Chinas "friedlicher Aufstieg": Der Economist beleuchtet Pekings wachsende außenpolitische Rolle und sein Hineinwachsen ins Konzert der großen Mächte: CHINA spends a lot of time worrying about what other countries think of it. So the country's rapid economic growth in recent years has given it a particularly nasty headache. How can China deal with foreign concerns, especially in Asia and the West, that the country's economic strength will one day encourage it to assert its power aggressively, or even militarily? In the last few months, China has started to develop a riposte. This was first clearly enunciated at a luxury hotel on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan last November. There, delegates to the Boao Forum, an economic conference attended by many Asian leaders, were informed by a senior Communist Party official that “our choice can only be to strive to rise; and what's more this is a peaceful rise.” Since then, the catchphrase “peaceful rise” has become something of a favourite. It may sound like a bland rephrasing of the frequent Chinese assertion that the country is peace-loving and will “never seek hegemony”. But the new formulation, repeated most notably by China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, during a visit to America in December, has aroused considerable debate in China—and from both directions. Is it right, ask some, to use the word “rise” at all, since it might cause the wary to draw parallels with the rise of Germany or Japan? Does not the history of the last century suggest that the rise of big powers inevitably leads them into conflict with other powers? Or, from the opposite perspective, is it really appropriate to use the word “peaceful”, given that China reserves the right to use force against a recalcitrant Taiwan?


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