The Chronicle Newspaper Publishes Chinese Ambassador Wang Zonglai 's Article

On July 1st, 2011, "the Chronicle", the newspaper of Dominica published an article of H.E. Ambassador Wang Zonglai on China's idea of peaceful development and harmonious world. The full text is as follows:



On June 21st, 2011, a video advertisement from slipped into my mailbox.

This video, made by Mark Amodei, a gentleman in Nevada who is running for US Congressman, makes up images of China's People's Liberation Army marching in Washington D.C., depicting China as a boogieman intending to take over the US.

Obviously, Mr. Mark Amodei is trying to arouse anti-China sentiment among the general public, fishing for his political gains. I could just laugh it away. This video, however, reminds me once again that people around the world may still have misunderstandings about China and its development.

There is a saying in China, "seek common ground while reserving differences." We Chinese respect differences, but we do want to foster harmony between differences.

Philosophical Traditions

Harmony means coordination, combination, integration and peace among different elements.

Looking back at the 5,000-year history of China, people will find the word "harmony" is not a freshly coined political jargon, but a traditional Chinese philosophical notion.

Thousands of years ago, the Chinese people carved the character "He", which means harmony and peace, on tortoise shells, and Confucius, the philosopher, expounded the philosophical concept of "harmony without uniformity", suggesting that in a world full of differences and contradictions, the righteous man should strive for a balance and harmony between them.

Matteo Ricci, an Italian missionary who came to China more than 400 years ago, wrote after studying Chinese history, and especially after comparing the Chinese and European history, that the Chinese tend to be contented with the status quo and cherish harmony and peace. The Chinese nation by nature has no ambition for overseas conquest, he concluded.

The concept of harmony is a major component of the Chinese culture. It's a reflection of the Chinese people's ethical principles and a basic element of China's modern diplomacy.

China's Idea for the World

The world is now undergoing complex and deep transformations characterized by the turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa, and the lingering negative impact of the financial crisis on world economy.

Against this backdrop, the international community is rethinking how the world should be governed, and seeking to draw up a new global agenda and to advance new theories of world governance so as to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for our mankind.
Stressing harmony again becomes China's approach to these challenges. We call on building a "harmonious world" by adoption of win-win strategy, adherence to the policy of peaceful development, respect of diversity, cooperation and coordination and peaceful coexistence.

Chinese President Hu Jintao raised this idea at the 2005 UN summit, saying: "Multilateralism, mutually beneficial cooperation and the spirit of inclusiveness should be upheld to realize common security, prosperity, and to build a world where all civilizations coexist harmoniously and accommodate each other."

Some people have doubts about the Chinese notion of a harmonious world. They cite China's old saying "keeping a low profile but play a due role" and question China's true intention. They guess that it is in fact an underhand scheme played by China when it is not yet strong.

This is totally a misunderstanding. The main connotation of "keeping a low profile but play a due role" is that China should remain modest and prudent, not to be a leader, not to engage in expansion and not to practice hegemony, which accords with the thinking of harmony.

China's Diplomatic Practice

In 1954, late Chinese premier Zhou Enlai formulated the "Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence", which are now the fundamental guidelines for international relations.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Deng Xiaoping proposed the "independent foreign policy of peace". Ever since then, China has greatly expanded its comprehensive national strength and saliently raised its international status.

Today, the idea of "building a harmonious world" has become a core theory and principal guideline of China's Diplomacy.

Guided by this idea, China has now become more actively engaged in multilateral organizations, such as the WTO, Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO), G20, ASEAN plus One, ASEAN plus Three and BRICS, both at the regional and international levels.

It is worth mentioning of BRICS. On April 14, 2011, leaders of China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa gathered in Sanya, Hainan Province of China for the Third BRICS Leaders Meeting. They arrived at consensus on how to cope with global challenges. They agreed to enhance coordination and collaboration among BRICS countries in international affairs, work closely on the issues of international monetary system reform, bulk commodity prices fluctuations, climate change and sustainable development, and accelerate the improvement of global governance. The meeting became a milestone in the process of cooperation among BRICS countries and set up a good example of South-South cooperation.

Guided by the notion of harmonious world, China has been in active interaction with other major economic heavyweights which are the most important movers and shakers in the world arena. 

To resolve the rising number of trade disputes, China advocated strategic dialogues with the U.S., Japan, India and Russia. The third China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue closed on May 10, 2011, which facilitated stronger relations between the world's two biggest economies.

To promote understanding and exchanges between the peoples, China has held a "year of culture" each with France, Italy and Russia.

"China has been involved in more interactions with the major powers, and its role in balancing the relationship among major powers cannot be neglected," according to a researcher with China Institute of International Studies.

Guided by the aspiration for harmonious world, China has substantially engaged in world affairs and conflict resolution.

The country has actively participated in United Nations peacekeeping operations. At present, about 1,600 Chinese are serving in ten countries, including Sudan, Lebanon, and Liberia.

China has always been a staunch supporter of political means to resolve hot issues. Since the Libyan crisis broke out in March, China has been calling relevant sides to cease fire as soon as possible so as to avert greater humanitarian disaster and resolve the crisis through dialogues, negotiations and other political means. At present, China is working together with the international community and stands ready to keep in touch with all relevant parties in Libya to push for a political resolution of the Libyan issue.

Guided by the idea of "harmonious world", China stresses sustainable development internally and externally.

Sustainable development is an important part of China's 'Harmonious World' idea. Its economy has experienced rapid growth in the past thirty years, but its development model featuring investment and export is a rough and ready one implemented at the expense of unbalanced developing and a widening gap between rich and poor, leading Chinese government to realize the importance of sustainable development.

China is now implementing its 12th National Five-Year plan, which emphasizes speeding up the transformation of its pattern of growth and restructuring its economy, focusing on social development and environmental protection while maintaining rapid economic growth.

Externally, China aims to develop sustainably together with its partners.

Let me take this region as an example:

China is now strengthening its cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean toward a comprehensive, balanced and sustainable direction, and is willing to work with the nations of the region to increase mutual exports of high value-added products, expand trade and optimize the business structure.

China will encourage more Chinese enterprises to increase their investment and launch businesses in Latin America and to explore cooperation in agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, new energy, aviation and space industries.

There are golden opportunities for us to work together, aiming at sustaining growth, to take China-Dominica economic relations to a new height.


Harmony, the ancient Chinese philosophical concept, now adopted in modern diplomacy, will guide China to achieve stability and prosperity and play a positive role in forming the more rational international political and economic order.

I am sure that if Mr. Mark Amodei understands the real meaning of harmony, his anxiety about China will also be greatly relieved.


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