Sess 1 Zhang Xizhen

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Information about Sess 1 Zhang Xizhen

Published on October 10, 2007

Author: Janelle


“China Threat” Perception : A Major Obstacle to East Asian Community Building:  “China Threat” Perception : A Major Obstacle to East Asian Community Building Prof. Zhang Xizhen School of International Studies Peking University Beijing, 100871 China I. China is a threat to Southeast Asia?:  I. China is a threat to Southeast Asia? Frankly speaking China used to be a threat to Southeast Asia in 1960s and 70s Mao’s priority was given to the World Revolution China exported revolution to Southeast Asia China wanted to be a leader of the Third World China totally changed its foreign policy towards neighboring countries by the end of 1970s Deng Xiaoping abandoned revolution exportation policy Priority was given to domestic economic development China has been carrying out good-neighborly friendship policy (三邻:睦邻、富邻、安邻) To establish friendly relations with neighboring countries To make neighboring countries richer and richer with China together To make neighboring countries feel safe and secure Slide3:  The past two decades prove that China is not any more a threat to Southeast Asia China provided aid to ASEAN countries in the financial crisis and signed South-China Sea declaration China made many “firsts” China is first to propose to build up FTA with ASEAN China is first to sign the Amity and Cooperation Treaty in Southeast Asia China is first to establish the strategic partnership relations China is first to declare to support ASEAN to play leading role in the East Asian Community building Time will continually prove if China is a threat or not My presentation will not focus on the threat argument Any argument is not useful II. “China threat” perception in Southeast Asia:  II. “China threat” perception in Southeast Asia “China threat” perception is getting less and less It used to be popular in 1980s and 90s “China threat” perception has been changing into “China challenge” or “China opportunity” perception Today, it still exists in some people’s minds Such worries and concerns have not been removed away completely Slide5:  It is not fearful that “China threat” perception is still existing What is fearful is that “China threat” perception cannot be treated correctly What is correct attitude to it ? To realize the significance of dealing with this issue correctly Obstacle to improving mutual trust between two sides Obstacle to establishing more friendly relations Obstacle to building the East Asian Community Therefore both sides should rethink over “China threat” perception by new thinking way China and ASEAN should adjust their own approaches, thinking way and psychology III. China side:  III. China side China should understand misgivings from ASEAN countries It is reality that during the Cold War China surely did something which made some SEA countries afraid of China. Memory of fear is still clear China should understand ASEAN’s natural frightened psychology , make an analogy China:a tall, big and strong man ASEAN nations:short, small and weak men In order to relieve ASEAN’s misgivings China should do two things First. China should always do good things to ASEAN Second, China should be patient to wait until ASEAN has built up trust of China (日久见人心) So China doesn’t need to be upset about the misgivings China should give time to ASEAN to change misgiving China also need time to set up its new and friendly image IV. ASEAN side:  IV. ASEAN side Adjust thinking way: see “China threat” positively Economic threat rather than security New thinking way: Regarding “threat” as normal competition that exists everywhere and anytime in the world Regarding “threat” as pressure and impetus to improve yourself to catch up, instead of resisting it and maintaining your own status quo Regarding “China rise” as an opportunity to take Finding and exploring your own new superiority and potentials to compete with others Slide8:  Taking a look at the situation China was facing at the beginning of the open policy at the end of 1970s China was facing very serious threat from outside world Almost everything was weak in China In order to develop China’s economy, Deng Xiaoping was determined to open door even taking serious risks Zhu Rongji’s logic: dare to face and receive threats and challenges so as to make more progress To dare to contest with the strongest world class football team To turn threat and challenge into motive force and impetus for improving yourself Conclusion:  Conclusion China must insist on the good-neighborly friendship policy forever so as to build up ASEAN’s confidence in China ASEAN should gradually change memory of the old image of China ASEAN should positively see economic challenge and threat brought about by China’s economic growth Both sides should make contribution to mutual trust building Only by this way, “China threat” perception as a major obstacle to East Asian Community building can be removed finally

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