China does not accept any country in the world that places itself as superior to others, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a press conference on Sunday about his recent meetings in East China’s Fujian Province with foreign ministers from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea, according to China’s Foreign Ministry. The remarks send a signal that China’s diplomacy is getting increasingly confident and decisive.
Wang said he has communicated with foreign ministers from the five countries on China-US ties, and all sides agreed that China’s development and growth is in line with the anticipations of regional countries as well as their long-term interests. The door for dialogue with China is open, but the dialogue must be done on an equal basis and with mutual respect, Wang said, according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry.
The remarks give clear indications in three categories. To begin with, China adheres to the principle of mutual respect when interacting with others diplomatically. Such a stance will not change because of other countries’ different national strengths. Also as the international order is now at a critical crossroads, what kinds of criteria should be followed in future global interactions? Wang’s statement offers a clue.
Wang echoes and reemphasizes what Chinese top diplomat Yang Jiechi made clear during the Alaska talks with the US in March, when Yang articulated that the US is “not qualified to speak to China from a position of strength.”
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday that “China is getting more courageous and resolute, and is dealing with global affairs with Chinese wisdom and strategies.” A new mode of interactions between the two powers is taking shape, where China is trying to communicate with the US with confidence, on an equal footing and on the basis of the new balance of power. The world is witnessing the new change in global order where the East is rising while the West is declining. This is a fact recognized by many observers, Li said.
Yet when China speaks up or makes counter moves against US bullying, Washington can hardly digest the change with its “how dare China” anxiety. It wishes to be head and shoulders above others indefinitely and believes it can deal with China as it did with its puppet allies.
Worse, the US is pinning the “wolf warrior” label on China’s current diplomacy. Li told Global Times that the US itself is the craziest wolf warrior in the world, as it brings wars and turmoil everywhere it sets foot. “US diplomacy is belligerent and is splitting the world apart,” Li said. Quite the contrary, China’s diplomacy is peaceful, inclusive, reciprocal and full of mutual respect.
When China said it does not accept any country placing itself as superior to others, it is not speaking for itself, but a growing number of countries. Asian nations are well aware that regional peace should be grasped in their own hands.
As Wang said, China will not compromise or retreat, as it sticks to the basic norms of international relations and stands for the interests of many developing, small and medium-sized countries.
If Washington still cannot figure this out, Beijing will keep reminding it, time and again.