Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Leadership change won’t bring belligerence (Global Times)

Global Times | 2012-11-14 0:15:04
By M. D. Nalapat

China is undergoing its leadership transition. There is speculation over China's foreign policy adjustment and some believe that in the coming decades, China may become increasingly aggressive.

But let's look at history first. Unlike the member-states of NATO, which were quiet during the entire period when the Soviet Union was in existence but began launching war after war in Asia, Africa and even within Europe after the USSR collapsed, for 33 years China has not entered into an armed conflict with any country.

In the case of the Sino-Indian border, although a few analysts seek to boost the fortunes of weapons manufacturers by referring to it as a "high-tension" zone, the reality is that not a single bullet has been fired across either side of the frontier since 1962. Even when India was at war, such as in 1965, 1971 or 1999, the Sino-Indian boundary has been calm.

Both Mao and Deng understood the importance of Asian countries setting a good example for the rest of the world, different from that of Europe, which entered into several wars and caused frictions with each other and with other countries, a policy of relying on the gun that has been continued by NATO in theatres across the globe since 1991.

The way of Europe was to conquer other regions by force and impoverish them, so that only Europe could prosper at the expense of everyone else. This was Zero-Sum policy with a vengeance. In contrast to NATO, which, for example, has given itself huge commercial concessions in Iraq and Libya after resorting to military power, China has refrained from using its military.

Chinese leadership has relied on offering solutions that benefit both sides.

The rise of China in the 1980s, followed by that of India 10 years later and Brazil and South Africa now, has for example given many countries in Africa, Asia and South America the opportunity to escape from the monopolistic control of some of the present members of NATO and to gain more benefit for their own people via the abundant human and natural resources of these three continents.

China, India and Brazil use reason rather than force to win markets, and ensure that prosperity rises in its partners.

To take the example of China, it is because of this country that there has been such a significant rise in prosperity across the globe, including in rich countries such as Australia and the US. The BRICS nations have given the world an alternative model to that of the NATO bloc, which seldom hesitates to use force, and which regards taking 90 percent of the advantages for itself, as a "fair" bargain.

In 2008, the world saw the disastrous consequences of the selfish, even colonialist, policies of NATO-bloc institutions. These had indulged in criminal speculation to send up commodity prices to intolerable levels across the globe, just so that a few NATO-based financial and other (such as oil) enterprises could make extortionate profits. In contrast, had they been less selfish - and more like China, India and Brazil - the world would have been spared the economic pain of the financial crash.

Although commentators within NATO, who are wedded to a policy of Zero-Sum outcomes and commerce through the barrel of the gun, will object, the reality is that China will continue in the coming decade on the same path that it has adopted during the previous three decades.

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