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Australia's China experts say U.S. needs to accept China's rise

(Xinhua)    11:53, March 04, 2015

SYDNEY, March 4 -- Australia's top China experts believe that the United States must accept China as a rising power with more respect and adjust its foreign policies to enhance its relationship with China.

The comments follow an article by Nobel economics prizewinner Joseph E. Stiglitz, who wrote that the United States will not be able to change China's new leader status and therefore should adjust its foreign policies, enhance its cooperation and stay away from containment.

Former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr, who is now director of Australia-China Relations Institute, told Xinhua that the United States had to accept China's new status.

"I agree with that (Stiglitz) analysis completely. America should give up any notion of seeking dominance and should instead accommodate what's going to happen anyway: China acquiring a strategic importance that matches its economic importance," Carr said.

Former advisor to the Australian prime minister office on China policy, Professor Hugh White, who lectures at Australia National University (ANU), told Xinhua that America and China can coexist peacefully in future, but only if both countries are willing to respect each other and treat one another as equals.

"America will need to adapt its ideas of global and regional leadership to recognize that China has an equal claim to regional leadership and must be treated as such," he said.

"China at the same time will need to accept that America will still play an important role in Asia in the 21st century, not as the sole leader but as one of a group of powerful countries."

Director of Confucius Institute and Director of China Strategy & Development at New South Wales (NSW) University Laurie Pearcey told Xinhua that China and the United States have to co-exist peacefully in the future.

Pearcey said President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States in September this year will be a key factor in enhancing China-U.S. relations.

"It's in both China's and America's interest to ensure they can do just that (co-exist peacefully)," he said. "On the other hand you have an American administration that has admitted publicly for some years now about its pivot to Asia."

There is an associated raft of measures, such as a U.S. military presence in Australia's Northern Territory, weapons sales to allied or friendly nations in the region, and all of that doesn 't bode well, he said.

"But at the same time the U.S. recognizes that in order for there to be stability and peace, those principles of peaceful co- existence should prevail."

The Australian experts say China's return to its traditional place after being eclipsed by the West for 200 years is a truly momentous shift in the global distribution of wealth and therefore of power.

"I do not think it means the start of a 'Chinese Century' if by that we mean an era in which China dominates the entire world," White said.

"The 21st Century will be, as Chinese leaders and analysts themselves often say, a multipolar era in which there will be several major power centres around the globe, none of them strong enough to dominate or lead the entire world -- not even China."

Carr said China is on the rise because of its population size coupled to the "brilliantly successful economic reform policies inaugurated by Deng Xiaoping."

"China's major advantages are its population size, its cultural continuity, and its strength as a civilization," he said.

White said China's major challenge over the years and decades ahead is to manage the implications of its rapid economic rise.

"Of course other countries, including the U.S. and China's neighbors in Asia, will have to recognize and accommodate China's increasing international weight, but China will also need to ensure that it pays due attention to the concerns of others," he said.

The expert believes that like any country, China needs peace and stability to realise its potential, and peace in Asia over coming decades depends on all the region's biggest powers being willing to accommodate one another and share power.

"This will not be easy, and China, along with others, will need to work hard to make it possible."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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