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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Building a wall or roads, it matters
    2017-October-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Wu Guangqiang

jw368@163.com

AS President Xi Jinping prepares to meet his American counterpart Donald Trump in Beijing early next month, the world’s media will be watching with great interest to see what consensus will be achieved between the world’s two most powerful leaders, who have expressed virtually opposite views on such issues as globalization, fighting global warming and tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Since Trump took office, he has been leading his country toward greater isolationism and protectionism. As Trump’s act of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico suggests, the U.S. is also building an invisible wall around itself to keep the rest of the world at arm’s length.

Steps towards U.S. isolationism took place decisively and swiftly. Trump’s first official act as president was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Regardless of intense opposition from both home and abroad, Trump has also announced to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, inflicting a blow to the global efforts to fight against weather woes.

The North America Free Trade Agreement (AFT), the world’s largest FTA today, is also facing an uncertain future. It has been the subject of Trump’s criticisms both during the campaign and since taking office.

All this is happening under Trump’s prize slogan: America First.

China, on the other hand, is advancing in the opposite direction: to seek greater integration into the world in the belief that globalization is an irreversible historic trend. Xi has been calling for the creation of a common community of human destiny.

China is playing an increasingly proactive and responsible role in global governance, repeatedly reiterating its commitment to supporting global free trade and implementing the Paris accord.

China embraces and advocates globalization, not because it intends to act as the new world leader as some Westerners have surmised, but because China recognizes that globalization has not only benefited China, but will also benefit every member of the international community as long as it proceeds on the principles of fairness, openness, transparency and mutual respect.

China used to build a wall to protect itself, but that was 2,300 years ago. The Great Wall was built to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions by the various nomadic groups from the Eurasian Steppe.

As known to all, the massive wall might have made it harder for invading troops of cavalry or infantry to harry Chinese dynasties, but it was unable to ward off external threats when the dynasties behind the wall were in the process of degradation and decay.

Moreover, those who favor building visible walls likely have built an invisible wall around their minds. The rulers of Chinese dynasties, especially those of the later Qing Dynasty, saw their “central kingdom” as the center of the world and managed to maintain their rule over the empires by disconnecting itself from the outside world. Of course, the consequences were tragic.

Painful historical lessons awakened China, which chose to look outward in the late 1970s and has stuck to reform and opening up ever since.

Resourceful Chinese have found the secret to the treasure house: building roads. Wherever roads reach, goods, services, money and people flood in, in turn enriching local society.

Encouraged by the benefits of greater interconnection and opening up, China has engaged in an endless drive to build roads, hence having created the world’s largest networks of high-speed rails, expressways, bridges and tunnels, linking almost every corner of the country.

Not content with its own success, China is applying its experience to the rest of the world, in an effort to bring prosperity to other underdeveloped areas.

China is fully convinced that it is building roads, not erecting walls, that will make the world a better place.

(The author is an English tutor and freelance writer.)

 

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