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Beijing’s diplomacy deserves real peace prize

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Beijing’s diplomacy deserves real peace prize

Former US president Donald Trump had complained that his predecessor Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people,” even though he had only just become president.

It’s time to consider what achievements deserve real peace prizes.

By the end of the 20th century, China’s exclusion from international affairs and reluctance to become involved in settling outstanding global issues had not escaped the attention of Middle East countries. According to Yitzhak Shichor, China was unwilling to get involved in regional conflicts in the Middle East for a long time.

Shichor highlighted the passive measures taken by Beijing to influence Middle East politics, including the use of veto at the United Nations Security Council. In 2011, the United States, the United Kingdom and France supported a draft UNSC resolution to bomb Syria on the pretext of humanitarian intervention. China and Russia vetoed it. But unlike the US and Russia, China was only marginally involved in the Syrian crisis.

But China’s recent success in getting Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic ties signals its determination to play a more active role in delivering international public goods and improving global governance. As a result of the Saudi-Iranian peace deal, the sudden increase in China’s soft power has shocked many Western countries.

The launch of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, the pursuit of an independent foreign policy of peace, and the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind provide the necessary context without which China’s mediating role in helping settle the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran cannot be fully understood.

Multiple deep-seated disputes had poisoned Riyadh-Teheran relations for a long time. These disputes are said to be the alleged engagement in proxy wars in the Middle East, aspirations for regional leadership, conflicts of religious doctrines, competition for leadership in the Islamic world, oil export policies, and relations with the US and other Western powers.

That’s why, despite the resumption of diplomatic ties, both Saudi Arabia and Iran understand that it is difficult to get their rocky relationship back on a sound footing. Yet Iran is advancing its nuclear program after two years of failed attempts by the Joe Biden administration to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that was aimed at preventing Teheran from developing a nuclear bomb. No wonder Saudi Arabia has warned that all bets would be off if Iran develops a nuclear bomb.

Of equal concern is the protracted civil war in Yemen, which in essence is a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is hoped that the normalization of diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Teheran will have positive effects on the peaceful initiatives to end the civil war in Yemen.

On the other hand, any escalation of proxy wars in Syria and Lebanon will deal the fragile Riyadh-Teheran rapprochement a crushing blow. In all this, however, China is expected to continue playing a positive role in sustaining the peace deal, by helping defuse tensions in the Middle East.

China remains, and is still perceived to be, a responsible and credible peace-broker, as its role in brokering the peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran shows. It has also showcased its global leadership by helping deliver peace, an invaluable international public good, to the region.

Indeed, China is ready to play a more active role in promoting peace. The Saudi-Iranian deal also proves wrong the malicious allegation that China is a “trigger-happy aggressor”.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has made strenuous efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind and pursue an independent foreign policy. It has recently succeeded in brokering a peace deal between two long-term rivals in the Middle East. Though there is a gnashing of teeth in some Western countries, China will continue to play a more constructive role in settling international disputes.

China is what it upholds. An ascending China understands that global leadership means shouldering more global responsibilities. Instead of asking what the international community can do for China, China has been asking what it can do for the international community.

The author is chairman of Chinese Dream Think Tank, a Hong Kong-based non-profit organization. The views don’t necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

Kacee Ting Wong is a barrister, part-time researcher of Shenzhen University Hong Kong and Macao Basic Law Research Center

Chinese Dream Think Tank is a non-profit Hong Kong-based organization working with skilled volunteers, experts and professionals who are passionate about telling the China story well.

https://www.chinadailyhk.com/article/326896?showpdf=true

This article is reproduced by Kwun Media with the consent of China Daily.

中國夢智庫|「中國外交」和平獎得主才,理所當然、實至名歸

話說,2019年奧巴馬(Barack Obama)因「… 為增進國際外交與人類之間合作所作出的非凡努力。(註1)」而獲得諾貝爾和平獎之際,美國前總統特朗普立馬就吃不消地抱怨道:「他才剛剛上任總統!(註2)」

現在是時候細思一下,有誰作出了哪些成就才能成為真正的和平獎得主。

20世紀末,因為我方被排擠出參與國際事務的事實,中東各國察覺到當時我國在解決國際事務時顯現出的遲疑。根據「耶路撒冷希伯來大學」東亞研究教授希霍(Dr Yitzhak Shichor),我國長期避免捲入中東衝突。

希霍教授強調,北京對中東政治發展的立場採取的是不主動、不干預的措施(註3)。舉例說明,2011年,美英法三國推動聯合國安理會以人道主義干預為由,轟炸敘利亞決議草案。我方在聯合國安全理事會上(與俄羅斯一道)行使否決權(註4)。大家注意,與美國與俄羅斯對敘利亞政策不同,我方是在勉強被動的形式下被捲入敘利亞危機(註5)。

但是,近期我國成功促成沙特與伊朗復交,這次三國的共同努力體現我方在繼續為國際社會帶來公共福祉與改善全球治理發揮更積極作用的決心。隨着 《中沙伊聯合聲明》的敲定,我國軟實力這一下子的突飛猛進,使眾西方國家感受到了驚嚇。

大家應從我方在「一帶一路倡議」、「全球安全倡議」、「奉行全球各國獨立自主」、「全球和平外交政策」與「堅持構建人類命運共同體願景」這些個方方面面所作出的努力來好好理解我國在解決沙伊爭端中所負起的「國際調解員」的使命與決心。

「中東局勢」基本上是一鍋糊粥。多項深層次的爭端長期左右利雅得-德黑蘭關係。爭端分別是:(1)互相參與中東代理人戰爭;(2)對區域領導權的慾望;(3)宗教教義衝突;(4)伊斯蘭世界領導權競爭;(5)石油出口政策;以及對與美國為首的西方世界政策。正因如此,沙伊兩國的敵對關係導致巴林、伊拉克、黎巴嫩、敘利亞與也門發生代理人戰爭(註6)。

因此,儘管復了交,沙伊兩國關係的發展還是滿佈荊棘,處處佈滿致命衝突可能性。但是,美國拜登政府歷經兩年嘗試恢復2015年的「伊朗核問題全面協議」來阻止德黑蘭生產核彈,難怪沙特則警告,如果伊朗獲得核彈,將會「一切都完蛋」(all bets would be off)。

同樣令人擔憂的是所謂的「也門內戰」。實質上,這埸曠日持久的戰爭是沙伊兩國之間的代理人戰爭。希望利雅得-德黑蘭復交後,下個和平好消息是「也門內戰」停戰。再來,我國將繼續努力化解中東的緊張局勢。

我國本是並將依然會是一股伊沙兩國之間和平協定背後具負責任與可被信認的和平調停者。可以說,我方向全世界展示了我國具備領導國際事務的能力。

我方願意在促進世界和平發展道路上繼續發揮更積極的作用。再有,《中沙伊聯合聲明》在本質上進一步反駁了西方一直以來將我國描繪成一個好勇鬥狠侵略者的惡意失實指控。

在習近平主席的領導下,我國在「構建人類命運共同體」與「奉行獨立自主的和平外交政策」道路上作出了艱難的努力。出於無比的善意,我方成功地在中東兩大長期競爭對手之間締造和平協議。儘管一些西方國家不滿或震驚到咬牙切齒的地步,我國將繼續在解決國際爭端方面發揮更積極的作用。

中國所崇尚的就是一直堅持著的。最後,一個和平崛起的中國明白一個簡單道理:擁有全球領導力意味著背負捍衛全球福祉的責任。與其苛求國際社會為中國做點什麼,中國一直都是准備就緒為國際社會做出力所能及的事。

事實與資料來源已核查

註 1:「2009年諾貝爾和平獎」available at: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Nobel_Peace_Prize

註 2: Outlook「I Would Get Nobel If They Gave It Out Fairly: Donald Trump Complains」24.09.2019 available at: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/world-news-i-would-get-nobel-if-they-gave-it-out-fairly-donald-trump-complains/339296/amp

註 3: Yitzhak Shichor「Maximizing Output While Minimizing Input: Change and Continuity in China’s Middle East Policy」in Hoo Tiang Boon (ed.)「Chinese Foreign Policy Under Xi」London: Routledge 2017 at pp 121,122

註 4: Euan McKirdy「8 times Russia blocked a UN Security Council resolution on Syria」CNN  13.04.2017 available at: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/04/13/middleeast/russia-unsc-syria-resolutions/index.html

註 5: 同上 註2 at p 122; also see: Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira「The Second Cold War」Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG 2017 at p 250 available at: https://www.defence.lk/upload/ebooks/Luiz%20Alberto%20Moniz%20Bandeira%20(auth.)-The%20Second%20Cold%20War_%20Geopolitics%20and%20the%20Strategic%20Dimensions%20of%20the%20USA-Springer%20International%20Publishing%20(2017).pdf

註 6: Michael Burleigh「The Best of Times, The Worst of Times」London: MacMillan 2017) at p 45

文:丁煌(深圳大學基本法研究中心兼職研究員、經民聯港島支部主席、《中國夢智庫》主席)

《中國夢智庫》是一間扎根特區的非牟利團體;與心存熱誠的資深義工、專家與職業專業人士們合作,攜手「說好中國故事」。

*作者文章觀點,不代表《觀新聞》立場