Sino-German ties set example for building new type of win-win relations

Global Times | 作者: Cui Hongjian | 时间: 2014-07-21 | 责编:
Adjust font size: + -


German Chancellor Angela Merkel concluded her seventh visit to China last week, helping keep Sino-German political and economic cooperation during the past few years at a high level. It also unfolded the prospect of the golden decade in the bilateral relations.

Germans' willingness and capacity to learn from experience are admirable. Germany has successfully transformed toward pacifism and achieved regional integration on the basis of profound reflection upon its atrocities during WWII. Chancellor Merkel has also learned how to get along with China from experience. She has turned from somewhat of a skeptic about China to a staunch promoter of Sino-German ties.

The current relations between Beijing and Berlin, featured by highly efficient economic and trading cooperation, play a significant role in leading Sino-European ties.

China's sustained relations with France, the UK and Europe at large have been stimulated and driven by its benign ties with Germany as well as duplicating the successful experience of Sino-German bilateral cooperation.

Cooperation and win-win progresses are now the mainstream in the development of the relations among China and Germany and the whole of Europe.

The sixth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue kicked off in Beijing immediately after Merkel's China visit. Building a new type of major power relationship has become a rosy vision of the development of China-US relations, which, however, is destined to involve myriad twists and turns.

Though both developed regions, the US and Europe have developed different worldviews and foreign policies, based on their own historical experience and geographical locations. This means that they adopt discrepant opinions and policies toward Beijing.

Changes in the present-day Sino-US relations and Sino-European ties should be regarded as critical experience and sources of inspiration for China to establish a new type of major power relationship with other countries, which is determined by the current international landscape and China's own development.

Given the vicissitudes in the global architecture, major stakeholders have been making a fuss surrounding unbalance and rebalance, and the only difference is that they hold different interpretations of the rebalance and therefore implement distinct policies.

Washington has adopted the rebalance strategy in a bid to avoid the power shift effect triggered by changes in the global wealth structure. Russia's integration of Crimea has also been interpreted as a severe unbalance in the international pattern. And some European countries also appeal to China for trade rebalance.

As a result, Washington's China policy mainly focuses on prevention, limiting or denting China's possible threat in the fierce competition. Constructing a new type of major power relationship between Beijing and Washington should start from non-confrontation and conflict avoidance.

Facing a rising China, most European nations are not as anxious as the US, which seeks to maintain hegemony. Instead, they have recognized the general trend of wealth and opportunity transfer, and are trying to take advantage of China's sustainable development to retain their own advantage in the global economic pattern and labor division system.

Whether China and the US will develop a successful new type of major power relationship and whether it will bring endured peace and prosperity to China and the whole world eventually depends on China's own development.

If Washington's policy toward China aims at depriving it of the conditions for sustainable development and exhausting its resources, as extremists maintain, then Beijing needs to make efforts to stop this from happening and improve its development conditions and enrich relevant resources with Europe's huge external market, advanced technologies and rich experience. The dramas of Sino-US and Sino-European relations are being staged simultaneously to write a new chapter in the new type of major power relationship.

The author is director and senior fellow of European studies at the China Institute of International Studies.


( Source: Global Times, July14, 2014, )