China plays positive role in world: Russian expert

09:20, March 14, 2010      

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China has pursued an independent foreign policy for a long time and has played a positive role in the world, a Russian expert told Xinhua in a recent interview.

China is dedicated to economic development at home while maintaining sound cooperative relations with other countries, said Alexander Lukin, director of the Center for East Asia and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies at Moscow State University for International Relations.

China has followed a moderately active foreign policy since the 1980s with the aim to create favorable external conditions for domestic economic development, he said, adding that the policy has brought China "a great success."

Lukin described China's foreign policy as "modest" because it neither seeks any global goal nor attempts to impose its development model on others. China has made every effort to develop harmonious relations with all countries, including global power centers like the United States and the European Union, he said.

Another priority of China's foreign policy, Lukin said, is to improve ties with neighboring states by settling territorial disputes, deepening mutual trust and promoting border trade.

"For example, China has stepped up economic cooperation between its northeastern provinces and Russia's far east," he explained.

The Russian scholar hoped that China would continue to adopt a wise foreign policy in its further endeavor to realize development targets.

Despite its economic achievement, China still faces a very complex economic situation, having to solve such knotty issues as job creation, the scholar said.

Rapid economic growth is vital to China and requires China to preserve friendly relations with other countries, the expert said.

Lukin said Russia-China ties, which have been developing smoothly, are at their best in history. He recalled that the Soviet Union tried to develop a relationship with China under unequal conditions in the 1950s, saying such relations could not last long.

The current ties between Russia and China are entirely equal and are based on practical interests, he said.

"The two countries have almost no contradictions. Both support a multi-polar world and oppose a global structure dominated by a certain country," he noted.

Lukin also defended China's growing links with Africa, saying China's import of African energy does no harm at all.

"China buys resources with money, while African nations spend the money on development," he said.

China has actively built up ties with developing countries, especially African countries, in recent years, which has drawn the attention of the international community, he noted.

"There are many articles about the issue, and some writers have voiced serious concerns over it. However, many have also pointed out that China is popular in Africa because it outperforms Western countries there," he said.

The Russian expert praised China for helping African countries build infrastructure such as railways and bridges, saying the efforts are good because Africa's poverty and backwardness is a major challenge facing the world.

If there happens to be some people in the West who are jealous of China's popularity in Africa, it is a mistake committed by the West itself, for it pursues wrong policies in Africa.

China should adhere to its policies and preserve its good reputation in Africa, which is a good thing not only to China, but also to Africa and the whole world, Lukin said.

It is sensible for China to use resources from other countries, including Russia, and China is doing this to meet its domestic needs. Russia should learn to benefit from its cooperation with China and use China's potential to promote its own development, he said.

"If China's potential can be used by countries in Latin America and Africa to promote their own development, it will be a blessing for the entire world," the Russian scholar noted.

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