China engages with the world

President Xi of China recently visited the United States, whilst a leading British politician visited China for talks. Stephen Perry, who heads the 48 Group – which has been advising British governments on China for decades – describes the differences in the approaches the UK and the USA have taken to China succinctly.

Britain is engaging in trade talks with China, and making commitments for the Chinese to build high-speed rail, bringing growth and employment to areas of England that hasn’t fully recovered from the Thather years, with her closure of coal mines.

The USA however is still in cold-war mentality, with military threats – spoken or implied by war ‘games’ close to Chinese borders. ( Imagine, for example, if Russia conducted war ‘games’ in the waters close to Hawaii! )

China is interested in peaceful co-existence, and what President Xi calls a “win-win” situation. In his recent address in New York , he said

“We should abandon Cold War mentality in all its manifestation, and foster a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security”.

He goes on to say

“We should create a security architecture featuring fairness, justice, joint contribution and shared benefits. In the age of economic globalization, the security of all countries is interlinked and has impact on one another. No country can maintain absolute security with its own effort, and no country can achieve stability out of other countries’ instability. The law of the jungle leaves the weak at the mercy of the strong; it is not the way for countries to conduct their relations. “

“we should build partnerships in which countries treat each other as equals, engage in mutual consultation and show mutual understanding. The principle of sovereign equality underpins the UN Charter. The future of the world must be shaped by all countries. All countries are equals. The big, strong and rich should not bully the small, weak and poor….”

President Xi commented on nature and ecology:

We should build an ecosystem that puts mother nature and green development first. To build a sound ecology is vital for mankind’s future. Al! members of the international community should work together to build a sound global eco-environment”.

Other highlights;

China will continue to participate in building world peace. We are committed to peaceful development

China will continue to contribute to global development. We will continue to pursue common development and the win-win strategy of opening-up…”

China is putting its money where its mouth is. Green technologies such as wind-farms and solar energy are prominent. A joint United Nations – China peace and development fund has been established to continue the UN’s work in multilateral cooperation, and to support peace and development. China has made an initial contribution of $US 1 billion.

President Xi finished with this :

“As the United Nations enters a new decade, let us unite ever more closely to forge a new partnership of win-win cooperation and a community of shared future for mankind. Let the vision of a world free of war and with lasting peace take root in our hearts. Let the aspiration of development, prosperity, fairness and justice spread across the world.”

Grammatical note: the uninclusive term “mankind” ( which excludes half the population) is a fault of translation: in Chinese, the word 人类 renlei  means  “people category”. 人 simply means people, not ‘man’. This similiar translation fault is apparent in many translations of Chinese classical texts like the Dao De Jing or Yi Jing – it is not the ancient ( or modern) Chinese who specifally used the word “man” – they used 人 or people, and (largely) male translators over the centuries have used non-inclusive terminology in English for their translations.

President Xi’s full speech can be read here

Stephen Perry’s commentary on the different strategies taken towards China can be read here

“Let the aspiration of development, prosperity, fairness and justice spread across the world.”