Unrest tests wisdom of world powers

By Global Times:

Revolution in the Middle East may gravely disrupt global development and profoundly change the world’s interest structure that was established over the past half-century. The consequences of these changes will not be evenly distributed around the world. As such, how China turns these risks into opportunities will be vital to its rise in the decades to come.

National competition in the era of globalization is more cruel than it seems to be. Changes in global positioning could once be achieved through internal development or regional adjustment, but they now require global “re-identification,” which cannot be achieved in a short space of time.

China’s reform and opening-up was luckily easier than the former Soviet Union’s equivalent. Therefore, China has gained the most from the last round of international development, and has been seen as reaping great rewards from globalization. Despite foreign criticism of China, its progress over the past three decades is unmatched and has strengthened the conditions of its future growth.

Revolutions in the Middle East may be seen as the most important political changes the world has seen in 20 years, bringing about a period of chaos where some countries will weaken while others emerge stronger.

In fact, those Arab countries in trouble today are those that have benefited least from globalization to date. The disintegration of the Soviet Union left the Arabian world at a disadvantage in its stand-off with Israel. The strategic adjustments of these countries have not been good. While some turned to the US for support, most of them failed to seriously consider new ways of developing.

These revolutions will be amplified in the era of globalization, but many countries do not have the internal capacity to deal with the effects of this upheaval. For example, Islamic fundamentalism may rise in the Middle East. How much risk does this entail for regional powers? The Middle East will spend a long time cementing nascent democracy. What attitude should the outside world take?

The most important lesson drawn from the changes that swept the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is that the globalized world will not allow much time for such countries to straighten out their own political agenda.

Since the future belongs to those that can develop and reform their nations calmly and peacefully, national strength will be determined by political adjustments to these situations.

China has been attracting world attention for its extraordinary pace of development. But many of the explanations of China’s lessons are based on speculation. Similarly, comments dictating China’s behavior in the face of the Middle Eastern unrest are flawed. China must stick to its set path of development at a comfortable pace. Thus, even if this path deviates, it can easily be corrected. For modern China, it is important to have a sense of direction and ensure the ability to correct this direction when heading the wrong way.

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