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卢沙野:西方不能因为自身竞争力下降,就给别人使绊子

2019-05-25 09:50:36

【本文为5月23日,中国驻加拿大大使卢沙野在多伦多《环球邮报》总部“中加关系研讨会”上的演讲。】

尊敬的克雷蒂安先生,

马大维先生,

蒙特利尔银行金融集团CEO怀特先生,

《环球邮报》发行人兼CEO克劳利先生,

女士们,先生们,

大家下午好!

我首先向克雷蒂安前总理表示诚挚敬意。您担任总理期间,为推动中加关系发展作出积极贡献,两国关系经历了“黄金十年”。中国人民历来珍情重义,始终记得您这位老朋友。

由于众所周知的原因,当前中加关系出现严重困难,处于两国建交以来的最低点。我注意到加各界对此都高度关注,有不同的看法。《环球邮报》等媒体对此作了很多的报道和评论。其中不乏对中国的批评指责,也有一些理性思考。中加关系怎么了?两国关系为什么会遇到当前的困难?今后的出路在哪里?在此背景下,我觉得这次研讨会非常及时,给我们提供了一个很好的交流平台。感谢《环球邮报》和蒙特利尔银行的精心组织。

今天的研讨会,最初的主题是“接触的规则——重塑中加关系”。从源头上看,“接触”这个词含义十分微妙,包含“建立明确关系,以承诺形成约束”的意思,是美国对华政策的外交术语。过去几十年,美国为首的西方国家对华奉行“接触+遏制”政策,就是要用软硬两手——“接触”是软的一手,“遏制”是硬的一手——来把中国引导、约束到西方设定的轨道上,政治上实行西方自由民主制度,经济上遵循自由市场模式。

但最终中国没朝着美西方设计的方向演变,而是沿着适合本国国情的中国特色社会主义道路大踏步前进。这令西方国家大为失望,也促其进行反思。但反思的结果是,相当一部分西方特别是美国战略界人士认为,对华“接触战略”已经失败。这相当程度导致了美国特朗普政府作出将中国视为战略竞争对手的政策转变。“接触战略”为什么会失败?这就涉及到一些重要的问题:

首先,西方应该如何看待中国?

说实话,西方向来视中国为“异类”,而不是一个与自己平等的正常国家。西方国家怀着“慈悲”的心理,居高临下地俯视中国,要用“普世价值”把中国从“专制”、“独裁”统治下拯救出来。所以才有“接触战略”,要通过“接触战略”来改变中国,使中国成为西方所希望的那样。然而,中国是一个有着5000年历史的东方文明古国,比现存所有西方国家的历史都要长得多。使这样一个国家变成西方国家是“不可能完成的任务”。

1840年鸦片战争后,中国曾经尝试过很多办法实现现代化,实业救国、君主立宪、共和民主,但都没有成功。国家依然积贫积弱,外有列强欺压,内有军阀混战,百姓民不聊生。1919年巴黎和会上,作为战胜国的中国却不能收回被战败国德国占领的土地,彻底打碎了中国人民对西方民主国家的幻想,爆发了著名的“五四运动”。这场运动将马克思主义引入到中国,也催生了中国共产党。中国共产党立足中国社会现实,回应人民诉求,经过28年艰苦卓绝的奋斗,推翻了压在中国人民头上的帝国主义、封建主义、官僚资本主义“三座大山”,建立了新中国,确立了社会主义制度,实现了中华民族由近代衰弱到扭转命运、持续走向繁荣富强的伟大飞跃。因此,中国共产党领导和社会主义道路是中国人民的选择,是历史的必然。

然而,西方国家就是因为共产党领导和社会主义制度这两条,就认定中国是“专制国家”,“没有自由”,“侵犯人权”,哪怕中国用几十年时间走完西方国家几百年才走完的发展道路,实现了国家现代化,成为世界第二大经济体;哪怕中国几亿人摆脱贫困,对全球减贫事业贡献率达70%;哪怕中国每年有1.6亿人次自由出国旅游,而没有滞留西方国家成为难民;哪怕世界5大主要宗教都在中国合法存在,中国信教民众达2亿人,宗教团体约5500个,宗教场所14.4万处。世上哪有如此仁慈善良的专制国家呢?

今年3月,联合国公布《2019年全球幸福报告》,对全球各个国家的幸福指数进行了综合分析并排名。虽然这份报告由联合国发布,但实际上是由西方知名的民意调查公司盖洛普公司对140个国家和地区进行调查后,由一些专家汇编而成的。据此报告,2018年利比亚的排名是第70名,中国排名为第86名。今年利比亚的排名是第72位,中国则下降了10名,名列第96名。这一排名很有讽刺意味。在西方专家看来,目前中国人民的幸福指数甚至还远不如正处于战乱状态、恐怖袭击肆虐的利比亚。这一定是哪儿出错了。

近来,西方媒体及政客十分热衷炒作、抹黑中国在新疆依法设置的职业技能教育培训中心。中国设置教培中心的目的就是去极端化,严防暴力恐怖主义思想的传播,某些西方国家也有类似做法。但这一预防性反恐和去极端化创新举措却被某些西方人士歪曲成了打压少数民族权益和宗教信仰自由的手段。他们只关注几个触犯了中国法律的“人权卫士”的人权,而对受暴恐事件残害的民众的人权视而不见,对中国13亿多人民、新疆2400万人民的人权视而不见。

事实上,在教培中心设置前的十多年里,新疆曾发生过数千起暴恐事件,导致成千上万的无辜民众死伤。暴恐分子手段血腥、令人发指,同近期新西兰、斯里兰卡发生的事件,同一年前多伦多发生的事件相比有过之而无不及。中方设置教培中心以帮助被暴恐极端思想“洗脑”的人员摆脱极端思想束缚,掌握生产和生活本领,取得了立竿见影的效果。新疆社会治安环境有了明显改善,最近两年多来未发生一起暴恐事件,也没有无辜民众再受残害。试问,站在中国人民、新疆人民的立场上,这是好事还是坏事呢?

我举以上两个例子,就是想提醒西方某些人士,观察中国不能只从西方的视角,而应更多从中国视角看;也不能持“非此即彼、非黑即白”的观点,认为只要和西方不同的都是错的和恶的,或是同样的事中国人做就是错的和恶的。这样才能客观、全面地认识中国,才能从根本上改变对中国的误解和偏见。

其次,西方应该如何看待中国的发展?

目前,西方针对中国的发展主要有几种论调:比如,“中国经济威胁论”和“中国科技偷窃论”。

中国的发展是否构成威胁?我想告诉大家,中华民族骨子里没有对外侵略的基因,我们历史上从没有对外发动过侵略战争,也从未在海外占领过殖民地。举世闻名的历史遗迹——万里长城就是例子,中国建造长城是为了防卫北方游牧民族的入侵。明代(15世纪初)航海家郑和七下西洋,带去的是茶叶、丝绸和瓷器,而不是战争、屠杀和占领。

再比如,南海诸岛历来是中国的固有领土,二战后,当时的中国国民政府还是在美国军舰的协助下,从日本侵略军手里收复这些岛礁的。为了明确主权权益,国民政府于1947年划定了九段线。上世纪70年代前没有任何一个国家对南海九段线提出异议或对南海诸岛提出主权声索。但70年代后,随着南海地区勘测出巨量的油气资源,一些国家为了利益开始非法侵占南沙群岛部分岛礁,这是南海问题的根源。凭实力现在中国完全可以收回被占岛礁。但中国没有这么做,而是坚持与直接当事国通过对话谈判解决争议,这说明中国从来不曾也不会威胁别国。

中国的发展不仅不是威胁,对世界而言给恰是巨大的贡献。几十年来,中国经济持续高速发展,成为世界经济增长的引擎。中国对世界经济增长贡献率多年保持在30%,远超欧美等发达国家。中国提出的“一带一路”倡议为曾经封闭隔绝的亚欧大陆腹地,为曾经缺少经济民生基础设施的广大发展中国家,为经济增长乏力的欧洲国家,连通了世界市场,找到了脱贫道路,提供了增长动能。

中国经济的发展,科技的进步绝不是天上掉馅饼,更不是靠偷,而是靠13亿多中国人民的辛勤劳动和不懈奋斗得来的。美国人关于中国强制技术转让、侵犯知识产权、国有企业不公平竞争的指控是建立在谎言和偏见基础上的,他们故意忽视了他们对中国的背信弃义和商业霸凌。如果靠偷就能让航母下水,靠不公平竞争就能让大空探测器登陆月球背面,靠侵犯知识产权就能让5G技术领先世界,那世界各国都可以成为像美国这样的发达国家了。

西方国家对中国经济和科技发展心理不平衡,是“西方中心主义”思维作祟,它们总认为自己优于其他民族。过去数百年,西方的确为人类文明进步做出了巨大贡献。但在此之前,中国早就在世界文明史上占有重要一席。西方不能狭隘地认为自己会永远领先,而无视甚至通过不正当手段剥夺其他民族生存、发展的权利。

冷战后,西方将“历史终结论”奉为圭臬,傲慢地认为西方制度已登峰造极,是最好的制度,因此,发动了一场又一场针对“非西方”的战争,结果不但破坏了世界的和平与稳定,也消耗了自身的资源和精力。一些头脑清醒、富有洞察力的政治家对此看得很清楚。

今年4月,美国前总统卡特在同特朗普总统通电话后向公众表示,自1979年中美建交以来,中国从未对外进行战争,一直专注于国内发展,而美国却总处于战争中。美国在其242年的历史上,只有16年没打仗。新加坡前外交官、学者马凯硕在其新书《西方失败了吗?》(Has the West lost it?)中对西方提出“3M”的建议,即“极简”(Minimalist),少打仗,少干预别国事务:“多边”(Multilateral),虚心倾听广大“非西方”国家意见;“马基雅维利”(Machiavellian), 运用战略智慧维护长远利益。上述建议值得西方国家认真思考。

再次,西方应如何同中国打交道?

中国发展得怎么样,应该由中国人民自己来评判。我们对自己的道路、理论、制度、文化充满自信。我们绝不会因为西方国家有些不同看法、西方记者写几篇抹黑文章就改变自己的发展道路。我们认准的道路,就会坚持走下去。现在的问题是如何同中国打交道?我提一个“3R”建议:

一是尊重(Respect)。不尊重中国文化和国情差异,是西方对华“接触政策”失败的根源。要想使“接触”更加有效,西方国家必须在政治上切实做到尊重和平等对待中国。中西双方要尊重彼此核心利益和重大关切,不干涉彼此内政。

举个例子,2014年香港爆发“占中”抗议活动,并持续了79天。社会混乱,百业受损,严重影响市民生活。最终香港特区政府依法采取了措施。但上述非法活动却得到了英国等西方国家的支持、美化,他们对香港特区政府的处置方式指手画脚。近日,英国伦敦一些环保人士也发起了“占中”抗议活动,但持续不到8天就遭到当地政府铁腕镇压。示威者被称作乌合之众、暴徒,上千人被拘捕,40多人遭起诉。前香港特区行政长官梁振英感叹说,“英国警方没有忍79天,连7.9天也没有”。这多么具有讽刺意味。

二是互惠(Reciprocity)。经贸上要本着互利共赢的精神开展合作,不能只想着单方受益。改革开放之初,中国给予外资企业超国民待遇。当中国企业要为使用土地缴纳巨额费用时,外资企业可以免缴。当中国企业要缴纳沉重的营业税时,外资企业可以“两免三减半”。随着中国2001年加入世贸组织,为了同国际接轨,中国取消了外企的超国民待遇,给予其与中国企业同等的国民待遇,都要缴纳税费。结果有些西方企业就开始抱怨中国投资环境变差、市场准入存在问题等。西方企业忘记了其享受超国民待遇时赚得盆满钵满,现在却“倒打一耙”,说中方占了便宜。这如同一场4×100米接力赛,西方不能将自身竞争力下降归咎于对手,应更加努力地向前奔跑,而非给对手使绊子,更不能因为掉棒而要求重赛。西方不能眼红其他国家运用国际贸易规则赶上甚至超过自己就要求修改规则。规则的制定与改变不能只从西方的角度考虑。发达国家一味要求发展中国国家开放市场,却对发展中国家放松技术出口管制、降低专利壁垒的诉求置之不理,这公平吗?

三是管控(Regulation)。要管控好分歧和敏感问题,不能激化矛盾。中西方在某些问题上存在分歧不足为怪,“物之不齐,物之情也”。关键是要把这些分歧放在合适的位置并予以妥善处理,不要让其干扰双边关系发展的大局。有些问题涉及到中西方不同的意识形态和价值观,是争不出个所以然的。双方吵来吵去,既伤和气,最后还什么事都干不成。中国老话讲,“智者求同,愚者求异”。我们何不求同存异,控制分歧点,扩大合作面,聚焦共同利益呢?

女士们,先生们,

中加两国意识形态和政治制度存在差异,然而,上世纪70年代,两国老一辈政治家以非凡的政治勇气和远见卓识,冲破重重阻力,开启了中加关系的大门。加拿大成为最早同新中国建交的西方国家之一。中方历来重视发展中加关系。两国经济互补性强,是天然的合作伙伴。两国都支持多边主义和自由贸易,在很多国际地区问题上持相近的观点。

当前,中加关系陷入“冰点”并面临巨大困难,中方对此极为痛心。“解铃还须系铃人”。我们强烈呼吁加方能够客观、公正看待中国发展,尊重中方的重大关切,不要再做损害中方利益的事。特别是,要从战略和长远角度看待两国关系,而不是把发展对华关系只当作解决眼前困难的权宜之计。只有如此,中加关系才能少些干扰和波折,行稳致远。

(翻页查看英文)

(May 23, The Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto)

Honorable Mr. Jean Chrétien,

Mr. David Mulroney,

Mr. Darryl White, CEO of BMO Financial Group,

Mr. Phillip Crawley, Publisher & CEO of The Globe and Mail,

Ladies and gentlemen,


Good afternoon!

To begin with, I would like to show my sincere respect to Mr. Jean Chrétien, former Prime Minister of Canada. When you served as the Prime Minister of Canada, you were positively contributing to promoting China-Canada relations which enjoyed a “golden decade” back then. The Chinese people always values friendship and we have all along remembered you as our old friend.  

For clear reasons, the current China-Canada relations are facing serious difficulties and are situated at the rock bottom since the two countries have established diplomatic relations. I have noticed that all sectors in Canada have paid high attention to it and they have different opinions. The media including The Globe and Mail have many reports and comments on this matter, including some criticisms against and blames on China as well as some rational thoughts.

What’s the matter with China-Canada relations? Why would the relations come across the current obstacles? What are our future ways out? Under such backgrounds, I believe this seminar is a very timely one, which provides us with an excellent communication platform. I would like to show my gratitude to The Globe and Mail and the Bank of Montreal for organizing this event.  

At the very beginning, the theme of today’s seminar is Rules of Engagement—Reframing Sino-Canadian Relations. Analyzed from the etymology, the word “engagement” has very nuanced implications, including the meaning of “establishing a clear relationship with commitment as the constraint”. This is one of the diplomatic terms in the U.S. policies towards China.

Over the decades, Western countries represented by the U.S. have pursued the policy of “engagement + containment”, which is to use two methods, the gentle one and the harsh one, to guide and constrain China onto the track set by the West, which is to implement the Western liberal democracy politically and follow the free market mode economically. The “engagement” is the gentle method while the “containment” is the harsh one.

However, China has not developed in the directions designed by the U.S. led-Western countries eventually. Instead, China is making great strides along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics which corresponds with its domestic conditions.

This has greatly disappointed Western countries and also made them reflect. However, the result of the reflection is that, a sizeable proportion of people in the strategic community of Western countries, especially in the U.S., believe the “engagement strategy” on China has failed. This considerably leads to the policy transformation of the Trump administration of the U.S. to regard China as its strategic competitor.

Why would the “engagement strategy” have failed?This involves some important questions:

Firstly, how should the West think of China?

To be honest, Western countries have always regarded China as an abnormal country rather than a normal one with equal status as themselves. They, bearing the “mercy” in mind, condescend to China and want to save China from the dominance of “autocracy” and “dictatorship” with their “universal values”, which results in the “engagement strategy”. They hope to forge China with the “strategy”  into what they want it to be.

However, China, as a 5000 year old Eastern civilization, has a much longer history than all the existing Western countries. Therefore, it is an “impossible mission” to transform such a country into a Western-like one.

After the First Opium War in 1840, China had been trying  many ways to realize modernization, including saving the nation by engaging in industry, constitutional monarchy, and republican democracy, which all failed eventually. Impoverished and enfeebled, China was oppressed by great powers externally and trapped in tangled warfare of warlords internally. Suffering misery and despair, the people found it hard to live. At the Paris Peace Conference held in 1919, China, a victorious nation, could not reclaim its land occupied by Germany, a defeated nation, which completely smashed the fantasy of Chinese people on Western democratic countries and there broke out the famous “May Fourth Movement”.

This movement introduced Marxism into China and gave birth to the Communist Party of China (CPC). The CPC, based on the social reality of China, responds to the appeals from the people. After 28 years of extremely hard and bitter struggle, the CPC overthrew “three heavy mountains” of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism oppressing the Chinese people and founded the New China as well as established the socialist system, which brought about a leap forward whereby the Chinese nation reversed its decline and set out towards prosperity and strength. Therefore, the leadership of the CPC and the path of socialism are the choice of the Chinese people and an inexorable historical trend.

However, just because of the CPC’s leadership and the socialist system, Western countries allege China as an “autocracy” with “no freedom” and “violating human rights”, regardless of the fact that China has realized its modernization and become the second largest economy in the world in only a few decades while it took its Western counterparts several hundred years to achieve the same, that China has lifted several hundred millions of people out of poverty, contributing 70 percent to the poverty alleviation worldwide, that there are 160 million Chinese traveling every year overseas freely without detaining in Western countries as refugees, and that five major world religions legally exist in China with 200 million disciples, about 5,500 religious organizations, and 144 thousand places of worship. Is there in the world an autocracy so benevolent and benign as that?

In March this year, the UN has released the World Happiness Report 2019, which comprehensively analyzes and ranks the happiness index of countries in the world. Although released by the UN, the report was actually a compilation of surveys in 140 countries and regions by some experts at Gallup, a well-known Western polling company.

According to the report, in 2018, Libya ranked the 70th while China ranked the 86th. This year, Libya ranks the 72nd while China slides 10 places to the 96th. This ranking is very sarcastic, as it indicates that Western experts believe that the current happiness index of the Chinese people is even lower than that of the Libyan people whose country is torn by war and ravaged in terrorist attacks. There must be something wrong.

At present, Western media and politicians are very keen on playing up and defaming the vocational education and training centers established in Xinjiang by the Chinese government in accordance with the law. The aim of China establishing the centers is to eradicate extremism and take strict precautions against the spreading of violent terrorism thought, and we can see similar actions in some Western countries as well.

However, this preventive anti-terrorism move and innovative implementation of the deradicalization has been distorted by some Westerners as the means of infringing the rights and interests of the ethnic minority groups and curtailing their freedom of faith and religions. These Westerners only pay their attention to the human rights of several “defenders of human rights” who have violated the Chinese laws and turned a blind eye to the human rights of the victims in violent and terrorist attacks and the human rights of more than 1.3 billion people in China as well as 24 million people in Xinjiang.

Actually, in more than ten years before the centers were established, there were thousands of violent and terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, which had led to the death and injury of tens of thousands of innocent people. These terrorists are sanguinary in means and their heinous attacks are worse than the attacks happened in New Zealand and Sri Lanka recently and in Toronto a year ago.

China’s establishment of these centers is meant to help these people who have been “brainwashed” by the extremist thoughts of violence and terrorism to get rid of those thoughts and learn work and living skills, which gets instant results. The social security in Xinjiang has been remarkably improved. In the recent two years or so, there has not been a single violent and terrorist attack and no more innocent people have been harmed. I wonder, from the perspective of the Chinese people and people in Xinjiang, is this good or bad?

The two examples I mentioned above are to remind certain Westerners that they should observe China not only from the perspective of Western countries but also from that of China. Moreover, they cannot hold the view of “either this or that” or “black or white” and should not believe that everything that is different from those in Western countries is wrong and evil, or the same thing as what the West does will be wrong and evil, if it is done by China. Only in this way can they understand China in an objective and comprehensive manner and change the misunderstandings about and prejudices against China fundamentally.

Secondly, how should the West view China’s development?

In the West, currently, several kinds of allegations against China’s development prevail, for instance “China economic threat theory” and “China technology theft theory”.

Is China’s development a threat? I want to tell you that the Chinese nation does not have the gene of aggression. We have never launched a war of aggression against any other country and we have never occupied one inch of overseas colony in history. The world-famous Great Wall is an example. It was in the aim to fend off the invasion of the nomadic tribes in the north that China built the Great Wall. In the Ming Dynasty (early 1500 A.D.), a Chinese great navigator Zheng He embarked on the voyages to the West Oceans for seven times, bringing tea leaves, silk and porcelain as trading goods, instead of war, slaughter and occupation to the countries he visited.

For another example, the South China Sea islands have all along been the inherent territory of China. After the World War II, the then China’s national government recaptured these islands from Japanese aggressors with the assistance of the U.S. warships. In order to specify the sovereignty, rights and interests, the national government designated the nine-dash line in 1947. Before 1970s, no country has objected to the nine-dash line in the South China Sea or claimed for sovereignty over the South China Sea islands. After 1970s, however, with the discovery of massive oil gas in the South China Sea, some littoral countries, out of their own benefits, began to invade and illegally occupy some South China Sea islands, which was the root cause for the South China Sea Issue.

With its national strength, China nowadays can absolutely recover the occupied islands. However, without resorting to such a step, China sticks to resolving disputes through dialogues and negotiations with the countries directly concerned, which shows that China has not threatened and will never threaten other countries.

Instead of a threat, China’s development is nothing less than a great contribution to the world. For several decades, China’s economy has developed rapidly, becoming an engine of the global economic growth. China’s contribution to global economic growth has stayed at about 30 percent for several years, far exceeding those combined of developed countries in Europe and America.

The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China provides growth drivers for Inner Eurasia which was isolated from the rest of the world in the past, for developing countries which were short of infrastructure for economic development in the past, and for European countries with sluggish economic growth. The initiative has made the markets of various countries interconnected, provided developing countries with ways of poverty alleviation and provided impetus for economic growth for the world.

China’s economic development and progress in science and technologies are not the pennies from the heaven, let alone the ripoff from other countries. These achievements are made by all the Chinese people with their hard work and unremitting efforts. The American accusations on China’s forced transfer of technology, violating the intellectual property and unfair competition of State-owned enterprises are based on lies and bias. They conveniently lose sight of their own breach of trust and fairness and commercial bullying vis-a-vis China. If an aircraft carrier could be launched by stealing; if a space probe could land on the surface of the moon by unfair competiton; and if the 5G Technology could become world-leading by violating intellectual property, then all countries would be developed countries like the U.S..

Western countries’ psychological imbalance towards China’s economic and technological development comes down to the West-egotism. They always believe that they are superior to any other nations. In the past centuries, the West did make great contributions to progress of human civilization. But China had previously won an important position in the history of world civilization long before.

For this reason, the West cannot narrowly believe that they will take the lead forever while ignoring other nations’ rights to subsistence and development and even depriving them of it through improper means. After the Cold War, the West took the “end of history” theory as a creed and arrogantly believed that the Western system reached the peak of perfection and it was the best system in the world. Therefore, they launched wars against “non-Western countries”, one after another, which not only destroyed the world peace and stability but also consumed their own resources and energy.

Some levelheaded and insightful statesmen take a clear view on this. After making a phone call to President Donald Trump in April this year, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said to the public that China has never been at war with anybody since its establishment of diplomatic relations with the U.S. in 1979. China has always focused on its domestic development but the U.S. has always stayed at war. The U.S. has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history.

In his new book “Has the West lost it?”, former Singaporean diplomat and scholar Kishore Mahbubani proposes the “3M” strategy for the West: first M is “Minimalist”, which means fewer wars and less intervention in domestic affairs of other countries; second M is “Multilateral”, which means to be open to the opinions of “non-Western countries”; and last one is “Machiavellian”, which means to maintain long-term interests by using strategic wisdom. This strategy deserves Western countries’ serious consideration.

Thirdly, how should the West engage with China?

Chinese people are in the best position to judge China’s development. We are confident about our own path, theory, system and culture. We will never change our own development path because of the different viewpoints of Western countries and several discredited articles in the West. We will stick to the path that we choose. For Western countries, the problem is how to get along with China. I would like to give “3R” suggestions:

The first is Respect. The disrespect of China’s culture and the differences in national conditions is the root cause for the failure of “engagement strategy” of the West. In order to achieve more effective “engagement”, Western countries must respect and treat China as equal politically. Both the Chinese side and the Western side should respect each other’s core interests and major concerns and they shall never interfere in the internal affairs of each other.

In 2014, for example, the protest of “Occupying Central with Love and Peace” (OCLP) broke out in Hong Kong, and lasted for 79 days, leading to social disorder and damages in all sectors and severely affecting citizens’ life. In the end, the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) took measures in accordance with laws.

However, these illegal activities were supported and glorified by Western countries, including the United Kingdom (U.K.). They made indiscreet remarks and criticisms on the measures taken by the Hong Kong SAR government.

Recently, some environmentalists in London have brought parts of central London to a standstill, but it was clamped down on by the government with iron grip in less than eight days, and the protesters were called rabbles and mobs. Over 1,000 protesters were arrested and more than 40 of them were prosecuted. Former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying of the Hong Kong SAR observed, “The U.K. police did not stand for 79 days, not even 7.9 days.” How ironic!

The second is Reciprocity. We should carry out cooperation in economy and trade in the spirit of mutual benefit and win-win results, instead of solely taking into account the benefits of one single side. In the early days of reform and opening-up, China provided super-national treatment for foreign-invested companies. While Chinese companies had to pay enormous fees for land use, foreign-invested companies were exempted from paying these fees. While Chinese companies had to pay heavy business tax, their foreign counterparts were exempted from paying the business tax for the first two years and were allowed to pay halved business tax for the next three years.

In 2001, China cancelled the super-national treatment for foreign-invested companies upon its accession to World Trade Organization, meaning that all companies, foreign-invested or not, shall pay tax and fees on the equal-footed base. It is a common practice in the world, yet some Western countries began to complain that China’s investment environment worsened and they had difficulties in market access. They forgot that they had made a bundle when enjoying the super-national treatment. Today, they blame on China for cancelling the super-national treatment, saying that the Chinese side gains extra advantages by unfair means.

This is like a 4x100 meters relay. The West should not attribute their decline of competitiveness to their rivals, but should run faster, instead of obstructing the rivals. They also cannot require for a rematch because they drop the stick. The West cannot require changing the rules when they are caught up with or even surpassed by those who abide by international trade rules.

The formulation and change of rules cannot only go to the West’s advantage. Is it fair that developed countries just simply demand developing countries open their markets wider while ignoring developing countries’ appeals for relaxing the export control of technologies and lowering the patent barriers?

The third is Regulation. We should manage divergences and sensitive issues, rather than sharpening contradictions. It is natural for the Chinese side and the Western side to have some divergences on certain issues, just as Mencius, the great philosopher in ancient China, said, “Things are born to be different.” The key is to place these divergences in a proper position and properly handle them so that they will not affect the general situation of bilateral relations.

As for some issues arising from the differences in ideologies and values of both sides, it is pointless for both sides to argue on and on, which will not only destroy the harmony but also end up with nothing. As a Chinese saying goes, “The wise expand common ground while the unwise aggravate differences”. Then why don’t we seek common ground while shelving differences, control divergences, expand cooperation, and focus on common interests?

Ladies and gentlemen,

China and Canada are two countries of different ideology and political system. Nevertheless, in the 1970s, the elder generations of politicians of both countries forged diplomatic relations with remarkable political courage and insight despite all the obstacles. Since Canada is one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with New China, China has all along valued bilateral relations. Thanks to the strong economic complementarity, the two countries are natural cooperative partners. Moreover, both countries support multilateralism and free trade and share similar views on many international and regional issues.

It saddens us that the current China-Canada relations are “at a freezing point” and face huge difficulties. The knots shall be untied by those who got them tied. We strongly call upon the Canadian side to view China’s development in a fair and objective manner, respect China’s major concerns and stop the moves that undermine the interests of China. We hope the Canadian side will particularly view bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective rather than treating bilateral relations as an expedient solution to its current difficulties. Only in this way can the bilateral relations steer clear of disturbance and bumpiness and enjoy stable and long-term development.

卢沙野

卢沙野

中国驻加拿大大使

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