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West needs new view on China: Kevin Rudd

By Li Zhihui (Xinhua)

08:34, December 03, 2012

DUBAI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Michael Rudd said that despite value differences and misunderstandings, the West should engage more with a rising China, and a new strategic roadmap between China and the United States should be developed as both sides have more in common than it seems.

Rudd, who serves as a member of the Australian parliament, said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua that China and the United States (and the West in general) should have more engagement based on common principles and common interests regarding the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

There are obstacles to remove, according to Rudd. The label some Western countries attach to China as a "risk" to global economic stability does not reflect the reality. Second, labels are not helpful for anybody, to solve global economic and security issues, said Rudd, who is proficient in Mandarin and has travelled, lived and worked in China on nearly 100 occasions over the last 30 years.

Despite differences in values, and despite misunderstandings which exist in almost every domain, basic Chinese values and Western values have more in common than it seemed at a first glance, said Rudd.

China's strive for harmony and balance is also existent in the Western parliamentary system. "Parliaments have been created to balance different interests in society," he explained. Harmony and balance are concepts that also exist in multilateral institutions within the world order.

Because China is in a period of transition, it is the time for engagement. "The U. S. and the West often expect China to take the initiative, but engagement must come from Western and other powers as well."

The debate about China's future in the world is not just the sound of one hand clapping. The attitude and the actions of the rest of the international community can also have a profound effect, he said.

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