We stand with U.S. for peace
2015/09/03

Cui Tiankai September 3, 2015

 

Anniversary of 1945 victory over fascism should recall U.S. and China's united battle to preserve international order.

A huge black-and-white photograph in the central hall of the Chinese Embassy in Washington draws visitors' attention. In the photo, taken during World War II, a young American soldier and a Chinese boy are crouching in the trenches while holding two pigeons in their hands. Above the photo are these words: For Justice and Peace.

The photo touches our hearts because it is a testament to the history created by Chinese and American people together. In history's deadliest war, people of different nations united to defeat the fascist forces with immeasurable cost of life and property. While hatred faded away, we should not forget that peace and justice are never free.

On Thursday, Beijing will host an event to commemorate the victory over fascism. It aims not only to remember those who sacrificed everything, but also to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, honoring China, the U.S. and all peace-loving countries. We will never forget that China and the U.S. were allies fighting side by side, and will be forever grateful for the contributions made by the U.S. in supporting China's resistance against Japanese aggression. American friends, including veterans of the famous Flying Tigers, have been invited to join the event.

The victory of 1945 laid the foundation for today's international order. The charter of the United Nations, born in the ruins of World War II, raised a series of important principles governing current international relations, such as sovereign equality, collective security, international cooperation and common development. These shared values will never be outdated. They still play a central role in maintaining international order. Since World War II, despite the Cold War and some regional conflicts, the trend toward peace and development has remained strong, with the U.N. and many other international mechanisms playing greater roles in world affairs.

Now the world is undergoing profound change. Globalization has deepened ties between countries. A number of developing countries, including China, are offering more public goods to the international community with growing capabilities. Meanwhile, the international community is faced with many challenges - such as terrorism, climate change, financial risks, extreme poverty and natural disaster - that require better coordination. While the frameworks of current international order should remain stable, it is important to adapt to the changing situation. Gradual reforms and adjustments should be introduced through inclusive consultations.

However, change often brings anxiety. Some people are suspicious that China is trying to challenge current international order and U.S. global leadership. They believe that such attempts will inevitably lead to conflict, or even war. Yet the simple fact is that China has achieved remarkable growth by committing to the peaceful development path, carrying out reform and opening up. China benefits from the current international order and has been the guardian of such order. Being an irrational challenger does not serve its interests. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is one of the efforts made by China to complement the World Bank and other regional development banks, not to challenge them. We welcome U.S. participation.

Differences between China and the U.S. have neither undermined our shared international responsibilities nor hindered our cooperation in various areas. We should look beyond our differences, stay committed to the core values and the major framework of the post-war international order, and steadfastly reject behaviors that challenge them. China and the U.S. should also leverage our respective advantages to explore new measures to enhance cooperation in global governance. So far, we have tremendous achievements, such as tackling climate change and the Ebola epidemic. Later this month, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States, during which President Obama and President Xi will have the opportunity to share their visions on the international order.

The young American soldier in the photo may never know that his friendship with a little boy in a remote Chinese village can transcend time and distance. Just like we did 70 years ago, China and the U.S., together with other members of the international community, should and will continue to maintain and improve the international order.

(This is an Op-Ed article published on USA Today on September 3, 2015)

 

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