Last Word

Learning from the past

Updated: 2011-05-27 11:22

By Andrew Moody (China Daily European Weekly)

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Learning from the past
Douglas Hurd rejects the idea that a rising China is a threat to the world. Nick J B Moore / for China Daily 

Former British foreign secretary uses history to predict China's future

Former British foreign secretary Douglas Hurd does not believe the economic rise of China represents a threat to the rest of the world.

The 81-year-old, who was a diplomat in Beijing in the 1950s and is the author of a book on the second Opium War, says the Chinese are more interested in spreading their culture.

"China is not a threat because that is not the Chinese way. They are not involved in conflict in the physical or military sense, but they do believe in Chinese ways and habits spreading outwards and have done so over the years," he says. "They therefore don't need to make colonies or put their flags up everywhere."

Hurd looked in good health sitting in the front room of his relatively modest terraced west London home despite suffering a stroke two years ago.

"You see I walk with a stick so that limits the amount of physical exercise I can do. But I am lucky to have recovered to the extent I have, so I don't complain," he says.

Now a member of the House of Lords, Hurd still maintains an interest in China, regularly attending the China-Britain Business Council annual meeting in London.

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