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US should focus on resolving Ukraine conflict instead of adding fuel to it

By Zamir Ahmed Awan (People's Daily Online) 14:18, March 22, 2022

China has shown itself to be a practical example of “Peaceful Developments.” During the last four decades, China has set aside all disputes and differences with other nations and focused on economic and social development. Although China used to have border disputes, trade disputes, or policy differences with many nations, it overcame all of these differences and disputes through positive engagement politically and diplomatically under the UN Charter. As a result, China has emerged as the second largest global economy, surpassed the rest of the world in many technological advances, such as telecommunications, infrastructure, high-speed trains, etc. The Chinese people have become one of the happiest in the world, enjoying the highest position on the purchasing power index. The country’s standard of life has improved exponentially. There was a time when China was one of the worst poverty-hit nations on the planet. But today, China is the only country that has succeeded in eliminating extreme poverty and establishing a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.

By their nature, the Chinese people are peace-loving and accommodative. This is due to the fact that China is an ancient civilization, which has passed through many ups and downs in its long history, having learned in the process that peace ought to be the ultimate goal of humankind.

"Peace and security are what the international community should treasure the most," said Chinese President Xi Jinping during his video call with U.S. President Joe Biden, referring to the current situation in Ukraine. This statement embodies the peace-loving cultural tradition of the Chinese nation; or, as an ancient Chinese saying goes: "peace is precious." Excerpted from the Confucian classic "The Analects of Confucius," which dates back more than 2,000 years, the proverb is still very much relevant today. Xi cited the proverb in 2017 when he spoke at the United Nations Office in Geneva, noting that the Chinese people firmly believe that peace and stability are the only path forward to development and prosperity.

China has stuck to its cardinal principles in foreign policy as expressed in the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: that is, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality, and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. The Chinese leadership originally enumerated these principles in 1954 when China, now under a communist government, was trying to reach out to the non-communist countries of Asia to assure them that China would not interfere in their internal affairs.

On other occasions, President Xi also cited similar ancient proverbs on upholding peace, including "replacing weapons of war with gifts of jade and silk" and "seeking harmony without uniformity." He has stressed on many occasions that the country will never itself seek hegemony.

With concrete actions, China has shown to the world that it is resolute and sincere in contributing to the building of a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, and of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Peace is a hallmark of China's foreign policy. However, Western media is hurling quotes from President Joe Biden that have warned China not to help Russia while threatening China that it will bear the consequences if it should take such actions. It seems, then, that the American president is trapped in an aggressive mode of executing US foreign policy, attempting to dictate expectations towards China, which is not at all acceptable nor a civilized manner of conducting foreign relations. This kind of language runs against the grain of diplomatic etiquette. China has already surpassed a stage in its national development where any one country can coerce or dictate its behavior. China is a sovereign state and has its own independent policymaking. It is a mature and sensible nation and understands its global obligations.

China has always advocated for peace and opposed war. China will continue to make its judgments independently and in an objective and fair manner based on the merits of the matter.

Besides, China is extending humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and trying to resolve the ongoing dispute amicably. China is doing everything it can to de-escalate the Ukraine conflict. It is the Western camp of countries who is adding fuel to fire and deepening the escalating crisis through their irresponsible actions and hostile statements. It has been suggested that the Western bloc should focus on resolving the crisis and saving any more loss of precious human lives, instead of further fueling and expanding the conflict.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a non-resident fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]

The opinions expressed in this article reflect those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of People's Daily Online. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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