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5 Feb, 2013

Chinese Commentary Warns U.S. Against Unilateralism, Power Politics


Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Song Tao made a significant point when he elaborated on a more active role for emerging economies in international affairs at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Song said emerging economies have thrived within the current international system, and ensuring the smooth voyage of the boat is in the interest of all countries as both the emerging and developed countries ride in the same boat.

As the world is facing an array of security challenges, including anti-terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation, while countries in the Middle East and North Africa, such as Syria and Egypt, continue to be mired in violence and instability, the importance of maintaining stability in the current international system is beyond doubt.

Both emerging and developed countries have a responsibility to ensure that issues and disputes, especially those in the security field, be solved within the framework of the international system. In this regard the United Nations should continue to play a leading role, and the UN Charter, which lays down the basic principles and tools for handling international relations and safeguarding world peace and security, should be upheld.

Resorting to unilateralism and power politics in disputes among countries is inadvisable as it runs counter to the trends of peace and development. History has repeatedly shown unilateralism and power politics only escalate tensions and fuel dissension.

Hence, it is good to learn that the United States has sent some positive signals at the Munich conference, which will be helpful in promoting peace and stability in international relations. US Vice-President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the US is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran, which is a ray of hope that the lasting nuclear standoff can be resolved in peace.

Biden also said that healthy competition from a growing, emerging China is in the interests of all. This latest interpretation of Sino-US relations sounds more rational than the one that China is both an adversary and a partner, a perception that many in China believe reflects the mainstream view in Washington.

So far, the most difficult part of our relations has been the result of US attempts, covertly or overtly, to contain China’s rise. The premise of healthy competition should be built on mutual respect for each other’s interests and concerns. Neither side will benefit from a confrontational Sino-US relationship.