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World celebrities on China's peaceful rise, a harmonious world
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08:47, November 17, 2007

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The outlook on the peaceful development of China has exerted an increasingly great impact worldwide, and then, how people around the globe look at the prospects of its peaceful rise and how they regard its far-reaching influence in the spheres of international security, global economy and the diversity of civilization?

To answer these questions of vital importance, Xu Buqing, Zhang Guangzhen, and Liao Zhengjun, all ace reporters of the People's Daily, China's leading newspaper, interviewed a few celebrities or distinguished statesmen worldwide, who came to partake in a recent international seminar on China's Peaceful Development and a Harmonious World at the sponsorship of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA) and some 20 other world issues research institutions across the country.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Friendship is the foundation for the development of German-China relations, said former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who had made six trips to China during his seven-year tenure of office as the head of the German government. He personally attached great importance to his nation's political, economic and cultural relations and cooperation with China, and contributed tremendously to the growth of German-China ties.

"German-China ties brook no sabotage for the sake of the people of both nations and their next generation and the generation to come, and I am quite optimistic about the future of bilateral relations," Schroeder said.

Meanwhile, he noted, German-China relations constitute the most crucial partnership, and the kernel issue in bilateral ties is to adhere to the one-China policy, and Schroeder expressed his own conviction that Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government is willing and ready to go on expanding the sound relations with China.

China has surpassed France and Britain in term of GDP in recent years, he acknowledged, and it is reported that it will possibly overtake Germany in years ahead, and this has given rise to some concerns and worries in some Western nations. Even if China surpasses Germany in term of GDP, he said, there is still no need to be fearful or worried as Germany has merely about 80 million people, whereas China has a population of 1.3 billion and, on the contrary, people should be happy and delighted to see their partner growing stronger, he said.

When asked whether Germany's new Asia policy could negatively affect German-China ties, Schroeder said it was definitely not the new policy since his country also needs to explore the expansion of ties with other Asian countries, such as India, the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam. Of course, he stressed that the policy is absolutely not directed against China, and still less to substitute for its position.

Igor A. Rogachev, former Russian ambassador to China

"China is most friendly," said Igor A. Rogachev, a member of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, and former Russian ambassador to China. Rogachev has had a longstanding career of diplomatic service and was the ambassador to China from 1992 to 2005.

During his interview with PD reporters, he cherished a fond memory of late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and the process of formulating the esteemed, world-renowned five principles of peaceful co-existence.

This package of principles was first proposed by late Premier Zhou Enlai during his historic meeting with the Indian government delegation (at Bandung, Indonesia in 1955), he recalled with an air of pride, and later became the cornerstone for China's independent foreign policy of peace, and China has been indeed wise and foresighted with the implementation of a foreign policy of peace as the basis of its foreign policy.

Russia and China stand for and adhere to the multi-laterism instead of unilaterism, and both are in firm opposition to hegemony and power politics, he said. "In this realm, the five principles of peaceful co-existence have rendered us a great help indeed."

Furthermore, an opinion poll conducted in his country not long ago has disclosed that the Russian people cited China as their most truthworthy, friendly nation, which appeared the first on the list of friendly nations, he said, further noting that the "year of China" concluded in Moscow recently acquainted people in all walks of social life in Russia much more with things about their great neighbor than ever before, and the growing bilateral exchange of personnel would facilitate the bilateral mutual understanding.

Former US ambassador to China J. Stapleton Roy

Concerning the significance of US-China relationship, this relationship is the most important ties on earth, said former US ambassador to China J. Stapleton Roy, who was born in Nanjing in 1935, served as US ambassador in Beijing between 1991 and 1995 and retired in 2001 after 45 years of superb service for the US State Department. Hence, he said, the U.S and China should enhance their direct exchange or communication, further increase mutual trust, and forge cooperative, friendly and constructive ties to cope with global issues together.

Speaking of China-US military hotline and mutual military trust, he referred the just-ended trip of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a fine example and, therefore, he added, the exchange of visit at the top military level represent a crucial step forward to remove strategic misunderstanding or misconceptions. With respect to his early experience in China, he recalled, he has felt that people in China, very much like Americans, are friendly, trustworthy and easy to get along with ever since his childhood, and he himself is absolutely not biased against Chinese.

"We are very much in need of the US-China ties geared to the 21st century," said Tohn L. Thornton, former Chair of the Board the Brookings Institution. Whoever is better able to know about China and understand it, he or she will have an adequate sum of capital to get involved and and help push forward the history.

With regard to the concept of China's peaceful rise and a harmonious world, he remarked, it indeed poses a lofty, ambitious ideal, and China is bound to face bigger and greater challenges in the years to come. After his resignation from his post as Chair of Goldman Saches, the U.S., in the summer of 2003, he assumed as Professor and Director of Global Leadership Program at elite Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Nowadays, he proposes the United States and China join hands to accomplish several great undertakings, which are be forward looking, and the science-and-technology oriented, and oriented to the global environment protection and to energy conversation. Among these projects, he suggested the two nations enact a 10-to-15 year plan for producing clean energy through joint efforts with the participation of scientists from both nations and a joint funding of their governments.

By People's Daily Online

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