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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 18:58, June 17, 2006
China's peaceful rise and a dream of revitalization
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One of the most important aspects of China's peaceful rise is to face and overcome all difficulties and challenges by peaceful means and to achieve the renaissance of Chinese civilization with independent innovation.

Zheng Bijian, President of China's Reform and Opening-up Forum, gave such an analysis on the relationship between China's peaceful rise and the revitalization of China's civilization during an interview with Learning Times.

He pointed out that China faces three big challenges during the process: resources, especially in regards to an energy shortage, the environment, particularly its destruction and deterioration, and the search for the balance between economic and social development. To solve these problems, China must take the scientific concept of development as its basic theory, put people at the center of development, and realize comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.

"In its development, China should aim not only to surpass the old industrialized road, but to develop a new model of industrialization characterized by consuming fewer resources, doing less harm to the environment, and achieving greater efficiency with the full use of China's great human resource advantage."

Zheng Bijian said building a harmonious socialist society will help to solve the dilemma between economic and social development as well as form a civilized relationship between people and a healthy lifestyle. This requires China to be creative and dismiss "Cold War" ideology to ensure the peaceful development and promotion of world peace and a harmonious world.

"Only by absorbing the helpful achievements of contemporary civilization, on the basis of enhancing traditional culture and civilization, can China overcome various challenges by peaceful means. The revitalization of Chinese civilization must be based on independent innovation and creativity," Zheng Bijian explains.

Concerning relations between China and the world, a peaceful rise enables China to project a civilized and respectable image to the world.

"The history of civilization has taught us that a truly great nation must be highly civilized and guided by a great culture," said Zheng Bijian.

Zheng Bijian also notes that the international community recognizes China's growth - happening at a speed of over 9 per cent for the last 20 years consecutively - and commends them on it. He points out too that there are also some countries that worry that China's rise poses a threat to them.

"The cause of this is two-fold: on the one hand, it was the ideological prejudice from the west that demonized China, and on the other hand, China's development is not perfect, it has its own shortcomings during the development process," explained Zheng Bijian.

To correct those shortcomings, China needs to absorb more of the achievements of modern civilization and show the world its aspirations not only in culture and education, but also in natural and human sciences, good governance and strategic culture.

Zheng Bijian said the national psychology of China's rise and its international status is also very important.

"As China opens up further and further and marches towards the outside world, some unhealthy feelings inherited from history have been exaggerated by some uncivilized behavior. These issues have the potential to affect China's international image in market competition and international cooperation. They can also be manipulated by those with ill intentions to constitute a ��China threat'. Thus, it is imperative China create an image of a peaceful and civilized country."

China's peaceful rise will also realize the one hundred year long dream of being strong.

Zheng Bijian pointed out that Chinese people have created a splendid material and spiritual civilization in history and greatly contributed to mankind's social development. However, in the modern era, China has lagged behind and suffered deep miseries and humiliations. Over the past hundred or more years, Chinese people have had a dream of living a more comfortable life, but the road has been very difficult and it zigzagged often. Only when the New China was established under the leadership of Communist Party, did China get the political foundation for creating a better life.

As late Chinese leader Mao Zedong pointed out, "Since the Chinese people accepted Marxism and Leninism, they have become psychologically more positive than negative. From now on, the era where Chinese people or culture is looked down upon will come to an end. The victory of the people's revolution has revitalized or been revitalizing the Chinese culture."

After reforming and opening up in 1978, under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping's theories, the CPC pointed out that ��the founding of New China marks the beginning of the great process of revitalizing Chinese civilization on the basis of socialism. The new period of development, marked by the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Congress in 1978, has injected great vitality into the process of revitalization. This renaissance will not only create a wealthier civilization, but a high level, spiritually socialist civilization, by promoting cultural and ethical progress guided by Marxism."

Zheng Bijian said history shows that to realize its dream, China needs a long process of peaceful development. China cannot fully copy the western mode of development, nor can it revive feudal ideas. It must creatively inherit and enhance Chinese fine culture and tradition while absorbing the achievements of civilization.

"It is a process of revitalizing Chinese civilization with independent innovation and creativity," stressed Zheng Bijian.

By People's Daily Online

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