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[Opinion] Active Intervention and Making Its Own Way

Posted July. 28, 2005 11:38,   


A metaphor is a form of rhetoric to implicitly show what one wants to express. Ancient sayings or four Chinese character phrases are all useful methods of metaphors. As Mao Zedong’s “16 Chinese Character Strategy” shows China has organized the core of its ruling or foreign policy into four characters. The “16 Chinese Character Strategy” summarizes into: if the enemy nears pull back, if stops confuse them, if they dodge attack, and if they pull back, follow them.

China’s foreign policy changes from Deng Xiaoping’s era of “hiding the light of the sword in the sheath and secretly growing strength in darkness” into “rising on top of a peaceful world like a mountain,” with the advent of the Hu Jintao government in 2003. In other words, China’s economic power has accumulated with pragmatism, calling “to hide the light and grow strength,” and converted into “developing into a world power while supporting world peace.” Scholars interpret that China is placing peace in its foreign policy in order to wipe out voices that are warning about China as its status in the international arena grows.

It is obvious for foreign strategy to change as the situation and era changes. China is no exception. However, ever since Mao, China has been adhering to one diplomatic principle. That is “Let’s first cooperate on things we agree.” In other words, if there are differences in opinions, set those aside, and cooperate in the areas of common ground. China, which pursues a one-China policy, allows Hong Kong to have a different system under one country because of such policy.

At the fourth round of six-party talks that began two days ago in Beijing, China, in his welcoming speech, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing emphasized continuous negotiations using the term “cooperate on things that people agree upon first.” Active intervention, which has been stressed after the inauguration of Hu Jintao, has not been witnessed. Does it mean that China thinks that its new policy of actively intervening and having its way in necessary issues appears difficult to be applied at the six-party talks? Although it is regretful, it comes to my mind that it will be also difficult at this time to see an end to North Korea’s nuclear issue.

Song Dae-keun, Editorial Writer, dksong@donga.com