Currently, the international arena, especially the West, holds deliberately exaggerated concerns toward whether China will become a hegemonic power. How China rises, what development path it will take, what foreign policy and security measures it will carry out and how it will influence the world are the focus of attention both within the country and abroad.
When attending the fourth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in May, Chinese President Hu Jintao stated explicitly that China will be a new kind of great power in the 21st century.
A new great power is one that doesn't enter into rivalry with other countries, that can create a win-win situation with the West and develop alongside other parts of the world, and that rises peacefully as a developing Asian socialist country with Chinese characteristics. A number of events prove that China is carrying out foreign policies suited to this new status.
First, due to the China-US imbalanced trade, China has expanded purchases from the US and promoted investment in the US. China also continues to carry out policies to boost domestic demand and transform its economic development mode.
Amid the economic downturn in the West, China has purchased US bonds and expanded investment in Europe, which proves that this new great power does not aim to confront the West.
As the US advances its pivot to Asia, some neighboring countries of China seek economic cooperation with China on the one hand, while relying on the US to challenge China on the other hand.
As a new great power bearing international responsibilities, China has made efforts to form a cooperative law enforcement system along the Mekong River among China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. It has also promoted police cooperation between China and Afghanistan.
When dealing with territorial disputes, China no longer follows the routine of protesting. It stresses that parties concerned should hold negotiations to solve the problem.
At the same time, China established Sansha city in the South China Sea and enhanced maritime and fishery law enforcement. China has protected the sovereignty of its territory in both a hard-line and constrained manner.
Last but not least, during the revolutions sweeping the Middle East, China drew diplomatic experience from what it underwent in Libya. It holds a sympathetic view toward Middle Easterners who struggle for democracy and freedom. It also supports these Middle East countries and opposes Western countries triggering a war in the name of the UN and interfering with other countries' internal politics.
The author is a professor at the Renmin University of China. firstname.lastname@example.org