Updated: 2012-10-11 08:13
By Chen Xiangyang (China Daily)
As a leading developing nation, China is assuming a greater role and promoting just solutions to pressing world issues
Over the past decade since the convening of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, especially during the five years since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has not only maintained its own peaceful development and achieved a historic leap in its comprehensive national strength and international status, it has also actively shouldered its international responsibilities as a leading developing nation.
China has made vigorous efforts to turn the tide of the global downturn and it has become the driver for the world's economic recovery. It has actively participated in the bilateral and multilateral cooperation of the international community to deal with the financial crisis and promoted international monetary and financial system reform. China has also firmly opposed trade and investment protectionism, and opposed the monetary policies of some developed countries, which benefit themselves at others' expense.
When the world economy was hit the hardest by the global financial crisis in 2009, a United Nations report suggested that China contributed more than 50 percent of global growth. This year, though China's economic growth is expected to weaken to 7.8 percent, JP Morgan Chase & Co has predicted that it will likely contribute 40 percent of world economic growth. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-15), China will further unleash its huge consumption potential and gross imports are expected to exceed $10 trillion. Outward foreign direct investment is expected to speed up. This will create a lot of business and employment opportunities on a global scale, making a greater contribution to the development of the world economy.
And in the face of the escalation of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, which has handicapped the recovery of the world economy, China has not stood idly by. It has provided timely help to the European Union and it will continue to invest in eurozone government bonds and the European Financial Stability Facility bonds, and actively discuss cooperation with the European Stability Mechanism. China also announced in June that it was providing more resources to the global firewall, pledging $43 billion to the recapitalization of the International Monetary Fund.
China is committed to peaceful development and seeks just solutions to international issues. It has actively participated in UN peacekeeping operations and has sent military, police and civilian personnel to participate in UN peacekeeping operations.
Currently, more than 2,000 military peacekeeping personnel serve in various joint-UN peacekeeping operations. As of now, the Chinese navy had dispatched 12 batches of 31 warships to engage in joint escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the coast of Somalia. Chinese warships have successfully escorted more than 4,800 vessels, including 2,310 foreign vessels.
China also plays a leading role in efforts to secure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and it is committed to the denuclearization of the peninsula, insisting on dialogue and consultation and calling on all parties to restart the Six-Party Talks. China has actively supported the peace and reconstruction process in Afghanistan and the Afghan government-led reconciliation and reintegration program, and has called on the United States and other Western countries to gradually and securely transfer responsibility for security to the Afghan government. China also resolutely supports international non-proliferation efforts and advocates properly resolving the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation, so as to safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East.
Since 2011, several countries in West Asia and North Africa have experienced political upheaval and "regime change" and some Western powers have tried to interfere in their internal affairs. In contrast, China takes a responsible attitude to the upheaval in West Asia and North Africa and calls on all parties concerned to resolve their differences through inclusive, peaceful political dialogue. It stresses that the international community should respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of countries in the region. It firmly opposes external armed intervention and "regime change" by force. It respects local people's desires for change and fully supports their independent exploration of development paths suitable to their own national conditions.
China has also cooperated with the international community in responding to various global challenges, with climate change being the top priority. Over the past decade, China has been committed to sustainable development along with the international community and endeavored to build a resource-saving and environmentally friendly society. Energy consumption per unit of GDP and carbon dioxide emissions have been slashed significantly, and it has included binding targets for energy conservation and emissions reduction in national economic and social development planning.
China recently released the National Climate Change Program and has pledged to restructure its economy, promote clean technologies and improve energy efficiency. China adheres to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and actively participates in the UN climate change negotiations.
Looking forward to the next decade, China will not only do the best it can to promote the recovery of the world economy, maintain international security and deal with climate change, it also will focus on maintaining peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region and push for innovations in the paradigm of international relations.
The author is deputy director of the World Politics Research Institute, affiliated to the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
(China Daily 10/11/2012 page8)