CEE countries cooperation with China is pragmatic, not dogmatic

By Cui Hongjian Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/13 18:33:40

Some outsiders hold a sophisticated attitude toward China's pragmatic cooperation with Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, and its enhanced influences in the region. While concerns about the economic prospects and sustainability of bilateral cooperation are somewhat understandable, remarks that China has elaborate designs to realize its political and strategic purposes in the region are ill-intentioned.

Such comments classify China and CEE countries into two categories, using whether the countries are autocratic as a criterion, and conclude that China must have ulterior motives in the region.

More ignorantly and maliciously, they obstinately link today's China to the Soviet Union, and attempt to uncover the scars of Central and Eastern Europe, to help these countries divert their fear toward the Soviet Union in the Cold War era to today's China.

Such a conclusion has no logic or common sense. China has never threatened and will never threaten other countries, which is determined by its policy of peaceful development.

These ill-intentioned observers express their deep concerns that CEE nations are being estranged and thus controlled by China.

Ironically, while they appear to be concerned about the future of the region, they offered no assistance to the region when it was hit by the eurozone debt crisis. Having a clear picture of the situation, CEE countries sought cooperation with China for development, leading to today's cooperative achievements.

China's economic presence in Central and Eastern Europe is too strong to be shaken, and therefore, observers who have ulterior motives start with politics, misinterpreting China's "political and strategic purposes" for cooperation with the region. Those who insist that Central and Eastern Europe is part of the Western world and that Western freedom will never be defeated will indeed be upset by the increasing number of Chinese factors in the region's investments, culture and tourism.

After all, drawing Central and Eastern Europe to its side was seen as valuable plunder of the end of the Cold War by the West. The West not only uses the market and resources in the region, but also advocates the success of Western values.

But now, after the short honeymoon with the West, Central and Eastern Europe knows bitter and sweet by itself and gradually has a clearer and more independent thinking about its development. It can use its own convenient location to connect extensively. It develops its trade partnership with Europe and Asia which have huge markets. This is a boon for the countries and means happiness for the people.

Now the West warns of China's political ends to tempt Central and Eastern Europe to give up the profits of the cooperation with China and try to control the region under the Western industrial system. Who does the West really care for?

A case in point is that the leader of the US, the largest and most developed economy in the West, just signed a series of huge deals with Chinese leaders in Beijing. According to so-called goodwill, it is definitely China's most dangerous political and strategic aim to help the US develop its economy through economic cooperation so China can divide the US and dissolve the West. Isn't the logic ridiculous?

More CEE countries and others will believe in what they see, not what they hear. After all, the future and destiny of every country is held in its people's hands rather than those of other countries.

If onlookers really want to speak out in defense of justice, they must know the truth. They need to understand the true feelings of the people in CEE countries and recognize the way the wind is blowing. If they only want to use ideology to make the Cold War rear its head again, it means they are playing deaf and dumb with ignorance of the future.

The author is director of the Department for European Studies of the China Institute of International Studies. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn



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