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Mutual respect key for sound relations among big powers (2)

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)

16:32, May 15, 2012

Some countries are regarded as large countries not only because of their great comprehensive national strengths. More importantly, large countries have the strong sense of pride for their histories and cultures, the clear mind and self-confidence of insisting on the roads according with their national conditions, the strong will of defending their core interests, and the courage of saying “no” on key issues.

If we observe the complex and ever-changing international situation after the Cold War in a more macroscopic view, it is easy to find such a phenomenon: Compared to the beginning of the “one superpower” in 1990s, the United States has become hastier in handling some complicated and thorny international issues. There are many reasons behind this, including the consideration of shifting its domestic social contradictions, the un-confidence in facing rises of new large countries and the strategy of pulling its traditional allies to its side. However, the most important reason is probably that the United States does not seriously regard the key ways for large countries to get along.

A mature and prudent large country is neither too self-important nor arrogant, but needs due respects from others. “These who respect others are respected by others.” It is a saying suitable for interpersonal relations, international relations, and relations of large countries. Mutual respect is key for large countries to get along. This is a conclusion coming from positive and negative historical experience of international relations and should be a keynote for keeping the stability of the whole system of international relations.

Read the Chinese version: 大国相处之道在于相互尊重

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