share its development opportunities with the wider world.
by Xinhua writer Shi Xiaomeng
BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Fifty years ago, the UN General Assembly at its 26th session adopted Resolution 2758 and decided to restore all lawful rights of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Over the past half century, China has grown into the world's second largest economy, and steadfastly expanded its integration with the international system.
Today, China's role as a major country pushing forward a global agenda spearheaded by the United Nations, whether it is reducing poverty, battling the pandemic or stimulating common growth, has won increasing recognition across the globe.
However, some zero-summers in the West, particularly the United States, are trying to demonize China as an imminent threat. Such myths stem from misperceptions about China's development goals as well as its role and purpose on the world stage, not to mention their anxieties over the waning Western supremacy over the rest of the world.
Perhaps the most sensational myth has to do with the country's development. The belief is that by developing itself, China is going to subvert the current international order and replace it with one in which it can be dominant. The truth is that China is a staunch supporter of the current world order, not a disrupter.
Anyone with a basic comprehension of Chinese culture knows that harmony is its core value; hegemony has never been part of its DNA. In its thousands of years of history, China has never sought to colonize others as Western powers have done in recent centuries.
So why is China so invested in developing itself? As Beijing has repeatedly stated, China's ultimate goal for development is the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
For the better part of the Chinese history since Qin Dynasty, China stood as a united, affluent and strong country in Asia. Admittedly, it was a combination of factors that triggered China's slip into backwardness since the Industrial Revolution, but exploitation and aggression by Western powers is among the major reasons.
Therefore, a major motivation for China's development is to ensure its people's well-being and happiness, preserve national security and realize national unification.
To achieve such a goal in this increasingly inter-connected world, China needs to embrace the global community and support the current international system with the United Nations at its core.
The above explains why China has been able to achieve rapid development over the past four decades and why it is a champion of win-win cooperation rather than a zero-sum player in the international arena.
Again, China fully understands that its progress cannot be achieved in the absence of global development. Common development is at the root of its growth.
Over the years, Beijing has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative to help kickstart economic growth in developing countries, taken a series of concrete steps to improve its business environment at home, and set up platforms like the China International Import Expo to share its development opportunities with the wider world.
China is doing all this because it deeply believes that all countries are equal partners sharing the same planet and a common future. Such a philosophy of international relations has been consistently expressed in China's foreign policy.
In the early days of the PRC, Beijing proposed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which have now become widely-acknowledged international diplomatic tenets. And in recent years, China has pushed for a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation.
At the same time, unlike some Western demagogues who believe that their culture and race are superior to others, and who pessimistically believe that a clash of civilizations is inevitable, China believes that all cultures and civilizations are equal, can coexist peacefully, and should learn from each other.
China has a long tradition of promoting inter-cultural interactions, and the ancient Silk Road is a fine example in this regard. With its growing global endorsement, the Belt and Road Initiative provides an ample opportunity to revive the glory of civilizational interactions.
Globalization and multi-polarization are irreversible trends. The old days of great-power confrontation or global domination by a single superpower are gone and should not be brought back. Planetary challenges like climate change and the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic have more tightly bound together the fates of all countries. They win or lose together.
Those in the West who cling to the obsolete belief of great powers vying for global supremacy should learn to open up their hearts and minds and embrace the real world as it is. They could start by ending their conjecture about China.