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Special> NPC & CPPCC Sessions 2010> Latest
UPDATED: March 8, 2010
Yang Sketches Out Country's Global Vision
Stop looking at China through tinted glasses, minister says

The Chinese ink painting and the Western oil painting are embodiments of two distinct cultures which should be appreciated from different perspectives.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi employed the metaphor to illustrate a basic tenet of global affairs--each country should respect the interests of others instead of imposing a singular set of values.

"We hope the world appreciates China's uniqueness and national circumstances, and people stop looking at the country through tinted glasses, and abandon stereotyped perceptions--particularly bias," Yang said on Sunday.

"I like both oil paintings and traditional Chinese paintings. It is definitely wrong for one to judge Chinese paintings using the criteria of oil paintings," he added.

Asked about foreign misunderstandings of China, Yang said critics who label Beijing as being "increasingly tough" don't recognize the fact it is only defending its sovereignty, security and development.

Yang made the remarks during a briefing on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the top legislature.

During the 100-minute interaction, Yang was bombarded with questions on hot issues and international relations - with not only the United States and the European Union but also developing countries in Latin America and Africa.

Yang also touched upon the global economy, climate change and the Iran nuclear issue.

Pang Zhongying, professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said: "As we enter the second decade of the new century, it is clearer that China's diplomatic strategy is global. Instead of focusing on relations with a few very important countries, China is taking more multilateral factors into consideration and thinking about the world as a whole."

During the past two years, China successfully hosted the Olympic Games and effectively dealt with the aftermath of the global financial crisis, putting it in the global limelight.

Yet it faces challenges from major powers in the process of its rise, which is bound to change the international order of power, experts said.

Relations between Beijing and Washington have gone sour because of US arms sales to Taiwan, and US President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama earlier this year. China also faces pressure from some EU countries to shoulder more responsibility in combating climate change.

"Yang used a very good metaphor, telling Obama that the American standard cannot be used as an international yardstick when handling issues involving more than the US," said Pang.

In an apparent swipe at the United States, Yang said: "Where are justice and principles if one views the actions taken by a country to defend its core interests and dignity as being 'tough', and takes for granted actions infringing upon the interests of others?"

He also put the blame on deteriorating bilateral ties on Washington.

"The responsibility for the current difficulties in Sino-US relations does not lie with China," he said.

Answering a question on China's view of "the EU's struggle to influence world affairs", Yang said the EU will play an increasingly important role in the world.

Frictions are inevitable in relations with the EU, but they will not derail bilateral ties, he said.

As voices from European countries become more unified and stronger, China may face more pressure from the EU when differences arise, said Wu Baiyi, an expert on European studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

China also wants regional and international organizations to play a balancing role in world affairs, and the four-nation BRIC and the Group of 20 play a major part, Wu said.

"The world is being defined by new factors such as BRIC, G20, and international organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank and so on. The concept of regional integration has also been raised in areas such as Asia, and thus there will be more players to balance internal and external developments," said Wu.

(China Daily March 8, 2010)

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