China's rise needs magnanimity, sober reflection

16:25, February 15, 2011      

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The international community has attached importance to China's development prospects, predicting and commenting the country's future international status and actual functions. In heaps of praises, there is no lack of self-contradictory remarks and even accusations, and so a sober-minded reflection is required.

First, it is imperative to have a sober understanding of China's global status and actual functions. On the one hand, China is a rising great nation, which should exert a positive influence and functions in international affairs, so as to contribute to world peace and development. On the other hand, China is currently not a powerful nation but still a developing country; its per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) 2010 was listed as the global 95th, and it has an obvious, great disparity with the world's medium level.

It is not realistic for China to assume the excess international responsibilities beyond its capability and, if the nation overreaches itself, it will harm not only its own interest but the common interest of world community. In recent 20 years, China has accepted and fulfilled responsibilities in such realms as the war on terror, peacekeeping missions, coping with global financial crisis and the preventing and treating infectious diseases, and the nation has been accorded full affirmation for praise. China will continue to do what its strength allows in years ahead and take up its global responsibilities in line with the set principle of integrating the country's national interest with the common interests of the world community.

Second, it is imperative to view criticisms and accusations with a tolerant mindset. The rise of any great nation is not grown out of fresh flowers or the top-rated wine at great prices, or from inside libraries, and still less from the stacks of money, but from a strong nation with rich citizenry, an unceasing enhancement of the national quality and an unceasing maturing mindset. Facing accusations and criticisms, it is really important for a rising great nation to retain a gentle and peaceful composure,
Regarding China on rapid rise, it is natural for some people to gossip or make irresponsible remarks for their failure to understand, to acquaint with and to acclimatize to it; you cannot count on all people worldwide to applause for China's rise, or count on people with a sincere good will to return with feedback information and, instead people should learn to have a long-term co-existence with criticisms and scolding.

From a historical point of view, the emergence of a great nation is often preceded by the rise of a great citizenry, and the first of all from the mindset of great nationals; we should rapidly foster the due mature mentality for a great nation.

On the other hand, we should not please ourselves with some attainments we have made, arrogantly showing off fortune and indulging in face-saving landmark projects. On the contrary, we should present China to the world objectively and truthfully, and let the outside world see the real situation in its mid-west region. On the other hand, we cannot get immersed once again in historical pathos and filled with righteous indignation to some criticisms and cannot get "itching for a fight".

Finally, in the face of criticisms and accusations, we should have a sober mind, magnanimity and self-confidence. It is foreseeable that China is bound to face a lot of complex issues and any comments and suspicion will come in quick succession, and we should certainly give heed to our own image internationally and world appraisal. But commentary remarks cannot be too sensitive or mindful. Instead, we should keep modest and prudent, and make up for one's deficiency by learning others' strong points, free ourselves from arrogance and rashness; neither should we become servile or arrogant and, more importantly, to practice "internal strength or power."

It is vital to get China's own things done well and enable common people to share the attainment of the economic benefits, and truly make people in China better-off and realize an harmonious civilized society with a strengthened democracy, then we can get the approval of the world and there will be no market for those bent on scolding and denouncing us.

As for those extremists insisting on the "pride and prejudice" against us, we will let them do whatever they want while taking or "pursuing our own road," as an old Chinese proverb goes.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by Shi Jianxun, a PD guest commentator and an ace professor at the School of Economics & Management at elite Tongji University in Shanghai


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