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Why is China always haunted by the "China threat"?
Latest Updated by 2006-08-02 10:58:52
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In 2005, the foreign capital and foreign direct investment that China used was US$ 60.5 billion and Chinese oversea investment was about US$ 7 billion, according to Zhao Chuang, general-director of Department of Foreign Economic Cooperation of Ministry of Commerce of China, at East Asia Investment Forum 2006 recently held in Weihai of Shandong Province. The ratio of the former to the latter is not only lower than the average level of developed countries, which is between 1:1.2 to 1:1.4, but also lower than the average of developing countries, which is 1:0.19, Mr. Zhao added.

Mr. Zhao's words aim to illustrate that although Chinese oversea investment is growing fast, China has not now become a world power in terms of foreign investment and does not pose any threat to any country or enterprise in the world for she has just passed the initial phase in this field.

In the 28 years since China fully launched the reform and opening-up campaign, her involvement in international economic activities is becoming increasingly wide and deep. During those years, China won trust and support from other countries and her international status and influence was greatly raised. On the other hand however, China has been criticized as a "threat" for many imaginative reasons. Currently the threat of Chinese oversea investment is another form of the "China threat"

Roughly speaking, there emerged four waves of the "China threat". The first wave happened in the early 1990's when China took effective measures to keep social order in the face of great political changes of Eastern Europe and the collapse of Soviet Union. The second took place during the mid-1990s Taiwan-Strait crisis when some western countries overacted to China's actions to safeguard her national unification. The third wave occurred around the 9/11 terrorist attacks when U.S. politicians overstated China as the enemy of the U.S. in the early period of George W. Bush's presidency.

From March of 2005, some western countries began to generate the fourth wave of the "China threat". Taking China's military power as a lead-in and core matter, they have woven a complicated "China threat" with an extensive coverage, running the gamut from military affairs, politics, and economy, to energy, environment, culture and technology, to geographic strategy, stability of Taiwan Strait and regional security.

In 2006, China showed much greater comprehensive national strength with their GDP taking fourth place in the world and foreign exchange reserve remaining first in the world. Meanwhile, however, in the "Annual Report to Congress: Military Power of the People's Republic of China 2006", the U.S. Department of Defense wantonly expresses its ideas about the "China military threat". This report emphasizes that the new development of China's navy, air force and missile divisions threatens the U.S. and the equilibrium in Asia-Pacific region, and states that the military equilibrium of Taiwan Strait has begun tilting towards Chinese mainland. Japan, as an enthusiastic follower of the western world, helps to poison China's international atmosphere by overstating the "China threat" in the reports of Japanese media, whenever the "China threat" shows a growing trend in the U.S. or the international community. Besides, Russia, India and some European countries also joined the U.S. and Japan to exaggeratedly comment on the "China threat".

Needless to say, those developed countries are always suspicious and cautious with China's fast growing economy and society and continuously gain comprehensive national strength. This is the root cause of the "China threat" of all kinds, from "threat of democracy" and "threat of human rights" in early years, to "threat of Chinese textile dumping", "threat of low labor costs", "threat of energy demand", "threat of food supplies", "threat of financial risks", etc. later on, to gossip-like "threat of Chinese singles" (it means the future large disproportion between Chinese males and females may cause crises to Chinese people's marriages, resulting in posing a threat to China's neighboring countries), to "threat of investment" and "threat of national securities" (for example, the bid of China National Offshore Oil Corporation for purchase of Unocal Corporation of the U.S. and U.S. State Department's restrictions on use of desktops produced by Lenovo Group, a Chinese corporation). These different variations of the "China threat" can help these developed countries to win public support for their stronger measures for safeguarding their global political, economical and military interests and at the same time, they can contain China by setting barriers to China's road of building power and enhancing international influences.

However, China's sincerity and practices of commitment to peaceful development is widely recognized in the world and foreign hostility against China is gradually diminishing, thanks to China's great efforts in diplomatic affairs. Besides, through frequent multi-lateral communications and bilateral exchanges, many countries have received a refreshed picture of China which does not only stick to her own road but also keeps striving to get close to international rules as much as possible, and meanwhile attaches importance to and makes active response to outer concerns. To put it simply, China's international environment for reform and opening up campaign is becoming better and better.

The reason why the "China threat" continuously undergoes many changes and is represented in different forms is that China has found a way to conquer the concerns and difficulties exaggerated by foreign countries. The changes in the "China threat" reflect the great vitality of China's reform and opening-up campaign which can succeed in breaking through any barrier. China is actually a country committed to building a harmonic domestic society and a harmonic world. As an increasing number of people in the world accept this concept, the "China threat" will have a shrinking market and more and more people will be willing to believe in "China's contribution" and "China's cooperation".

Editor: Yan

By: Source: People's Daily website
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