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22 Dec, 2013

China’s four tasks for building new-type relationship with major powers


(People’s Daily Online)  December 19, 2013 –  Sino-US and Sino-Russia relations are two of China’s major concerns in building its new-type relations with major powers. Former Chinese ambassador to Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia An Huihou listed four key targets for China at the 2013 China and World Forum held in Beijing on Monday.

1. Domestic stability and comprehensive national strength

2. Positive strategic interactions and healthy bilateral relations with U.S

3. Do not infringe core interests and threaten the bottom line of each other’s strategy.

4. Expand strategic aid in the international community

An heralded China’s need to strengthen diplomatic ties with Russia, coordinate development strategies with the European Union, and enhance cooperation with other developing powers.

China is emerging as a major power and its bilateral relations with US have become a subject of intense interest. An believes that the new concept of relations among major powers which China has proposed indicates that China has no intention of entering into a confrontation with the United States nor challenging its hegemony. China expects mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, which shows our sincere wish for peace and development. Our initiative does not mean that the United States will necessarily change its policy towards China, but at least the idea of a new form of great power relationship has been tabled.

An takes the view that unlike the relationship between China and the United States over the past decades, three major differences in the current situation should be noted. Firstly, the overall international environment is different in that both China and US are in the era of peaceful development. Secondly, China and US have more shared interests, interchange, and integration. Thirdly, China is now in possession of nuclear weapons and other advanced military forces, which are able to deal with foreign military strikes.

It is necessary to avoid new conflicts between emerging major powers and established ones, former ambassador An Huihou stressed. He suggested that a focus on strategic mutual trust may prevent misunderstandings. Crisis control as well as conflict management may prevent misfires. But more importantly, only when adversaries understand clearly that any benefit of trying to constrain China by military means will be outweighed by the cost.