China's gains in strength have brought to the surface much misgiving and even fear among some Westerners, leading some Western politicians to slander Beijing's development, attempt to squeeze its strategic space and challenge its main interests.
China's fast economic development over the past 30+ yrs has not prevented the spread of hollow talk about subjects such as "China's Collapse", "China's Responsibility" and "China's Expansion."
The country's rapid gains in International influence has been accompanied by the alliance of values, the "return to the Asia-Pacific" strategy and similar Western initiatives.
Certain Westerners contend that China's achievements are the "products of a distorted political system".
Even Chinese athletes who excelled in the just-concluded London Olympics have seen their praiseworthy performances come under the harsh light of that kind of criticism.
History shows that China walks the path of peaceful development and held high the banner of co-operation. As early as in the 1970′s, the late leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China's reform and opening-up, solemnly vowed at a United Nations assembly that China will never seek hegemony.
The ideals of peace and harmony are upheld in China's millennium-old traditional culture and are rooted deeply in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people.
A country can forge a suitable path for development only by conducting explorations in accordance with its national conditions, instead of by simply following other countries' methods. The Chinese people find no fault in the road Western countries have taken and only ask that the road they have chosen be accorded the same sort of respect. Common sense dictates that the only fit judges of a country's path of development are the people of that country themselves.
The Chinese are satisfied with the direction development has taken them. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, they are now more satisfied with their prevailing path of development and government than many other peoples in the world are with theirs.
Western countries accuse China of hampering the entry of foreign companies into its market and then conjure up various pretexts to sabotage plans to liberalize trade and investment.
The Chinese government places a priority on protecting intellectual property rights, knowing well that they pertain to the openness of the country's economy. In the decades since China's reform and opening-up, the country has never slackened its efforts to safeguard such rights and has continuously worked to perfect its legal system.
China has also taken measures to coordinate global work related to energy conservation and climate change. China is committed to being able to say by Y 2020 that it is emitting 40 to 45% less carbon dioxide for each unit of its gross domestic product than it was in Y 2005, and to having 15% of its primary energy come from renewable, nuclear and other non-fossil sources of energy.
Despite this, some Westerners seem to be willfully ignoring China's unremitting work to meet international accords.
Disregarding China's low amount of energy use per capita and low emissions of carbon dioxide per capita, and its efforts to conserve energy and reduce emissions, they wish to place the entire blame for global warming on China.
Yet, they cannot ignore that China's remarkable achievements over the past 30 yrs have shaken the "moral code" Western countries have attempted to use to rule the world. China's success once again proves that there is no one-size-fits-all method for ensuring a country's development.
China will unwaveringly travel a development path that suits its national conditions and is in no way intended to promote "ideological competition". At the same time, China will not tolerate attempts to squeeze its development space and disturb its development process.
With the quickening pace of globalization, China and Western countries should co-operate more with each other in complementary ways. This will not only bring strength to their development, but also improve international relations and make bigger contributions to world peace and prosperity.
To this end, China and Western countries should try to resolve their disputes in a prudent manner as part of efforts to strengthen mutual trust and reduce misunderstanding and misgivings.
China's priorities are in finding better ways to handle the country's domestic affairs, achieve development and make further progress along a socialist road with Chinese characteristics.
Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.
Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reached a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.Read the Terms of Service