'Convergence of interests' promotes global progress

15:59, June 23, 2011      

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"Comprehensively developing a 'convergence of interests' and an 'interest community' has become a major guideline of the Chinese government during a changing global situation," said Zheng Bijian, chairman of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, on June 4 in an article titled "Comprehensively building a convergence of interests."

The Chinese government has put forward a great idea of promoting global progress in the major guideline.

The world is currently undergoing significant and profound changes. The global changes have exposed various types of contradictions. The contradictions between different countries, regions, religions, ideologies, races, ethnic groups and interest groups are complex and perplexing.

The greatest change in the world is the changing times. The world has evolved from the times of war and revolution to the times of peace and development since the end of the last century.

The two most important factors among many factors in advancing the change of the times is the significantly increased interdependence among countries around the world following the deepening of economic globalization and the unprecedented stern common challenges facing mankind. These challenges include climate change, environment deterioration, cross-border crimes, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and epidemics. Any country, no matter how powerful it is cannot cope with the challenges alone.

There are two entirely different approaches to world development. One approach, which has been adopted by the Chinese government and mentioned in Zheng's article, is seeking common ground and creating communities of interest. This approach conforms to the trend of the times, and it has been repeatedly proved in the past few decades that any country that adopts this development approach will enjoy one success after another.

This approach is a key contributor to China's remarkable success after the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy. Despite considerable friction with the Western world, China has made unprecedented progress in cooperating with other countries in the past 30 years, especially with Western countries.

The fundamental reason is that China realized that the world had changed, and thus introduced the reform and opening-up policy. In the process of opening-up, China has made great efforts to find common interests with other countries and has conducted fruitful win-win economic cooperation based on these common interests.

In addition to promoting economic development, China has adopted the same approach to handling political affairs. For example, China developed the creative “one country, two systems” policy for the return of Hong Kong and Macao, which has been regarded globally as a successful policy. The key reason for its success is that the policy serves not only the interests of the Chinese nation, including Hong Kong and Macao residents, but also foreign countries’ interests in the two special administrative regions. China found convergence of interests between itself and foreign countries, and thus achieved a win-win result.

There is also another approach, which is highlighting differences in the current international relations. Once they find other countries that have different views, certain countries always want to change the way other countries think, and those countries that do not obey will be punished. The Afghanistan War, the Iraq War and the ongoing war in Libya are all results of this approach. The result of highlight differences is that the world's various conflicts have become even more intense, which increases the difficulty of solving problems.

Although there are various differences, the common interests of various countries worldwide are more important than differences on the whole. I attended more than 10 international conferences since 2011 and saw a noteworthy trend: the number of people that are in favor of establishing a community of interests is increasing. The establishment of a community of interests will not harm cultural diversity, and developing common interests is beneficial for everyone. On the contrary, the result will harm all sides if various countries highlight confrontations.

The all-round construction of "common interests" and a "community of interests" is the great approach that follows the trend of the times and promotes the progress of the world. It corresponds with China's interest and the world's interest.

By Wu Jianmin, a special commentator of People's Daily and an academician and the vice president of the European Academy of Sciences, translated by People's Daily Online

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