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New road maps needed to restore Western countries’ relations with China

Global Times 2020-11-01

Recently, some Western politicians and media outlets have stated their relations with China cannot be restored.

A case in point is that British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in April that the UK cannot go back to business as usual with China after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some officials and media from the US and Australia have also made similar comments.

Indeed, certain Western countries' relations with China can no longer return to the past. The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. The pandemic of COVID-19 has further provoked people's thoughts about the world order in the upcoming post-pandemic era. Facing a drastically changing world, all countries are adjusting their foreign relations accordingly.

However, it seems that some Westerners' concerns are not about the evolution of the world order. They tend to believe that they have showed their one-sided tolerance toward China, and that in the future, they will treat China more harshly.

In reality, those countries' relations with China have never been based on the so-called tolerance. The core of China's relations with other countries is based on mutual benefit and reciprocity. By developing ties with China, other countries have gained their own interests.

China is committed to the principles of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries - China respects other countries regardless of their domestic affairs.

The problem is that some Western countries do not want to continue their previous reciprocal modes of interactions with China. They want to make demands toward China with their own principles and motives. Such behavior is ideological hegemony.

When it comes to coping with the epidemic of novel coronavirus, China acts much more than it speaks. It sacrificed its economic development to safeguard people's health and lives. It has held inept officials accountable, and reported its epidemic situation in a timely and transparent manner not only to its people but also to the world, including the WHO and the US.

Of course, this does not mean China did everything as perfectly as it should have. There is big room for improvement in its epidemic battle.

By contrast, some countries cast their eyes only on economics and ballots while neglecting the spread of the virus. Officials at various levels are racing to make reality shows, but have barely reflected on their ineptitude of public health governance. No matter how badly they had handled the situation, no senior official has resigned for this. So far, the patient zero in some countries is still unknown.

Some Western politicians, out of narrow-minded ideological motives, have instinctively rejected to learn from China's anti-virus experience. They worry that an objective evaluation of China's performance will betray their much-touted values.

As such, they blatantly accused China out of thin air, and failed to admit that it was their own rotten behavior that destroyed the essence of their so-called values.

Interestingly enough, those who yell in chorus that relations with China cannot return to the past are mostly from the Five Eyes network, an intelligence-sharing alliance among Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US. One cannot help but think they are stuck in an isolated clique and are sharing homogenized intelligence to coordinate their China policies.

The world has changed profoundly. It now requires countries to view their China relations with a brand new mind-set - not by indulging in illusions of moral superiority.

If they hadn't accused China carelessly or rebuked China with a condescending attitude, their relations with China wouldn't have become what they are now. Assessing China with an outdated mentality will surely degrade their ability to negotiate fruitfully with China now and in the future.

Source: Global Times