Chinese President Xi Jinping (R, front) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin hold talks in Moscow, capital of Russia, May 8, 2015. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
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.[Special coverage]
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 Wu Jianmin, 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.
Courtesy: China&US Focus