Veteran Chinese diplomat Fu Ying releases new book exploring China’s role on the world stage in the 21st century

By He Keyao Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/7 17:53:40

Veteran Chinese diplomat releases new book exploring China’s role on the world stage in the 21st century

Veteran diplomat Fu Ying on the cover of A Dialogue with the World Photo: He Keyao/GT

What does the rise of China mean for the world? What is the future order in the world and what is China's role in it? How will China shape and be shaped by the world? These questions are often asked by various media outlets and experts around the globe. Now, a new book by a veteran Chinese diplomat is looking to answer them.

On Wednesday at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Fu Ying, a veteran Chinese diplomat and vice chairperson of the National People's Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, debuted her new book A Dialogue with the World, which focuses on the relationship China will have with the rest of the world as we move further into the 21st century.

Fu is best known for her term as the Chinese ambassador to the UK and vice minister of foreign affairs - the first woman to serve in this position since 1979. Her unique and effective diplomatic approach, long dubbed "Fuying Style" diplomacy, has earned her a large fan base in China.

Divided into nine parts, the book is a collection of Fu's public speeches, articles and dialogues at international occasions that seeks to give readers an insider perspective and deeper insight into key international topics such as China-US relations, peace in Asia, the South China Sea and the Belt and Road initiative.

"Over a fairly long period of time in the past, we watched the world as spectators as major world headlines were made in the US, Russia, Europe, the Middle East and so on. Over the past two decades of the 21 century, however, we found that the world has started to pay greater attention to China," Fu said at the news conference, stressing the increasing role that China is now playing on the global stage.

According to Fu, the West, especially the US, has overstretched itself strategically. Dealing with the burden of the war on terror and the financial crisis, Western countries have been re-examining their situation and making adjustments since 2010. Meanwhile, China's rapid economic growth has enabled the once impoverished country to become the world's second-biggest economy with huge improvements in infrastructure, education, technology and quality of life. After the 18th and 19th national congresses of the Communist Party of China in 2012 and 2017, a whole new vision of development has further emerged, capturing global attention with mixed feelings of admiration and anxiety. For this reason, it is essential to build bridges between China and the rest of the world and further mutual understanding.

Fu has noticed that information coming from and about China is still limited and biased or one-sided comments are often found in the Western press. This situation, Fu noted, also explains why anxiety about China's rise is so prevalent.

"Currently, first-hand information about China in the international info pool is inadequate," Fu said, going on to point out that this lack of knowledge sometimes leads to misunderstandings.

Fu cited her article about the North Korea nuclear issue, first published by the Brookings Institution and also collected in her new book, in which she presents a chain of historical events to showcase how China has acted as a mediator between the US and North Korea, the obstacles to achieving progress in peace talks and how the US missed opportunities to solve the nuclear issue time and time again.

"If one learns about the situation [as outlined in the article], they will find it easy to understand China's stance and the choices it has made," Fu said.

An English version of the book is currently being worked on and is expected to be published later this year.

Newspaper headline: ‘A dialogue with the world’

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