Chinese Press Review: Independent Innovation Capacity, Selfless Help, and New Forms of International Security Culture

Main Link 1: Enorth, May 29, 2012 (Headline 1)

The top headline at Enorth (Tianjin) is a Xinhua report on a politbureau meeting chaired by party and state chairman Hu Jintao on Monday.

Independent technological innovation capacity was at the meeting’s focus.

The meeting emphasized that to deepen the reform of the science and technology system, the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics needed to be held high, and under the ideological guidance of the Deng Xiaoping theory and the “Three Represents”, the concept of scientific development be thoroughly carried out and implemented. Great efforts needed to be made in the implementation of the national scientific and educational rejuvenation strategy, and a nation which is strong in terms of talents […]
会议强调,深化科技体制改革,要高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜,以邓小平理论和“三个代表”重要思想为指导,深入贯彻落实科学发展观,大力实施科教兴国战略和人才强国战略 […..]

A solid foundation should be laid for China to enter the ranks of innovative countries by 2020, to achieve a society of comprehensive modest prosperity by then, and for China to become a global technological force by the 100th anniversary of New China.
[…..] 为2020年进入创新型国家行列、全面建成小康社会和新中国成立100年时成为世界科技强国奠定坚实基础。

Also emphasized was the strengthening of open sharing of scientific and technological achievements (强化科技资源开放共享) between all stakeholders in the process (research institutions and enterprises), and support for talents who had studied overseas, to start businesses and to innovate in China.

Main Link 2: Enorth, May 29, 2012 (Headline 2)

Enorth’s second headline – also from Xinhua – is about the foreign ministry’s reaction to attempts by America and Japan to draw Pacific islands in to “block China”. Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin (刘为民) is quoted as saying that China was developing friendly and cooperative relations with the Pacific island nations to make active contributions in the promotion of regional stability, development and prosperity. China was happy about other countries developing friendly and cooperative relations with Pacific island countries, Liu said during a regular press conference on Monday. The Enorth/Xinhua article refers to a two-day summit held in Japan over the weekend, by Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda and Pacific leaders. (In an interview on Radio Australia, Derek Brien, Pacific Institute of Public Policy chief executive, was also asked if Japan was openly, overtly now is enlisting help to garner its support in the region in opposition to China’s. Brien referred to Japan’s role as that of a quiet player in the region, but suggested that whilst not named directly in the outcomes declaration it is evident that this renewed political and development cooperation measures are aimed at China’s growing influence, and particularly interesting coming out of this is the defence cooperation on the maritime security issues.)

Liu Weimin had been asked if he (or they, the foreign ministry) was worried that the relationship between China and the Pacific island nations could be affected.

A journalist asked: the 6th Japan-Pacific-island-Nations summit closed on May 26. There are analysts who believe that Japan and America want to draw the Pacific nations into a “blockade” of China. How does the Chinese side see this? Are there worries that Sino-Pacific relations could be affected? Japanese officials say that Chinese aid usually indicates China’s own interest, and leaves the recipients heavily indebted. What is China’s response [to that]?

Liu Weimin said that the Chinese side hopes that cooperation between the countries concerned would be beneficial to the promotion of the Asia-Pacific region’s joint development and prosperity. Liu Weimin said that China and the Pacific island nations belonged to the Asia-Pacific region, were developing countries, and both sides had a deep traditional friendship and broad common interests. The potential for the development of mutual benefit was great, and the prospects were vast.

According to his explanations, relations between China and the Pacific island nations had developed smoothly, with frequent high-level diplomatic exchanges, trade and economic exchange and cooperation had continuously deepened, and in international affairs, good communication and coordination had been maintained. China did what was in its power to provide sincere and selfless assistance, helped the island nations to strengthen their own capacities to develop, to achieve the United Nations’ Millenium Development goals, which was welcomed by the people of the island nations’ peoples.

“Facts have shown that friendly cooperation and relations between China and the Pacific island nations have not only brought genuine mutual benefit, but have also made active contributions to regional stability, development, and prosperity”, Liu Weimin said.

He said that China was happy about other countries developing friendly and cooperative relations with Pacific island countries, and wanted to continue to strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation with countries inside and outside [the region], to jointly promote regional peace, stability, and development.

Five years are a long time in international affairs, but what Yang Danzhi (杨丹志) of China’s Academy of Social Science (CASS) wrote in 2007, about fostering a new form of security culture and a security community consciousness, is likely to contain some of the worries the foreign ministry spokesman had been asked, and replied to with the usual diplomatic formulae on Monday. Yang Danzhi is no diplomat, let alone a Chinese leader, but he is a member of the CCP. In his 2007 article, Yang set out from the Shangri-la Dialogue, which covers issues concerning Asia, America and Europe, rather than the Pacific, but Yang quickly got to mechanisms that would apply beyond the Shangri-la regions:

[…] Firstly, the holding of the Shangri-la Dialog helps to foster a new form of security culture and a security community consciousness. One important reasons for the difficulties in establishing multilateral cooperation mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region after WW2 was that in some countries, lingering historical hostility was hard to eliminate. The region lacked a common, clear security culture which would benefit cooperation, let alone the creation of a sense of security community. At the Shangri-la Dialog, high-ranking defense department officials from many American and European countries and non-governmental research institutions’ scholars can get together. European and American countries’ and Asian countries’ security concepts and even human rights concepts and concepts of sovereignty are communicated and bump into each other, which in itself is sort of a new breakthrough. It helps communication and understanding among countries, and to find common security interests.
At the Shangri-la Dialog, process, all sides can freely explain views and positions concerning Asia-Pacific security, and delegates from Western countries can’t impose their will on developing countries. At the same time, from the perspective of ease maintained among participants, given the non-official nature of the Shangri-la Dialog, its characteristics are similar to the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). It also shows the influence of a multilateral security cooperation pattern as advocated by Asian countries, particularly by ASEAN. […]
[…..] 首先,香格里拉对话的举办,有助于在亚太地区培育新型的安全文化和安全共同体意识。二战结束以来,亚太地区难以建立多边合作机制的一个重要原因,就在于部分国家迟迟不能消除历史形成的敌意,区域内缺乏一种共同的、明确的、有益于合作的安全文化,更谈不上形成安全共同体意识。香格里拉对话能将亚洲、北美和欧洲诸多国家防务部门的高官及其他官方、民间研究机构的学者聚在一起。欧美国家与亚洲国家的安全理念甚至人权观和主权观在对话中沟通碰撞,本身就是一种新的突破。有助于各国相互沟通理解,找到共同的安全利益所在。在香格里拉对话进程中,各方可以自由的阐释对亚太安全的见解和主张,西方国家的代表不能将自己的意志强加给发展中国家;同时,从香格里拉对话所采取的非正式形式,以及保持对参与各方实际意义上的舒适度来看,显现出与ARF和CSCAP相近的特征,这也在一定程度上表明亚洲国家特别是东盟所倡导的多边安全合作模式和东盟的安全文化对亚太多边安全合作机制建设进程的影响力。[…..]

Not missing is the concept of democratic relations between states (and in 2007, a mention of American unilateralism, to which the Shangri-la Dialog would serve as a counter-model, is there, too):

[…] Thirdly, small and medium-sized countries in the Asia-Pacific region participate actively, which objectively helps to limit American unilateralism in the region, and to prevent big countries from manipulating the Asia-Pacific multilateral processes. and from a long-term perspective, it benefits the democratization of international relations in the Asia-Pacific region. […] On the third Shangri-la Dialog former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong said in his keynote speech that America wasn’t just solving security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, but was itself also was part of the issues.

On the downside:

The Shangri-la Dialog has negative influences, too. This mainly manifests itself here:
To a certain extent, the Dialog is a result of the intervention and participation of big Western countries in Asia-Pacific security work. Western countries’ attitude in the Shangri-la dialog shows that they continuously try to realize and expand their own strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region, by interference and influence particularly on processes of building mechanisms of Asia-Pacific security cooperation. Multilateral security cooperation is only a tool to achieve own interests.

After a long, partly historical review of British colonialism and American hegemony, Yang’s conclusion is that Western countries motivation for participating in the Shangri-la Dialog isn’t not only Asian-Pacific security, but to expand their own strategic interests to a maximum degree: 总体上看,西方国家参与香格里拉对话的动机并不仅仅是为了亚太地区的安全,而是为了最大限度的拓展自身的战略利益。And bilateralism such as between the U.S. and Japan or South Korea respectively, about solving problems with U.S. bases in Japan, and the North Korean issue – and that in 2006, such bilateral talks and agreements outnumbered the multilal ones, thus weakening multilateralism (2006年,对话参与国间的双边会议数量增加。这种双边主义的强势发展必然会导致亚太安全合作中多边主义的弱化,进而对亚太多边安全合作进程产生不利影响).

Alledged Western intentions or attempts to contain China, by spreading the China threat theory is the bad influence number one, from a Chinese point of view (首先,西方国家试图利用香格里拉对话作为宣传中国威胁论的新渠道,贯彻其遏制中国的战略意图). Bad influence number two, also from China’s perspective: ASEAN countries’ attempts to contain China (其次,东盟国家力图以香格里拉对话机制对我进行战略牵制。这无形中会对我国在亚太地区的安全环境产生不利影响). China’s rise had led to misgivings among small and medium-sized countries in the Asia-Pacific region. And thirdly, Taiwanese attempts to participate in the Shangri-la Dialog: after setbacks on the first- and second-track diplomacy stage, Taiwan had created a kind of third-track security diplomacy to internationalize the “Taiwan question” – drawing on exchanges with think tanks. Participation there had probably added to the Taiwan-independence forces’ “arrogance” (冷战后,台湾当局一直高度关注亚太多边安全合作,试图以官方身份参与亚太安全事务。陈水扁上台后,更力争使台湾问题国际化,为台独寻求更多的国际支持。在参与亚太地区的第一轨道和第二轨道外交受挫后,台湾甚至还自创所谓第三轨道的“亚太安全论坛”(APSF),为台湾军方高层人士和智库研究人员与国外从事亚太安全研究的学者共同讨论亚太安全搭建平台,在一定程度上助长了台独的气焰).

Indeed, the preface to Hung-mao Tien‘s and Tung-jen Cheng‘s (editors) “The Security Environment in the Asia-Pacific”, Institute for National Policy Research, New York, 2000, page not identified, suggests that

[T]he primary purpose of this forum is to provide a distinctive new venue for multilateral discussion. It promises a high comfort level for ground-breaking dialogue, a broad definition of security, a high degree of inclusiveness, and new levels of original research and conceptualization. This new venue will fully incorporate into its deliberations Taiwan-based scholars and intellectual resources, which often are barred from other “track two” fora.

Yang Danzhi (still from his 2007 article):

Worse, Taiwanese defense officials had even been allowed to attend the Shangri-la Dialog, according to Yang’s paper. All the same, he comes to the conclusion that China should actively participate, and send higher-ranking officials as delegates than before, not least to dispel Western (media’s) doubts about China’s sincerity and transparency.

Main Link 3: Enorth, May 29, 2012 (Headline 3)

Enorth’s third headline – also an article from Xinhua – is about a time table authored by the ministry of finance to make state budgets transparent to the public.



» Pacific Year, Every Year, The Australian, May 29, 2012
» The New Banker in Town, The Diplomat, April 5, 2011
» Try to engage China in joint projects, Lowy Institute, April 2011
» Hu: Make use of Monetary Squeeze, Jan 18, 2010


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