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Keeping a cool head amid global unrest

(Global Times)

08:55, August 10, 2011

The world has been shocked by two recent events: the US debt crisis and the escalating riots in Britain. The most advanced democracy is in deep trouble but seems unable to do anything about it.

China is one of many countries long targeted by Western criticism. It is reproached by the West for its every frustration, making many Chinese people believe domestic problems are China's systematic fault while admiring Western powers.

However, the troubles in the US and Britain, the Norway mass killing and the protests in Israel against high living costs show that the Chinese actually does not have enough understanding of the ups and downs of an industrialized society.

China lacks a consensus on how to define the problems it faces: Whether they should be seen as normal or severe, controllable or destructive.

The openness of public opinion reveals many Chinese problems: a lack of democracy, corruption, social inequality, a weak stock market and expensive housing. But China is not the most unfortunate country, as the US and European countries are mired in difficulties. There is no reason for China to give up on itself.

The economic data for July issued Tuesday shows continuing problems such as inflation. But the data was still a lot better than other countries' statistics.

Swinging between national pride and an inferiority complex, China has sometimes misjudged world events and been unable to make a rational self-assessment.

As a typical rising power, China is confronted with many problems, but embraces more hopes.

For the declining developed countries, the problems are more troubling. China can address its problems by stimulating development while the US credit crisis shows Washington is trying to cover up one problem with another.

Of course, China still lags behind the developed world. But it is noteworthy that China can quickly adjust itself when faced with mistakes, though sometimes the government is reluctant to admit these mistakes. The Communist Party of China is not married to doctrine.

China should accelerate its reform as well as stick to two bottom lines.

First, it should attach great importance to social cohesion shaped by traditional Chinese culture and the Party's efforts to unite the country at a grass-roots level. Second, it should enhance decision-making capacity and effectiveness.

Developing countries are often jealous of others and easily fawn on foreign developed powers. As the biggest developing country, whether China will stick to its own path depends on how it controls its worship over foreign countries while learning from them.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:张茜)

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