China seeks peace and progress, not conflict

Beijing focuses on global development, upholds principles on Ukraine issue

It is difficult for many to comprehend the rather complex juxtaposition of China and the United States in today’s world. What we do know is: Beijing wants development and peace. As Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang reiterated on March 7 at a press conference in Beijing, Sino-US ties are vital for the whole world, and decoupling does not serve the interests of either country.

Therefore it is time for some countries to abandon their Cold War mindset.

Unfortunately, many Western voices continue to project China as a “threat” to the world while continuing to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs and launching or triggering wars. China, on the other hand, has not started any war or attacked any country in the past half a century.

China’s firm anti-war stance is once again proved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. China’s message to other governments has always been to help end the conflict through diplomacy. Just as Qin reiterated on March 7, China always chooses peace and dialogue.

Hence, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s remark on March 5 that there would be “consequences” if China supplies weapons to Russia, to strengthen the latter’s position in the conflict, was uncalled for. Scholz, however, added he was fairly optimistic that Beijing would refrain from doing so.

And Qin reiterated that China does not send arms to any country in the conflict.

What many Western political leaders and people fail to understand is that China’s safe, stable domestic environment is a reflection of the values at the core of its policies, which are also embodied in the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI), because they are common values of humanity.

When China proposed the GDI, it was focused on supplying global public goods to help achieve the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, reverse the damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate global economic recovery.

As the international community came to realize during the three years of the pandemic, stable and smooth-running industry and supply chains are essential to ensuring sustainable global development, and it is to stabilize the global supply and industry chains that China held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017, following it up with the second forum in 2019, and will hold the third forum later this year. 

The forum is also aimed at promoting global cooperation and helping reform global governance.

And economic cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative framework has made it possible for Africa to make remarkable achievements, underscoring the benefits of peace and stability, Dennis Munene, executive director of the China Africa Center at the Nairobi-based Africa Policy Institute, has pointed out. Munene’s message speaks to the much broader values of Chinese civilization, and the deeply held values of its people and government.

Yet the Western media seldom mention such facts or tell their readers and viewers how committed China is to promoting peace and development. Instead, quite a few Western countries are obsessed with the military industrial complex because it earns fat revenues for their governments — and that is why many Western politicians and profiteers trigger wars and conflicts even if they mean sacrificing lives and resources.

Many military and political experts say that war hawks and profiteers engineered the Russia-Ukraine conflict and are not leaving any stone unturned to keep it alive in total disregard for the human and material costs.

In stark contrast to the Western powers, China has matched the core objectives of the GDI and GSI with its core aims of peace and development. China proposed the GDI in April last year. And more than 100 countries and regional organizations have supported the two initiatives.

China wants to set global examples for development and peace in the 21st century now that it has risen to the level of a “world superpower” in peace. The world has seen enough provocations, violence and war. And to see development, prosperity and peace, it needs to learn from China’s development philosophy and development programs.

The author is an American writer living in China and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for China and Globalization. 

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.