2 November 2012
The General was responding to Hugh White’s much-debated strategic thesis that seeks to trap Australia into a nuclear war with China that White insists will inevitably arise out of a struggle for hegemony between a declining U.S and rising China. The CEC rips apart White’s agenda in its latest New Citizen newspaper, “Act Now! Stop Nuclear War!”
In contrast to the tone of the 31 October report in Rupert Murdoch’s flagship war drum-beater The Australian headlined “Chinese top brass bags US influence in region”, the 1 November Shanghai Daily reported the General’s remarks under the headline, “China seeks ‘peaceful path’ in region”.
1 November 2012
Australia does not have to worry about a war between China and the United States as a result of US failure to share power because China does not pursue dominance or an exclusive regional order, Chinese Lieutenant General Ren Haiquan said yesterday.
Ren, vice president of the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Science, made the remarks after attending the Chief of Army’s Exercise 2012 in Australia held in Melbourne from October 28 to 30.
Ren commented on the idea first broached in a book, “The China Choice”, by Australian strategist Hugh White, who argued that the United States should share power as an equal with China in the Asia-Pacific. Otherwise the power struggle between the two countries could lead to a catastrophic war, the book suggests.
“In terms of Australian national interests, I can understand why White brought up this idea. But it’s overly anxious. China consistently adheres to long-term peaceful development policy. No matter to what extent we develop, China will never seek hegemony,” Ren stressed.
“The road of peaceful development of China has taken means that China will not follow suit with past emerging powers in history that sought hegemony by military expansion and resource plunder.
“China will develop itself in peaceful and cooperative ways and rely mainly upon itself,” Ren noted.
According to Ren, China does not pursue development only to seek dominance. “China has no intention to build a sphere of influence or create an exclusive regional order. We firmly persist in the principle of being a good neighbor and partner,” he said.
Ren delivered a speech titled “China’s Perspective on Regional Security and Stability in Asia” at CAEX, in which he proposed five points in order to maintain peace and stability and the momentum of development in Asia, namely development, inclusive mindset, cooperation, sound mechanisms and institutions, and stability.
Ren said it is interesting that many Asian countries have major business relations with China but are also defense allies of the United States. “It showed a contradictory mindset,” he said.
He emphasized that every country in the region has its own ability to tackle security issues independently. “Some external countries’ involvement may complicate the situation on the contrary.”
Ren also noted the Exercise Cooperation Spirit 2012, the first joint drill on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief by Chinese, Australian and New Zealand armies, will draw to a close today in Brisbane, Australia. It lasts four days.