Clearing doubts of others can help China get support
Updated: 2016-01-16 09:24
By Fang Songying and Liu Wei(China Daily)
The signing ceremony of memorandum of understanding on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is held in Beijing, Oct 24 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
Although China has repeatedly emphasized that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a multilateral agency to meet Asia's development needs, the international community remains worried that it is setting low-level financing rules. And despite China's efforts to promote its Belt and Road Initiative as a win-win policy, some countries still doubt its intentions.
To dispel such worries and eliminate suspicions, China should expound its national interests more clearly in the diplomatic parlance. Until then, countries may find it hard to believe in the common interests that the AIIB and Belt and Road Initiative (which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) have been designed to serve.
China's explanation should be accompanied by proper actions to make the discourse more convincing and prompt other countries to appreciate its efforts.
Yet because of conflict of national interests, it is difficult for countries like China and the United States to dispel mutual suspicion even if they try their best to make their intentions clear.
The US does not believe that China will not challenge its global leadership, and China does not believe the US' growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region is not to contain its rise. Still, highlighting common interests in diplomatic discourse is an effective way to cultivate mutual trust and deepen mutual understanding.
Although China and the US are competing over security issues, they have many common interests, such as fighting terrorism and mitigating climate change. Therefore, they should try to transform their common interests into a kind of consensus through effective diplomatic dialogue, which is a prerequisite for a clear explanation of one country's national interests and responsibilities and for reducing other countries' suspicions.
While putting forward a diplomatic proposal, a country should also undertake other obligations. Therefore, apart from stressing the common interests behind its proposals, China should also explain why it is ready to employ the funds to serve other countries' interests. That is to say, China should directly answer the question: What it aims to achieve from its proposals?