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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

'China-threat theory' dismissed

COLOMBO: Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie says Beijing's increasingly close ties with South Asia are aimed at ensuring regional "security and stability" and are not intended to harm any "third party".

Liang, the first Chinese defence minister to visit Sri Lanka, did not name India -- where he heads to Sunday -- but officials in New Delhi have expressed concerns about Beijing's influence in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan.

India fears it might be part of a Chinese policy to throw a "string of pearls" -- a circle of influence -- around regional rival India.

But in a speech released by Sri Lanka's military on Saturday, Liang said that China had only peaceful intentions in South Asia, while stressing that the Indian Ocean was an important supply route for his fast-developing country.

Beijing is seeking "harmonious co-existence and mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation" with countries in the region, he told a Sri Lankan army staff college on Thursday, according to a copy of the speech.

In New Delhi, the minister will be a guest of the defence ministry, an Indian government spokesman said, without giving details of what will be discussed.

India is warily eyeing growing Chinese clout in what New Delhi regards as its traditional sphere of influence.

Liang dismissed the "China-threat theory".

"Some people in the international community suspect that China would take the road of expansion with force and have been actively spreading the 'China-threat theory'," he said.

"The People's Liberation Army (China's armed forces) efforts in conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with its counterparts in South Asian are intended for maintaining regional security and stability and not targeted at any third party," he added.

Liang said his trip to Colombo was aimed at further strengthening close ties with Sri Lanka, including military cooperation.

China is a key supplier of weapons to the Sri Lankan military, which in 2009 crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels and declared an end to 37 years of ethnic conflict that claimed up to 100,000 lives on the island, according to UN estimates.   – AFP

Respond calmly to 'China threat theory'

China has won acclaims for its significant economic and social achievements since the reform and opening-up, but at the same time it has been seen as a threat by many countries.

Conflict of interest, an underlying cause of "China threat theory"

The "China threat theory" is caused by the country's rapid growth in economic and military strength, and is bound to accompany the country's rise as a great power.

In the eyes of certain Western powers, China's rise poses a challenge to the traditional Western-led international order and geopolitical landscape. According to the history of capitalism's rise, the rise of all great powers was accompanied by the use of force and wars. For example, the rise of the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Japan all followed the same old path of wealth accumulation, military buildup, and military expansion. Western international relations theories formed on this basis, be it the Western power shift theory or hegemony transfer theory, believe that China's rise will cause a shift of power among countries and break the existing international order, which will cause global instability and even wars.

Therefore, the real reason for Western countries to propagate the "China threat theory" is that they are afraid that China will challenge the existing international status when it becomes strong. The western countries hope to restrict the rise of China by means of the "China threat theory."

"China threat theory" has dual effect of containment and stimulation

In order to curb and interfere with China's development, the Western countries hype the new round of "China threat theory." However, the result is counterproductive. The "China threat theory" exaggerated by the Western countries for decades produced a dual effect of containment and stimulation.

On one hand, the "China threat theory" damaged the image of China and deterred the development pace of China. It deteriorated the surrounding environment of China to some extent and made China must face a more complex international environment and withstand more external pressure.
On the other hand, as an imposed power, the "China threat theory" strengthened China's sense of crisis and stimulated the rise and development of China. According to the "challenge-response" theory of British historian Arnold J. Toynbee, the organism will instinctively produce a series of effective responses in the face of challenges and ultimately promote its development.

Take a calm and initiative attitude in response to "China threat theory"

The "China threat theory" has become a preferred tool in the domestic politics of some countries, and has become a power discourse in the international community. Whenever some countries suffer from relevant domestic political issues, they often take the "China threat theory" as shields. For example, in the currently heated U.S. presidential election, the "China threat theory" is the stock in trade of the Obama administration. Facing the "China threat theory," we have to be calm and initiative, but also take the following effective methods.

Firstly, have a calm state of mind compatible with other dominant countries. Secondly, continue to promote and intensify international cooperation. Thirdly, actively build a favorable national image. Fourthly, unswervingly follow the road of peaceful development.

Therefore, the fundamental way to offset the negative effects of "China threat theory" is to vigorously develop China's national strength. Besides, we should concentrate on our own business so as to ride out the current critical period of development. By then, the "China threat theory" as a special historical symbol in China's development process will naturally fade.

Read the Chinese version at
By Shi Qingren (China Youth Daily

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