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German politician warns against "new Cold War" against China
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08:30, April 17, 2008

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A German politician has accused Western countries of waging a "new Cold War" against China while a prominent China expert in Germany also deplored the West's demonization of the country.

"Every generation seems to need its own war before it is capable and wise enough to draw lessons from that, be it the hot war or the cold war," said Antje Vollmer, a former vice president of the German parliament, in an article published in the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday.

"It took barely 10 years after the end of the last Cold War before a new hot war was declared: the war on terror," she said.

"Can the war on terror be won with weapons?" Vollmer asked. Heranswer was "No".

"At a time when we are already in an ideological confrontation with the Islamic and Arab countries, at a time when we have maneuvered ourselves into a sort of diplomatic confrontation with Russia, now again a general system confrontation with China? Every fifth person in the world is Chinese. Obviously the West has too much self confidence," said Vollmer.

"But whether this great common denominator has even the most minimal chance to reach its goal, this must be seriously doubted," she said.

Meanwhile, Thomas Heberer, a leading China expert in Germany, accused the West of "demonizing" China in his article published Wednesday in the German daily Die Tageszeitung.

"After the idealization of the 1990s, we are now at a stage of demonization," Heberer said.

"This is partly due to the rise of China and the associated false fears that China could become an economic and political threat to the West," he explained.

"What is especially fatal is that the huge successes and changes in the course of China's reform policy since the late 1970s are now forgotten," Heberer added.

He also pointed out that the real causes and background of the Tibet issue are not understood by the West.

"No country in the world has ever recognized the independence of Tibet or declared that Tibet is an 'occupied country.' For all countries in the world, Tibet is Chinese territory," he said.

For Heberer, recent Western news reports about Tibet "resembles a kind of hysteria."

"In the eyes of Europe and North America, Tibet has long been something very special and mystical. Tibet is considered an exotic entity, which is idealized. A book published a few years ago described this phenomenon as the so-called 'myth of Tibet'," said Heberer.

"It should also be recalled that Tibet before 1950 was by no means a harmonious, democratic society, but a highly hierarchical and organized class society with a hereditary aristocratic class at the top and a large number of poor or landless small farmers," he added.

In view of the current situation, Heberer called on Western countries to continue "constructive dialogue" with China.

"Whoever believes that massive protests and pressure can bring some changes to China, just misjudges the real situation," Heberer said. "China never yields to external pressure in matters of national unity and political stability. Moreover, Chinese people at home and abroad also unanimously stand behind the political leadership of China."

He also expressed his opposition to boycotting the Beijing Olympics.

"We should be clear that the most pressing world problems can only be solved with China, not against China," Heberer said.

Source: Xinhua

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