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No Asian Monroe Doctrine
2014/10/21
29/9/2014 China Daily China is a responsible regional power committed to consolidating friendship with neighboring nations and mutual cooperation. Some in the international society wearing tinted spectacles recently made a fuss over China's "show of muscle", claiming Beijing is attempting to change the status quo in the East and South China seas by means of force and the violation of international laws. They have also denounced the new concept of Asian security raised by China as an Asian version of the Monroe Doctrine and said it aims to build a China-dominated new framework for regional security cooperation and even resume the regional order and sphere of influence established by China's imperial dynasties in the past. At the same time, China's efforts to establish development bank for the BRICs countries, an Asian infrastructure construction bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are also alleged to be an attempt to build China-dominated multilateral financial bodies to overthrow the established international and regional financial orders. All these sensational remarks, filled with misgivings and prejudices, are in essence the latest version of the "China threat". The fact is that, in the long-term interests of itself and the international community, China has consistently made and carried out correct domestic and foreign policies. Over the 30-plus years since its reform and opening-up, China has successively become an important member of the international political, economic, financial and security systems, such as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization, and signed more than 400 multilateral treaties and 23,000 bilateral treaties, making itself an important participant, builder and protector of international laws and rules. As a participant and signatory of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, China consistently advocates the building of a peaceful and tranquil maritime order and the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue. It is China's stance that the parties concerned should shelve their disputes and promote common development before the disputes are resolved, to maintain regional peace and development. China's border demarcation with Vietnam in the Beibu Bay in 2000, its signing with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002 and its agreement with the Republic of Korea to start talks on sea borders in 2015 have all embodied its responsibilities for maintaining international laws and regional peace. The recent strained relations between China and some Asian countries in the East and South China seas are the result of the provocative actions of these countries. It is completely legitimate and justified for Chinese to safeguard its territories against such actions. Such behavior has nothing to do with a "show of strength". It is not China but the other countries concerned that have contravened the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other international laws and documents by attempting to change the status quo through permanent occupation of some islands that belong to China. The common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable Asian security concept raised by China, which is based on its good-neighborly and friendly foreign policies toward neighboring countries, is aimed at building a new framework for regional security cooperation. Such a security approach is not for its own selfish interests, but a reflection of the common wishes of Asian nations to maintain regional security and stability and promote common development and prosperity. China consistently stresses that Asia is open and welcomes a positive and constructive role from non-regional members, a stance that is essentially different from the Monroe Doctrine. China adheres to its long-cherished stance not to seek alignment, confrontation, hegemony and expansion, and not to use force. It has never pursued a sphere of influence, not to mention an attempt to restore its past imperial order. On the contrary, China is committed to consolidating its friendships with neighboring nations, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with them in a bid to behave as a responsible regional power to contribute to Asian peace and stability. In the context of the lack of substantial progresses achieved in international financial reforms following the 2008 international financial crisis, it is true that emerging economies, including China, have increased their efforts in financial cooperation and financial institutional construction, such as their establishment of a development bank for the BRICs countries and an investment bank for Asian infrastructure construction. However, such efforts are by no means aimed at challenging or replacing the established international financial system led by the IMF and World Bank, but a beneficial supplement to them that will help relevant countries strengthen financial cooperation and prevent financial risks. A China that adheres to its peaceful development path and is committed to maintaining world peace and promoting common development will not challenge the established international and regional order, given that a fast-growing China is braced to undertake more international responsibilities and contribute more to a brighter world.