Receiving refugees on large scale unrealistic for China

By Yang Chuchu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/26 0:13:40

On World Refugee Day, which falls every year on June 20, the UN released a video called "We Stand Together With Refugees" on its official Sina Weibo account, appealing to the Chinese public to pay more attention to the issue.

The UN's appeal was actively responded to by a few media outlets and several celebrities, invoking an intense discussion about whether China should receive refugees on a large scale.

The Chinese public generally holds that currently China cannot accept a large number of refugees, although many are sympathetic toward these victims. The reasons are complex, rather than being seen as lack of internationalism and humanitarianism. It is related to China's economic development, population, ethnic composition, legal mechanism and history.

The priority for China is still development. An excessive influx of refugees will have a huge impact on social order. If terrorists infiltrate China among the refugees, the safety of 1.4 billion people will be under threat, a fear that can be proved by the current European refugee crisis. Accepting too many refugees may deprive China of a stable environment for development.

China is exploiting its development to stimulate the global economy, and is actively offering public goods to the world, through platforms such as the Belt and Road initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. If China is mired in chaos, other countries and even the world will suffer the consequences.

In addition, as China has not yet established a mechanism for accepting refugees, coupled with different religions and lifestyles, it would be difficult for refugees from the Middle East to live in China for the long-term.

The refugee issue must be addressed at the origin. Refugees are not immigrants, rather they are victims of wars and turmoil. It is not China but the West which has caused the refugee crisis that currently plagues Europe. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, launched by the US after the 9/11 attacks, have battered the two countries and displaced large numbers of residents. The Arab Spring, the violent social movement promoted by the West, has devastated the North African area, leading to serious refugee problems. 

China has made efforts to help solve the issue. For example, it actively promotes the Middle East peace process so as to prevent wars and refugees. Up to now, China has sent over 2,800 officers and soldiers to carry out peacekeeping missions at the UN Headquarters and its nine mission areas, assigning the most peacekeeping personnel among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the UN Office at Geneva in January this year that China would allocate an additional 200 million yuan ($29.26 million) in humanitarian aid to help refugees in the Syrian crisis.

The true way out to solve the refugee problem is to achieve stability and development in refugees' own countries and help them return to their own homes.



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