Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

China’s growing military strength means more chances for peace #China [Global Times]


In the global headspace of ideologies already saturated with 24-7 reports on the significant leadership transitions of the world’s most important bilateral relationship, China publishes this editorial.

First it attempts to shape its 1.7m print readership and beyond in the online world into a cohesive unit – one based on real strength, a greater public awareness of what soft power means to them collectively, thus regulating their behaviour. It might significant that the Global Times has a strong overseas Chinese readership too.

The overarching point perhaps is that they had no reason to be intimidated anymore, and perhaps more importantly –  it also calls for cohesiveness, restraint, and mindfulness as they now have the means to shape their vision of peace and stability.

Nevertheless, we should not be afraid to resolutely fight back against others’ provocations. We should also be capable of distinguishing pure provocations from conflicts over core interests that can’t be resolved, and be able to calculate how much of a winning chance we have.

– – –

China’s growing military strength means more chances for peace
Global Times Editorial
Source – Global Times, published November 4, 2012

Illustration by Liu Rui. Source – Global Times, 2012

Recently, there have been a lot of discussions in overseas media about the successful first test flight of China’s second kind of fifth generation stealth fighter, the J-31. If the reports are correct, it means that China is developing two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters at the same time. Only the US has ever owned two kinds of fifth generation stealth fighters.

In recent years, China has continued to develop its aerospace industry, so as to catch up with the most advanced in the world. It is possible that China will make some new breakthroughs. With new high technology being developed, the gap between the Chinese air force and world-class level air forces will continue to narrow.

However, China should remain clear-headed about this. Currently, we have made some concrete progress. But much remains to be done to bring the whole defense equipment system to the same advanced level. China still has a long, tough road to undergo in this regard.

China can compete with neither the US nor Russia in terms of comprehensive military strength, a situation which will continue for a long time. Chinese people will never have the mentality of engaging in a worldwide confrontation with the US. Amid frictions with the US, China has no other needs than to defend its own core interests, a mentality that the country should persevere with.

Due to China’s current military strength, other countries do not dare to blindly challenge China’s core interests or risk engaging in military confrontation with it. However, it does not mean that foreign forces will not dare to launch a war against China under any circumstances.

China’s current national defense strategy is offshore defense, which embodies the general scope of China’s core interests. Within such a scope, China’s military strength is growing rapidly, and its overall security can be guaranteed by this scope.

But if China has further strategic ambitions, it will inevitably face risks which will be difficult to deal with in the coming years. Not only superpowers like the US, but also medium-sized powers may risk confronting China for what they see as their core interests. Therefore, China’s assertiveness not only depends on its military strength, but also on where China uses this strength.

Besides military strength, China also needs to develop its soft power and accumulate experience of how to use its power. China is a relatively isolated power. Such isolation is not uncommon for emerging powers. But at the moment, we should clearly recognize that our growth in the global arena cannot simply rely on growing military strength or a few advanced weapons.

China should be patient during its rise. Developing sophisticated weapons is a required course for China. Sophisticated weapons are expensive, but they are not luxuries for China. We have spent a lot of money manufacturing and equipping them, and we will also use special methods to consume them.

It is difficult for us to figure out how powerful we are. Sometimes Chinese people are confident, and sometimes we underestimate ourselves.

Frankly, society does not know clearly which stage of development we’re at.

Nevertheless, we should not be afraid to resolutely fight back against others’ provocations. We should also be capable of distinguishing pure provocations from conflicts over core interests that can’t be resolved, and be able to calculate how much of a winning chance we have.

China has already arrived at the center of international politics. The more sophisticated our weapons are, the more confidence we will have. At the same time, we will become more active in resorting to applying peaceful solutions to conflicts. A successful power can maintain its prestige without losing its temper. But this is hard to achieve. China still needs to explore this aspect amid its rise.

The article is an editorial published in the Chinese edition of the Global Times Thursday.opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Russia, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, U.S., , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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