Three ‘Yeses’, Three ‘Noes’: China’s Post-Cold War International Policy

China opposes alliance with any other

China opposes alliance with any other

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a documents signing ceremony during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, May 8, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

By Wu Jianmin

China Daily, May 11, 2015

To say China and Russia are forging a new ideological bloc is simply absurd. The term "ideology" is misleading. What does it mean? No country in the world likes outside interference in its internal affairs, ideology or no ideology.

International law prescribes the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country. And one of the cardinal principles of China’s foreign policy is: No alliance with any other country.

China believes military alliances are a product of the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War, alliances have become obsolete. China used to have a military alliance with the Soviet Union, and it was an unpleasant experience.

In 1978, China adopted a new policy orientation called "reform and opening-up". Since then, China has entered a new period of growth. And its foreign policy is now the extension of its domestic policy. In line with its domestic policy that focuses on economic growth, China has designed a peaceful development strategy for its foreign policy.

What does peaceful development strategy mean? It means three "noes" and three "yeses". The first "no" is no expansion. China will never follow in the footsteps of the former colonial powers. The second is no hegemony. China will never follow the policies of the United States or the Soviet Union. The third is no alliance. China will never enter into a military alliance with any country.

The first "yes" is yes to peace. China has taken a huge undertaking to modernize itself. Peace is the sine qua non for development. The second is yes to development. China faces many problems and believes only development can help solve them. The third is yes to cooperation. China is aware that in a globalized world, no country can modernize itself in isolation. International cooperation is indispensable, and it is because of global cooperation over the past 36 years that China has achieved miraculous economic growth.

President Xi Jinping has been reiterating that China will stick to its peaceful development strategy, and it has no reason to deviate. True, over the past few years, cooperation between China and Russia has deepened on the basis of mutual benefit. But that is because the Chinese and Russian economies are highly complementary. China is a resource-poor country, while Russia is a resource-rich country, and they need each other.

The trade volume between China and Russia reached $95 billion last year, making up about 2 percent of China’s foreign trade. So, there is ample room for further development. Bu China is ready to build cooperation with other countries, too, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. In this context, the growth of the China-US relationship is a case in point, as their trade volume reached $540 billion last year.

On the Ukraine crisis, China’s consistent position has been that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every country in the world should be respected. China believes the Ukraine crisis cannot be solved through military means and urges all relevant parties to seek a solution through diplomatic channels.

The author, former president of China Foreign Affairs University, is a member of Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Foreign Policy Advisory Committee of Chinese Foreign Ministry.

10 Steps to Transform American Society

Presenting ‘The Democracy Charter’

By Jack O’Dell
The Nation

April 6, 2015 – In the fall of 1979, the Rev. Jesse Jackson invited me to accompany him on a ten-day visit to South Africa, coordinated by the African National Congress. Everywhere we went, from Cape Town to Durban, from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, the Freedom Charter would come up at some point in our conversations. This document, drafted by the ANC, had been discussed and modified by gatherings all around the country before being adopted at a nationwide assembly in Kliptown in 1955. Its vision-of a South Africa with civil, human and economic rights for all-would serve until the end of apartheid to unite the freedom movement in all of its sectors and to inspire hope and confidence in ultimate victory, despite the pain of the struggle and the ruthlessness of the regime.

Two years later, I was privileged to be one of the people whom The Nation invited to take part in a US peace activists’ tour of the NATO countries of Western Europe. We went in response to the Reagan administration’s unilateral initiative to deploy nuclear-armed missiles in Europe, as well as the great concern being expressed in many parts of Europe about this decision. In the Netherlands, one of the groups we visited was the Women’s Peace Committee at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. Near the end of a very cordial and interesting meeting, one of the women commented: "In 1940, the Germans came; they left in 1945. In 1945, the Americans came. When are they leaving?"

These two experiences, among many others, impressed upon me the idea of a Democracy Charter as a uniting vision for the diverse sectors of our social-change movement in the United States. The following version summarizes and updates ten points I first drafted in 2005-the fiftieth anniversary of the ANC’s Freedom Charter-for a conference of US and Canadian social-change activists and academics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Since then, as I’ve continued to revise the draft, study groups have formed around the country, from South Carolina to the Bay Area, to consider and update the charter as an outline of substantive democracy.

Most of the issues included in the Democracy Charter were chosen because they have been the object of public activity, led by a great variety of organizations, over a number of years. The Democracy Charter, summarized below, seeks to enlarge the public’s understanding of the connectedness of these issues as a way to achieve a social transformation of American society. This is the ultimate purpose of our movement.

I. A national commitment to affordable housing. Initiatives to house the homeless (many of them families), as well as those who pay most of their income for cramped and dilapidated housing, would create jobs in construction and renovation. Such initiatives would also give us the opportunity to increase our proportion of housing that uses sustainable energy. Negotiating realistic terms for homeowners who default on unsustainable mortgages can preserve neighborhoods otherwise destined to decay. (Continued)

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The Bashful Imperialists: An Elite Intelligence Group on US Empire

Coming to Terms With the American Empire

[Editor’s note: The following interesting piece is from an ‘independent’ group of private US intelligence analysts, and reflects the views of ruling elites. We should note, however, that there is nothing accidental or new in the US empire, embodied from the early days of the Republic in the widely embraced notion of ‘Manifest Destiny.’]

By George Friedman
Stratfor’s Geopolitical Weekly

April 14, 12015 – "Empire" is a dirty word. Considering the behavior of many empires, that is not unreasonable. But empire is also simply a description of a condition, many times unplanned and rarely intended. It is a condition that arises from a massive imbalance of power. Indeed, the empires created on purpose, such as Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany, have rarely lasted. Most empires do not plan to become one. They become one and then realize what they are. Sometimes they do not realize what they are for a long time, and that failure to see reality can have massive consequences.
World War II and the Birth of an Empire

The United States became an empire in 1945. It is true that in the Spanish-American War, the United States intentionally took control of the Philippines and Cuba. It is also true that it began thinking of itself as an empire, but it really was not. Cuba and the Philippines were the fantasy of empire, and this illusion dissolved during World War I, the subsequent period of isolationism and the Great Depression.

The genuine American empire that emerged thereafter was a byproduct of other events. There was no great conspiracy. In some ways, the circumstances of its creation made it more powerful. The dynamic of World War II led to the collapse of the European Peninsula and its occupation by the Soviets and the Americans. The same dynamic led to the occupation of Japan and its direct governance by the United States as a de facto colony, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur as viceroy.

The United States found itself with an extraordinary empire, which it also intended to abandon. This was a genuine wish and not mere propaganda. First, the United States was the first anti-imperial project in modernity. It opposed empire in principle. More important, this empire was a drain on American resources and not a source of wealth. World War II had shattered both Japan and Western Europe. The United States gained little or no economic advantage in holding on to these countries. Finally, the United States ended World War II largely untouched by war and as perhaps one of the few countries that profited from it. The money was to be made in the United States, not in the empire. The troops and the generals wanted to go home.

But unlike after World War I, the Americans couldn’t let go. That earlier war ruined nearly all of the participants. No one had the energy to attempt hegemony. The United States was content to leave Europe to its own dynamics. World War II ended differently. The Soviet Union had been wrecked but nevertheless it remained powerful. It was a hegemon in the east, and absent the United States, it conceivably could dominate all of Europe. This represented a problem for Washington, since a genuinely united Europe — whether a voluntary and effective federation or dominated by a single country — had sufficient resources to challenge U.S. power.

The United States could not leave. It did not think of itself as overseeing an empire, and it certainly permitted more internal political autonomy than the Soviets did in their region. Yet, in addition to maintaining a military presence, the United States organized the European economy and created and participated in the European defense system. If the essence of sovereignty is the ability to decide whether or not to go to war, that power was not in London, Paris or Warsaw. It was in Moscow and Washington.

The organizing principle of American strategy was the idea of containment. Unable to invade the Soviet Union, Washington’s default strategy was to check it. U.S. influence spread through Europe to Iran. The Soviet strategy was to flank the containment system by supporting insurgencies and allied movements as far to the rear of the U.S. line as possible. The European empires were collapsing and fragmenting. The Soviets sought to create an alliance structure out of the remnants, and the Americans sought to counter them.

The Economics of Empire

One of the advantages of alliance with the Soviets, particularly for insurgent groups, was a generous supply of weapons. The advantage of alignment with the United States was belonging to a dynamic trade zone and having access to investment capital and technology. Some nations, such as South Korea, benefited extraordinarily from this. Others didn’t. Leaders in countries like Nicaragua felt they had more to gain from Soviet political and military support than in trade with the United States. (Continued)

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