Relations between China and the United States are indeed important and complicated. During debates in the US on Sino-US relations earlier this year both US President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other important officials emphasized the need to improve bilateral relations between China and the United States. They made pragmatic responses to the sincerity and goodwill from the Chinese side.
Robert B, Zoellick's important speech concerning Sino-US ties could be said to be the most definitive political comment by the United States on Sino-US relations. It outlined and provided a weighty expression of the US's China policy.
A permanent improvement in relations between China and the United States requires a fundamental understanding of the Communist Party of China and its basic direction for the 21st century.
Let's begin by examining the difference between the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1979. They were both called communist parties but that year they made very different and vitally important decisions that had big consequences: Seeking world hegemony through its military under the banner "world revolution", the CPSU led by Leonid Brezhnev sent troops to Afghanistan which would prove to be the road to its own destruction. Meanwhile in China the CPC made its own historic decision to reform and open up to the outside world. It took a socialist road to build China with Chinese characteristics along an independent road with economic construction as its center. It participated in the process of economic globalization instead of abandoning it.
There is no doubt that economic globalization has helped China improve itself through peaceful means. The CPC has no disposition to challenge the existing international order and will never advocate the use of force to destroy and sabotage it. Economic globalization has offered necessary international resources to China's modernization drive. Through the market flow elements of production making it unnecessary to seize other countries' resources by way of territorial expansion and contesting for colonies. Certainly, there exist many unreasonable voices in the current international order but when it comes to establishing new political and economic order the CPC stands for reform through peaceful means.
The core concept of the CPC in its internal affairs and diplomatic relations is to seek international peace, internal harmony and reconciliation across the Taiwan Straits. The CPC has always adhered to combining the development of its socialist market economy with building socialist democratic politics. Since China set out on the road to peaceful economic development in the late 1970s it has governed the country by law and drawn a direction connection between advanced culture and a harmonious society. Our experiences show that democracy and a strong legal system are inseparable. Democracy without a legal system can only bring disaster to the Chinese people. A healthy and rich democratic system that allows for the expansion of the public's political participation will bring happiness and benefits to the Chinese people.
The basic difference between the CPC and the CPSU lies in their respective perception of socialist essence, various historical and cultural traditions, and an in-depth understanding of the governance of their own nationalities and their people's aspirations.
The CPC's understanding of socialism is a socialist society that develops production internally and stands for peaceful socialism externally. The Chinese historic and cultural tradition, which the CPC fully understands, is that peace is precious. It advocates peace and harmony in dealing with neighbors. It believes in the ethos that that you don��t do to others what you don't want others to do to you.
The CPC shares the Chinese people's desire to achieve national prosperity, vigorous development, social harmony and the eradication of poverty and backwardness.
The Chinese nation is a country dogged by misfortune and mishap.
The CPC's primary goals are national sovereignty, territorial integrity and the realization of development and modernization. These are historic pursuits for the CPC from which it gathers deep-seated strength. They match the lofty goal of generations of Chinese people to which they have been dedicated to for the past 150 years.
In the final analysis the strength of the CPC is as a faithful representative of the Chinese nation. It is wrong to mistake the Communist Part of China for that of Brezhnev's CPSU. He took the road of internal despotism and foreign expansion; a path the CPC will never follow.
Author Zheng Bijian is Chairman of China Reform Forum; Overseas edition of People's Daily on November 22