The visiting Socialist International (SI) delegation received a joint interview by major Chinese media in Tiaoyutai, Beijing, on the evening of February 18. Delegation members present at the interview include Antonio Guterres, SI president and former Portuguese Prime Minister; Adrian Nastase, prime minister and the Social Democratic Party of Romainia; Massimo D'Alema, president of the Democratic Party of the Left and former Prime Minister of Italy; Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, former president of the Social Democratic Party and former Prime Minister of Denmark; and Peter Cook, Australian senator and international secretary of the Labor Party of Australia.
The SI, founded in 1864, is the world's largest association of political parties, grouping democratic socialist, labor and social democratic parties from every continent.
Reporter: what's your comment on the SI delegation's China visit this time?
Nastase: the visit is of "landmark" significance to the Socialist International boasting 168 member parties and organizations. Through the visit we have enhanced our understanding of China and witnessed new development in the country. We saw that China's new leadership has a well-thought-out plan for administration of the country and is fully confident of the future. These will be of great significance to SI's political life.
Reporter: what's your view on China's peaceful rise? And what's your comment on China's economic development and social changes?
Guterres: China witnesses development with each passing day, this is an evident fact. China will play an increasingly important role and carry an ever-heavier weight on the international stage. This has been convincingly proved by China's important role in the DPRK nuclear issue and its constant expansion of cooperation with the ASEAN.
D'Alema: China is experiencing profound changes, not only political, economic and social changes but also cultural changes.
Peter Cook: China's opening up policy is quite successful. If one looks at China's TV programs and reads the youngsters' state of mind, one has this to say that if China's march toward the world is compared to a film, then the film is one just started.
Reporter: What's your view on the cooperation between the SI and the CPC?
D'Alema: I think that parties should strengthen cooperation even if they are based on different theories. The SI pays attention to cooperation with both the Democratic Party of America and the Communist Party of China. Because in the epoch of globalization, we face many common challenges and only by joining hands in cooperation, can we solve these problems.
Reporter: the Taiwan issue is the focus of world attention, what's your opinion about this?
Guterres: on the Taiwan issue, the SI has been consistently supporting the "One China" policy, believing the policy to be conducive to world peace. The China-initiated "One Country, Two Systems" policy proves in practice to be an effective mechanism for solving problems and to be entirely practicable. We hold that on the Taiwan issue related parties in the world should strive to help bridge cross-Strait differences rather than allowing them to develop in the direction of separation.
Reporter: in recent years the United Nations has had difficulty in going on with its reform. What's the direction of UN reform?
Guterres: the key to UN reform lies in the reform of the Security Council. We think that efforts for UN reform should be directed at strengthening its representativeness, promoting democracy and enhancing the North-South balance. By North-South balance I mean that the UN should give full consideration to the interests and wishes of the developing countries. Besides, the UN should not limit its role to peace keeping. The international agencies under UN administration should strengthen cooperation and change the past order of priority, which put finance and banking first, then economy, and then society and culture, and finally the development of environment protection. Instead, they should pay attention to harmonious development, especially sustainable development. The ancients of China had long pursued "the harmony of man with nature", this should also be a development direction of related UN agencies.
Reporter: we are living in an era of change featuring economic globalization. What's the SI view on measures for economic globalization?
Guterres: economic globalization is an objective reality that we must face. It should be noticed that economic globalization has brought us conveniences, but it has also given rise to problems such as unbalance between North and South, and great disparity between the rich and the poor. For example, on the North-South question, the developed countries should actively shoulder responsibilities by stressing environmental protection, making effective use of resources, reducing the emission of carbon dioxide and providing economic and technological aid to developing countries that should, in turn, unceasingly improve themselves.
Reporter: along with the enlargement of the European Union, the EU will face more severe challenges in institutional reform and common defense. What's your view on Europe's constitutional prospect? And how far can European alliance go?
Rasmussen: Europe has traveled step by step to its alliance. It can be said that European history is a history of crisis, in which problems cropped up first and then solutions were found. Historically, France and Germany went through many wars, the problems of Europe cannot be resolved all by relying merely on these countries. The difficulties we encounter now are temporary. Just like Europeans once pushed forward the construction of a common market and developed common defense, we will eventually find solutions to Europe's constitutional problem.
D'Alema: Europeans are very optimistic about the process of alliance, we have powerful support from public opinion. The Europeans have no other alternative but march forward. We already have set our objective and now we need powerful institutions to attain it.