Rising China to endure criticism

08:48, December 29, 2010      

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Most Chinese people would firmly agree that China should maintain its rise to power. But a country's rise comes at a price. Just look at events in 2010. How many frictions did China encounter with Western countries? How many neighboring countries were also involved in such troubles?

For China, the first decade in the 21st century has been tiring but also inspiring. Ten years ago, China had not joined the World Trade Organization; there were not many super-highways, nor high-speed trains; Beijing's cars numbered in the hundreds of thousands; and house prices were extremely low by today's standards, though many people could still not afford them and waited on "welfare housing."

If the past decade has made some Western countries uneasy, it is hard to imagine these worries will fade in the coming decade. It is more likely that this unease will begin to be increasingly apparent in the policies of Western countries.

When the US launched its "smart power" diplomacy around China this year, when Sino-Japanese relations were upset by the boat collision near the Diaoyu Islands, and when Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Western countries were not interested in explaining to China that these were mere coincidences. China had to interpret the complex meanings behind by itself.

Anybody's rapid progress might cause hostile stares and comment. Because of the shrinking-village effect resulting from globalization, China's rise is more conspicuous than that of the US decades ago. But China is not necessarily the most unlucky newcomer.

China needs to ease misunderstandings with other world powers through more effective communication, but such efforts cannot be expected to improve the environment overnight. China has to get used to such adversity that will dog its rise. The rapid development of such a big country will draw fire, but China must endure it gracefully.

China's ongoing rise will primarily concern the US, which will react more strongly than Japan and Europe, as the US has more in play with its feelers reaching into every corner of China's borders.

When China gets more powerful, it will also become stronger in the face of pressures from abroad. Things that may upset us today may not happen tomorrow, or be easier to face.

Chinese philosophy emphasizes the concept of ren, which does not simply mean tolerance, but also confidence. China has to learn to be calm under foreign pressures, as the growing giant will be harder to tackle.

Source:Global Times
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