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Monday, December 06, 1999, updated at 17:03(GMT+8)
Editorial "Peace and Development": Keynote Theme of the Time

In recent year or so, though there was the Kosovo war and some specific aspects have been noted in international situation developing toward a new century, yet nothing has been made for a change of the overall development trend of a multi-polar world and globalization of world economies.

Following a general relaxation of the overall situation of the world, peace and development still form the keynote theme of the time: The world peoples are offered greater opportunities than rivalry of challenge. These are views and conclusions drawn by experts and scholars attending the International Situation Forum '99 called by China International Problem Research Institute in conjunction with China International Problem Research and Academic Exchange Fund.

International Situation Forum '99 was held on November 25-26. Present at the forum were over 100 experts and scholars from the Chinese FM, General Staff of the PLA, CPC Committee Liaison Department, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Shanghai International Problem Research Institute along with those from more than 30 foreign countries. In-depth discussions had been carried out among the experts at the forum on a wide range of problems. Among the various topic discussions were included problems with regard to the rising of a new situation in international relations after the Kosovo war, "human rights transcending sovereignty" along with the background of the time to give rise to the theory of "neo-interventionism" and its characteristics. In addition, an estimation of and forecast had also been made on the situation of the world economy and the role of the developing countries in their entirety in international affairs.

Xiong Guangkai, president of China International Strategy Society, and Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had spoken at the forum. Director of China International Problem Research Institute Yang Chengxu declared close the forum, with a speech delivered in making a summary of the forum.

Experts pointed out at the forum that new developments have been seen last by world hegemonism and power politics last year and that "human rights transcending sovereignty" has been employed by some Western powers in pushing "neo-interventionism" to have seriously imperiled world peace. But the present-day world is not an uni-polar one. Multi-polarization still makes the inevitable development trend of history. Though the US remains the only superpower yet it is conditioned by many factors and cannot do as it pleases in the world. To build an uni-polar world of the US is merely its wishful thinking.

Experts at the forum further pointed out that on the one hand we must be clear about the inevitability of a multi-polarization to be developed and on the other we see that multi-polarization will be a long, complicated tortuous process.

Experts at the forum also expressed their view that when saying things about multi-polarization we should not talk merely about relations between big powers and that we should have in mind the role of regional powers and power groups especially the part to be played by the developing countries. By now, there has been seen a strengthening of cohesive ties among the developing countries and regional power groups.

Moreover, in-depth views had been voiced by many experts at the forum on the theory of "human rights transcending sovereignty" and "neo-interventionism". In dealing with the background and characteristics of this hegemonistic theory, they pointed out that the development trend of human rights is closely connected with developments of the international situation and a change of forces in international politics. Since the end of the Cold War, the Western countries have by availing themselves of their might in developing economy and disintegration of the former Soviet Union launched two large onslaughts under the pretext of human rights following toppling down of the "Berlin Wall" and launching of the Kosovo war. By flourishing the banner of "human rights transcending sovereignty", "neo-interventionism" has revealed itself as in the following:

First, instead of recognizing peace and development as a keynote theme facing the present-day world it dishes up "power wielders" in serious encroachment of human rights makes the main problem of the world. Two, it raises the point that the "international community cannot stand any act encroaching upon human rights, so it "must act in the name of Heaven" to put to right all wrongs. Three, it alleges that sovereignty can in no way be used as a shield in protection of encroachment on human rights. It goes without saying this reveals clearly the open challenge of "neo-interventionism" to UN principles on sovereignty and territorial integrity. There were also views found at the forum that the existing background giving rise to "neo-interventionism" in the US lies in the country's continued economic growth and its technological superiority and swollen ambition for hegemonism. "Neo-interventionism" is a new changed form or variety of military interventionism. It has brought with it new instability with a rising of religious extremist forces in the world.

There was also views voiced by some experts at the forum that a correct estimation must be made of the international situation since the end of the Kosovo war. Nothing has been made for a change of peace and development as the keynote theme of the world, not to say the multi-polarization trend of the world and an overall relaxation of the international situation, especially the former as the chief characteristic representing the development trend of today's world. This is the starting point from which we proceed to make a study of things of the world today.

As to possible changes to be wrought with respect to economic developments of the world especially those of the US, Japan and Western Europe in 2000, an expert view is that the world economy has been comparatively stable in 1999. Instead of an economic decline it has made some advance. With some recovery gained, it has achieved a general drop in inflation and a cut in unemployment. Things have been so not only with economies of the developed countries but also those in the developing countries and this has made no exception with economies of the East Asian and Latin American countries. Such a situation may carry on in the coming new year.

As things stand in today's world, economic globalization is in a continuous process of development. This is as shown by the following: In international trade developed, direct foreign investment speedily increased, advances made in developing a multilateral trade system, and an integration of regional economies greatly developed. Typical is the introduction and use of Euro.

Experts' view also has it that future developments of the world economy depend on the following factors: One, whether soft landing can be effected by the US and Japanese economy for there still exists instability of the US economy. Two, whether some success can be made in carrying out a reform of the international financial system, the key lying in putting an unstable mechanism under effective control. Three, essential is a slowdown of world polarization and an ease of contradictions between the South and the North. For the present, as are shown by hard facts seen, the world economy will continue to advance and have new success made. Though economic slowdown may be had by the US international funds will continue to flow into that country. The Euro economy will place its growth at a 3%. It is estimated that the Japanese economy will develop at a growth rate of around 1%. In experts' view, the US will still be in a position to lead the world economy. The European economy now resuscitated as it has been will react positively on a balanced development of the world economy. Large exchange reserve by Japan and its large foreign trade proportion will serve as a greater conditioning factor in influencing the world economy. (By People's Daily Staff Reporters Shi Xiaohui and Xu Hongzhi)

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