China: We promise to be nice

A new warm ‘n fuzzy white paper put out by the PRC goes out of its way to assure us they have the best of intentions and would never hurt a fly.

Specifically, the white paper sought to rebut critics who point to the emergence of Japan as a new economic power in the early 20th century as having helped create the conditions that led to World War II. Some specialists have suggested China’s emergence as an Asian power could also lead to disruption because it is bound to change long-existing relationships, particularly the United States’ role as dominant military power and security guarantor.

“China’s road of peaceful development is a brand new one for mankind in pursuit of civilization and progress,” the paper said, drawing a distinction between China’s rise and that of Japan a generation ago, “the inevitable way for China to achieve modernization and a serious choice and solemn promise made by the Chinese government and the Chinese people . . . China did not seek hegemony in the past, nor does it now, and will not do so in the future when it gets stronger.”

The 32-page white paper did not once use the expression “peaceful rise,” which previously was the government’s standard way to describe growth in Chinese power and influence. According to academic sources with access to thinking in the Communist Party and government, some senior officials felt the word “rise” carried unwelcome, perhaps threatening connotations of an advancing Asian colossus. As a result, “peaceful development” has become the term of art in most official discourse.

Also missing from the document was any mention of Taiwan, which U.S. officials consider among the places most critically affected by China’s rising power and its use of growing wealth to finance improvements to the military. China has vowed to re-integrate the self-ruled island into the mainland, by force if necessary, but maintains that this is an internal affair and not part of its foreign relations.

Much of the white paper (excepts of which I read here) reads like your typical China Daily article, chronicling all the lovely things China is doing to foster international good will and fight terrorism, etc. I try to imagine any other government putting out such self-serving tripe, but honestly, I can’t.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Judging by the results of the d3m0cr4cy white paper (“we come out with a white paper on d3m0cr4cy and then act in an und3m0cr4tic manner”), we should be worried.
A white paper on peace could technically be a declaration of war, haha.

December 22, 2005 @ 10:38 pm | Comment

Seems to be deserving of a big yawn than anything else; I find the US’s daily progress reports on Iraq far more repugnant. Of more value is an assessment of the Japanese foreign minister’s response to it which received an immediate “SHUT UP!” from the Chinese.

December 23, 2005 @ 12:45 am | Comment

I’m eagerly awaiting the “Chinese White Paper on Why the World Is Flat”

December 23, 2005 @ 1:39 am | Comment

yes, there are some proof for peaceful china and its adherence to no-first-use of nuke.

how do you make hyperlink?

December 23, 2005 @ 1:51 am | Comment

I’m eagerly awaiting the Communist Party’s White Paper on:

“Why we must continue to hold Human Sacrifices every day so that the Communist Party will make the sun rise every morning.”

December 23, 2005 @ 4:33 am | Comment

Sun, I’ll email you about the hyperlink.


December 23, 2005 @ 4:54 am | Comment

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for every single member of the Communist Party to get AIDS and to die alone in abject poverty.

December 23, 2005 @ 5:09 am | Comment

I like the bit about how China didn’t seek hegemony in the past. It’s so completely true, and at the same time so completely misleading. China didn’t seek hegemony in the past because China already viewed itself as the dominant nation in the world. All nations were lesser than China and were to pay tribute to China. China did not view any nation as being equal to itself.

December 23, 2005 @ 6:30 am | Comment

Ever read any statements by western governments on the current situation in Iraq?

They make about as much sense as Hillary Clinton on a trampoline.

This senselessness even shamefully extends to the supposedly ‘free press’, including traditonally left-leaning publications.

Self-delusion is not an exclusively Chinese malaise.

December 28, 2005 @ 11:17 pm | Comment

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