The annual China-Russia joint drill, which this year is being held in the Baltic Sea for the first time, has almost come to an end. The drill has caught unprecedented attention from NATO and the European media. It also reflects the increasing influence of China.
The joint exercise further enhanced Russia's confidence toward the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. However, it touched a raw nerve in some European countries toward China. China has both gains and losses.
But China played it right. Russia is one of China's most important strategic partners, and Western European and Baltic Sea countries have friendly cooperation with China. China should strengthen ties with Russia and at the same time develop its relations with Europe. China has the right to maintain all kinds of cooperation, including joint military exercises, with either Russia or Europe.
Although it is the first time that China and Russia have held drills in the Baltic Sea, joint drills have become a routine part of bilateral military exchanges and cooperation. The Europeans well acknowledge this and they should adapt to it. China, as a major power, faces complex and intertwined international relations, and its actions won't satisfy everyone. We should stick to our own course as long as the complaints and criticisms don't touch upon China's core interests.
Global opinion needs to become accustomed to respecting China's national interests when commenting on China affairs.
China has been acting prudently. The West made a fuss when China announced its first overseas support base in Djibouti. China's island-building in its own territory in the South China Sea raised the eyebrows of some countries. China's intercept of the US surveillance plane at China's coastal areas was viewed as "arrogance." It is not fair to treat China, the world's second-largest economy and one that has the second-largest military budget, in such a reproving manner.
China will soon have the same economic clout as the US. By then, China's interests will have stretched all over the world like the US' did. During this process, it is impossible that there are only Chinese cargo ships on the oceans while US warships travel freely.
In the next few decades, the world will see Chinese warships appear frequently. This is not muscle-flexing but a natural transition. China will try to keep a low profile and communicate more with other countries, especially those in the West.
The arrival of the Chinese naval fleet in the Baltic Sea can be seen as a new chance for China to get along with the outside world during its rise. It is successful and transparent and European countries are getting accustomed to it.
China won't compete with the US on maritime activities, but China will develop its blue-water navy at its own pace. China should seek down-to-earth development and it is believed the world will accept China during this process.
Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/26 23:48:42