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China’s friends will increase with growth

(Global Times)

10:10, July 20, 2013

According to a latest survey of 38,000 people in 39 countries, conducted by the Pew Research Center, there is a wide belief that China either has replaced or will oust the US as the world's No.1 superpower.

But meanwhile, the US wins a 63 percent favorability rating in this global poll, while China only commands 50 percent. Only 5 percent of people in Japan view China favorably.

It seems that around the world, though people view China's future prospects as good, their mentality toward China's rise is complicated. The group of people who are willing to applaud China's rise is smaller than we expect.

Being optimistic about China's prospects is rational. With its population four times that of the US, China topping the US in overall national strength is just a matter of time. But it's also normal that China is less favored in this process.

China is still much poorer than the US in terms of not only GDP per capita but also overall economic volume and quality. The US will long override China in its attractiveness. It is already better than expected that China's favorability rating around the world is only 13 percentage points lower than that of the US.

Today we often talk about soft power, which is certainly related to a nation's favorability rating. But we should never forget that hard power is still the basis of overall national strength and the source of soft power. Today, we are still climbing up a slope in terms of national strength building. It is not yet time for us to win large groups of friends.

The world's traditional geometry is changing due to China's rise. We are competing for the right to utilize global resources and share more international markets. We are also firmly safeguarding our interests, including inviolable sovereignty.

We need to make efforts so that the outside world can adapt to this more rapidly. But it is unrealistic to expect applause for these changes.

For China, a big power that is growing quickly, development is more important than friend-making. The latter is also important, but as long as we constantly develop, our attraction will also grow accordingly. There is no need to be unconfident and overanxious.

Relatively speaking, the number of our friends around the world is not small, and we almost have no enemies in the global arena. Besides, we still have space for an economic and political rise. The drive for growth is more powerful than any obstacle we have encountered.

China still firmly occupies an advantageous position in the global competition for development, which can hardly be measured through statistics such as favorability ratings. We should have an independent thinking when judging our own nation.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiQian、Ye Xin)

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