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Merkel Says China Threat Is Overblown

Posted May. 25, 2006 03:58,   


The German media timely reported on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to China on May 21 that the fear of China’s emergence in the West is overblown.

Once the West helps China find its proper place in the world stage befitting its enhanced status, global order will be more secure, they said.

Focus, a weekly, featured an interview with Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the former foreign minister and former member of the German Free Democratic Party from 1974 to 1992.

“The 21st century will be the global era of multi-polarization. Not only the U.S. and China but also EU, ASEAN, and other global entities from many nations will have a greater voice, creating a new democratic order,” he said.

“In 1988 when I met Deng Xiaoping, he said that growth should come first and only with growth can human rights and living standards improve,” said he, adding that as the economy grows and the informatization develops, human rights and media freedom will improve.

Genscher said, “China’s economic growth is not a threat but an opportunity for the West to invest more in science and research to achieve a drastic reform.”

Die Welt, a weekly, reported in an article “No Fear of China” that China is not a country in strict order but instead is unstable and has many defects. Due to the domestic need for reforms, China’s growth will not be great enough to threaten the West.

In 2005, China’s labor cost in major cities rose 15 percent, which is twice the growth rate. The growth rate of wages in the lumbering sector and the shipment sector surpassed 20 percent. Environmental challenge is another headache for China. In 16 out of 20 major cities, air and water pollution are so serious that costs related to environmental problems will be enormous.

Yoon-Jong Yoo gustav@donga.com