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China’s inclusive rise presents the world with opportunities

YAN YILONG | 2019-06-13
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

The great ship of China has ploughed across the ocean over the four decades since the nation’s reform and opening up. Along with China’s development, two voices have never ceased to draw attention—voices chanting “China’s collapse” and those chanting “China’s threat.”


Three changes have happened in Western countries’ cognition of China. China’s economy is not just something happening in the so-called “sweatshops” but something full of innovation. Another change of opinion is that the Chinese political system is vigorous rather than one that is about to collapse sooner or later. The third change of cognition is that China is a proactive constructor of global order rather than a passive receiver. This upsets some Western elites when they have to face China’s rise. They are worried that China’s rise will bring the decline of the Western world and weaken the competitiveness of Western technologies and industries. Meanwhile, they are worried that China’s rise will also compromise the foundations of Western systems, modes and lifestyle and threaten the international order dominated by the Western world.


The new “China threat theory” originates from an over-anxiety for and unnecessary misinterpretation of China’s rise. In fact, China’s rise is not an exclusive process but rather an inclusive and peaceful one.


China will not follow its predecessors by taking the same old disastrous road of territorial expansion. This is determined by the nature of Chinese civilization, the historical memory and the characteristics of China’s system, and China’s national strategy. China is a determined defender of world peace rather than a destroyer. China aims for a win-win rise. China has no intention to play the geopolitical game. China intends to provide the world with opportunities of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation through great platforms such as the Belt and Road initiative. The idea that “a powerful nation is bound to be a hegemonistic one” does not fit China’s situation. But China also upholds the idea that “a powerful nation should be one that is of virtuous principles.” China does not seek to control the critical resources of the world but rather to promote the common development of the world. China aims not to fight for a bigger share of the cake, but rather to work together with all the nations in the world to make the cake bigger.


China’s inclusive rise brings enormous opportunities for growth in developing countries. The investment, technological and industrial mode and concept brought by China’s inclusive rise enable developing countries to enhance their internal capabilities for development and better participate in the process of globalization. For the Western developed countries, China’s inclusive rise will bring them benign competition and opportunities for development as well. The industrial and technological developments of China have jointly broadened the frontiers of the industrial development of humanity and created a larger space for the development of all. China’s institutional model and civilization though different from the Western ones are absolutely capable of harmoniously coexisting with them. The goals of China and the West can be unified through mutual learning.


China’s rise will not subvert the existing global order but rather improve it. China has deeply engaged itself in the global political and economic system. China is a dedicated defender and constructor rather than a subversive or a destroyer of the global order. By proposing the establishment of the community of shared future for humanity, China has committed itself to opposing the trend of anti-globalization and advancing new globalization. China is dedicated to establishing a more just, more balanced and more inclusive global order. China’s inclusive rise will bring great opportunity to other countries in the world. The rise of a new type of nation with global influence like China will bring peace, stability and common prosperity to humanity in the 21st century.

 

This article was edited and translated from People’s Daily Overseas Edition. Yan Yilong is deputy director of the Institute for Contemporary China Studies at Tsinghua University.

edited by CHEN ALONG

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