"China is rising, but we do not seek hegemony"

"China is rising, but we do not seek hegemony"

Chinese Ambassador to India
I like to start by telling you the story of ‘Alibaba’. Jack Ma, its founder, was in New Delhi last month. He mentioned during his interaction with Indian media that Alibaba has had a 15-year business relationship with Indian vendors. 

1.3 million Indian vendors make money using Alibaba platform while 4,00,000 Chinese buy Indian products. In September this year, Alibaba announced its IPO and raised over 120 billion USD in New York Stock Exchange. So, the success of Alibaba is a telling story.
It shows us how intertwined the interests of the three countries – China, India and the US - are, how close our relations are, how tangible benefits we got through cooperation among us. China and India are the largest developing countries. The US is the largest developed country. The combined GDP and population of three countries almost form 40 per cent of the world's share. More important is that the three countries share common interests, common mission in maintaining peace and security in the world and in promoting development and economic growth in the world. We are happy to see that the three countries are enjoying a sound and healthy cooperation.

We have frequent meetings of our leaders. In September, Chinese President Xi Jingping visited India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Washington and last month, US President Barack Obama came to China. Next month, Obama is coming to India.

I am a lucky Ambassador. One week after my arrival in India, the Chinese president came to India, met with Indian leaders and had intensive and in-depth talks with the Prime Minister. Both sides reached broad consensus on various issues and had signed over 20 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs).

China also committed an investment in India of over 20 billion dollars in next five years. The numbers are not confined to this alone. To address the trade imbalance, China also agreed to expand Chinese market to India and provide more access to Indian products like IT, pharmaceutical and agriculture. These are very concrete and tangible benefits.
Besides, I was also very impressed by the chemistry between our two leaders. You saw it in Gujarat when the two leaders met there. In New Delhi, the Chinese President delivered a very important speech. Our friendship shows that we have very traditional affection for each other. I am very optimistic about our future. Yes, we do have some problems as I said the trade imbalance and the border issues.

We are very constructive about that and we continue to go ahead with negotiations and dialogues to find a way out of the dilemma. We should together make efforts of cooperation to facilitate us to solve the differences. I think, before the solutions to the problems, we need to manage them. We need to create a condition to find a solution. I am very confident about that.

Now, I will touch about the China-US relationship. It is also one of the most important relations between the major powers of the world. President Obama made his second visit to China last month. What did they (Xi and Obama) talk about? They talked about the implementation of the new model of relationship between China and the US. This new model was initiated during the first meeting of the Chinese President and Obama in Los Angeles last June. At that time, the two leaders agreed on a new model of relationship.

You may ask what the new model is and how you are going to implement it. The world we are living in today is very different from the world of the 19th century or 20th century…Neither China nor the US is interested in having this repeated today.  We are living in a different world. Now, our interests are intertwined, our relations are interdependent, and also we are facing so many challenges…We need joint efforts, join hands to address the challenges. That is the reality of the world. I also should stress that the new model is based on the philosophy of China, of Chinese culture of ensuring peace, development and cooperation.
Last month, I took leave and went to China to attend an important conference on new diplomacy. Chinese envoys across the world were called for the conference. The President made a very significant speech. The meeting laid out the comprehensive plan for the Chinese new diplomacy under new conditions. So, what is the new diplomacy of China? Unlike the concepts of old time, diplomacy conducted by some countries, we Chinese are sticking to peace for development and settlement of disputes and conflicts through dialogue and negotiations.
We are for new type of international relations and for weaving cooperation. Yes, China is rising but we do not seek hegemony. We have witnessed the rise and fall of powers in history. We draw lessons from them. We do not follow the so-called power politics. So, China remains benign power and we conduct our foreign policy in a constructive way and we uphold international justice. We seek friendly and cooperative relations with all countries, including with the major powers and India. We should promote new type of international relations, pursuing shared interests.
China is not a destroyer or a challenger of the existing international order. On the contrary, it is constructive and contributor. The new model of diplomatic relationship with China and the US is not built from scratch. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the US-China relations. Over the past decades, the two sides have achieved a lot in bilateral relations. Trade volume has surpassed $420 billion. The two-way investment in stock has crossed $100 billion and every year, 4 million people are flying over the Pacific region.

New model of diplomacySo, we have achieved a lot. During the visit of Obama to China, the two sides have reiterated the commitment and determination to fully implement the new model of diplomacy. The two sides have also signed over 20 documents. Both sides have agreed to mutual notification of major military actions and a code of conduct for military actions in international waters. Both sides have agreed for giving reciprocal multiple visas for business visitors (10 years) and tourists (5 years).
I have confidence and optimism that China and US can implement the new model of major country relations, can cooperate for peace and development of the world. The relation between China and the US is far beyond the bilateral framework. It has far-reaching impact on the Asia-Pacific. I feel the Pacific Ocean has ample space to accommodate our two great nations.

With New Delhi, if we speak with warm voice, the world will listen and if we join hands, the world will take notice. We collectively show foresight, courage and vision, and open-mindedness. India, China and the US can express the similar understanding in three different languages -- Chinese Hindi and English -- and realise Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean cooperation in the 21st century. People of our three countries and even people of the whole world can prosper. We can become the anchor of peace and stability of the world.

(While answering a question:) I agree with the proposal to launch a trilateral talk between China, the US and India. I think it is a good idea. If it betters the relationship, why not? China is open to any dialogue if it is conducive to peace and development of the country.

(Edited excerpts from Chinese Ambassador Le Yucheng’s speech and interaction at Deccan Herald’s National Conference ‘Shaping of the 21st Century: India, the US and China’ in New Delhi on December 13)

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