China’s Transition into a Society of Social Harmony
December 2, 2006
by Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.
President, International Association of Educators for World Peace
Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education
Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament
Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University
When the communists took over China in the year 1949, the entire world became concerned. The legitimate government of China then took refuge in Taiwan hoping to retake control of this great nation in due time. In this island nation, the overthrown government of China kept the original name, Republic and China (ROC). For quite a few years the United Nations viewed Taiwan as the real China. In the meantime, the communists, in order to avoid confusion, called China by its present official name, People’s Republic of China (PRC).
China’s Initial Problems
Initially, the Chinese communists went through a period of turmoil but, in due time, they became more stabilized both politically and economically. Several countries began to recognize the economic and political potential of China. In spite of having countries sympathetic with Taiwan, a good number of others began to come with grips of reality. France was one of the first major countries in the world to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Later, the Republic of China was replaced at the United Nations by the People’s Republic of China.
To avoid the confusion of having two Chinas, more and more countries began to refer to the Republic of China simply by Taiwan and to the People’s Republic of China simply by Mainland China or merely China. Although today Taiwan gave up completely its dream of regaining control of Mainland China, the government of the PRC made it clear that it does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation and that it views Taiwan merely as a province of China.
At this stage of history, the world has witnessed great economic progress both in Taiwan and in China. Taiwan wants to establish cordial political relations with Mainland China but not by sacrificing its democracy and freedom. China insists that the only way for Taiwan to deal with Mainland China is simply to give up its sovereignty and submit fully to the government of Beijing. Thus, Mainland China expects any country that wishes to establish diplomatic relations with it, to cut off all diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
In spite of this Chinese diplomatic policy, Taiwan still maintains today good and cordial diplomatic relations with some 27 nations or so. In quite a number of other countries, Taiwan has missions instead of embassies. For example, the United States and South Korea are among such nations. They have official diplomatic relations with China though the establishment of embassies. At the same time, they keep in touch unofficially with Taiwan through the set up of missions. Until a few years ago, China was fully aware of the fact that Taiwan’s economy was much better.
Economic Growth and Development
Over the past two decades, China’s economy grew immensely. This was partly due to China’s consent to capitalism infiltrate its communist system. Because of this, today we do find several Chinese people who make a lot of money and who may be termed rich for all practical purposes. Also, a lot of Taiwanese businessmen opened branches of their respective products on Mainland China. Unlike with the case of North and South Korea, the Chinese people in both Mainland China and Taiwan seem to be free to communicate with each other. In this respect, Hong Kong serves as a linking bridge between the mainlanders and the islanders.
As time passes, China is being viewed less and less of a threat by the world at large. One of its greatest assets lies in its determination to view its strength not in military build-up but rather in the continuous growth of its civilian economy. After all, this was the kind of strength that brought both Germany and Japan out of their total collapse following the end of World War II. Historically, military build-up always led to the eventual destruction of a nation’s economy. In fact, several nations that were either demilitarized or held a token military were always blessed with a conspicuous healthy and highly educated people. After all, wars have always served as an instrument to kill people and to destroy the infrastructure of entire communities.
Today, the standard of living in China is considerably better than the standard of living in the vast majority of nations in the world. In recent times, China has taken the lead to help the developing nations as to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. China’s policies, as revealed by the role it plays at the United Nations, prove that this huge nation of over one billion people is determined to do all it can to uphold world peace. Also, China made it clear that the humanitarian assistance it gives to the poor nations of Africa and elsewhere does not have any strings attached. Nowadays, China seems to believe that if people’s life is improved, the chances for a lasting world peace would become a tangible reality where everyone would be a winner.
China has noted recently that a number of developing countries have not gained their fare share of benefits from economic globalization. In the meantime, plenty of insecurity has developed through manifold sources that would include security threats through terrorist activities, natural disasters and outbreak of major communicable diseases. China would love to see people in every country being equipped with good hospitals and schools, with adequate housing facilities and proper nourishment. The other nation in the world with over one billion people, India, is trying to follow China’s footsteps in a number of ways. In fact, these two nations are predicated to become the two strongest economic powers by the year 2045.
Exposition of Good Will
During the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (EPEC) CEO summit at the National Convention Center in Hanoi on November 17, 2006, China’s President Hu Jintao had this to say: "We will further deepen the reform of foreign-related economic sectors, accelerate the transformation pattern of trade growth and improve trade structure to ensure balanced growth of import and export." Then he added saying: "We will actively introduce foreign investment, open the service sectors wider, enhance intellectual property rights protection and raise China’s overall level of openness."
Besides, the Chinese President called for building a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity in the best interest of all people without exception. He described harmony as a "defining value of Chinese civilization." In spite of this, the Chinese President recognized some of China’s problems and challenges that included "structural imbalances and inefficient modes of economic growth." He also stated that issues of this nature could be resolved properly and effectively if in every approach taken the welfare of the people is given top priority by all means. China’s goal of the future is to aim at comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.
For those who may be skeptic about China’s efforts to help the developing nations with no strings attached, we would need to explore as to whether or not China is also furnishing weapons and military material to such nations. The concept of war to solve human conflicts has become very antiquated. The idea of a nation to bring under full control another nation through the waging of a devastating war has proven constantly to be fallacious and disastrous as we have seen in Vietnam, Iraq and quite a few other countries. We should all be optimistic about China’s good intentions as long as its assistance to other nations will be restricted to merely humanitarian needs that relate to medicine, food, housing facilities, and to anything that is in itself positive and constructive.
with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2006 Global Community WebNet Ltd.