Photographers take snapshots of China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi leaving the stage after a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress at the media center in Beijing, Thursday. Photo: AP
It is time to lay the "China threat theory" to rest as China's development brings opportunities and benefits to foreign countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday.
"As China grows, the 'China collapse theory' has collapsed and become an international joke, and the 'China threat theory,' with its various sensational versions, is losing steam," Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the national legislature's annual session.
Citing facts from the past years, Wang said that China has been the biggest contributor to global economic growth, at more than 30 percent. "China's contribution is bigger than that of the US, Japan and the eurozone combined."
Those who are not biased or do not have double standards will see in China not a threat, but plenty of opportunities, he added.
The deep-rooted ideological prejudice and strong mindset of hegemony has blurred the vision of some Western governments and scholars in understanding China's actual performance and intentions, Li Haidong, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations, told the Global Times.
He said as more countries react more positively to China's actions and involvement in the world, the "China threat theory" is exposed as a lie.
China's diplomats have frequently dismissed such theories. At a briefing on March 1, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that she cannot help but wonder how the US could still claim that it is threatened by others when it is already the world's top military power with a budget exceeding the total of the other top seven.
There will be various versions of the China threat theory, be it a "sharp power" or other narratives, before China has a significantly bigger say in the international order, which is currently dominated by Western powers, Yu Xiang, an associate research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.
The theory is also repeatedly hyped because it is a way for some countries to exploit it for political gain and justify their diplomatic and military expansion, such as the growing US defense budget and involvement with its allies, Yu said.
However, stoking a new Cold War is out of sync with the times and inciting confrontation will find no market, Wang said when asked to comment on the US' "Indo-Pacific" strategy.
Constructive foreign policy
At the press conference to introduce China's foreign policy, Wang also elaborated on China's stance on issues on the Korean Peninsula, South China Sea and Belt and Road initiative, as well as China's relations with Russia, the US, Japan, India and African countries.
China is strongly resolved and deeply committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea. It is in the interest of the Chinese people, regional peace, and respect for international law, the minister said.
The major challenge for peace in the South China Sea now comes from countries outside the region, which constantly send warships and warplanes to the region to show their military strength, he said.
On bilateral relations, especially on relations facing tensions, such as Sino-Japanese and Sino-Indian relations, Wang projected them in a positive light.
Despite the tests and challenges, Sino-Indian relations have continued to grow. A growing number of people have come to realize that mutual understanding and support between the two largest developing countries should be secured, he said.
The friendly tones send a message that cooperation and win-win is always China's goal, though it will never allow its interests to be infringed, Yu said.
Wang also stressed that China takes a peaceful, justifiable and constructive approach to help settle regional flash points, when asked whether the country's efforts to ease tensions in Myanmar's Rakhine state and the Israeli-Palestinian issue means a shift in its non-interference principle.
Newspaper headline: ‘China threat theory’ biased