Residents in remote, harsh high-altitude region of Xizang enjoy guaranteed medical care

A hospital located at an altitude of 4,500 meters in Southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region has become a shelter for the local people, granting them access to guaranteed medical services, largely thanks to the assistance provided by the central government, reflecting China's efforts to protect human rights.

Nagqu People's Hospital as a high-altitude hospital faced challenges such as its remote location and harsh climate, as well as problems of attracting and retaining highly skilled medical professionals. Thankfully, the sixth group of medical experts dispatched by Northeast China's Liaoning Province continue to prioritize improving medical technology, enhancing service capabilities, and cultivating a team of medical professionals who will remain in the region.

On Friday, the Global Times witnessed the orderly operation of the hospital: children with their parents resting in clean and spacious rooms; premature infants were being cared for by specialist nurses in advanced incubators; in the gastroenterology department on the ground floor, people lined up orderly, waiting for endoscopic examinations.

Since 2015, Liaoning Province has dispatched a total of 116 experts to assist Xizang, providing strong support for the high-quality development of medical services in Nagqu. Additionally, Liaoning Province has invested over 20 million yuan ($2.7 million) for the purchase of equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging and telemedicine platforms to aid in the hospital's development. Currently, critical care units for maternal and child health, pediatric critical care, high-altitude medical research center, and emergency rescue have all been established.

Nagqu People's Hospital has developed an innovative new model, tailoring achievable and sustainable goals based on the local common diseases and departmental development needs to ensure that both the assisting and receiving parties work together to achieve targeted assistance, Jia Zhuqiang, the hospital's director and a doctor from the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, told the Global Times.

The hospital has also selected a group of skilled staff to be trained as teaching candidates. Training takes place through methods like "teachers and apprentices," according to Jia.

For instance, Angzhen, a gastroenterologist, learned a lot from Wu Pubin, a doctor from Dalian to assist Nagqu. "I am very grateful for this opportunity to learn new techniques and improve my skills from experienced doctors," Angzhen told reporters.

During the Global Times' visit to the facility which first opened in 2021, a young mother from Nagqu's Lhari County was receiving treatment for her nine-month-old baby for pediatric pneumonia on the fifth floor at the hospital. "We traveled for four or five hours to get here, and my child was quite unwell when we arrived." Fortunately, after a few days of treatment, her child is well on the path to recovery.

The mother mentioned that her baby was also born in the hospital, and the medical conditions have significantly improved since the baby was delivered.

"In the past, local herders did not have the habit of giving birth in hospitals, but now people are more willing to come to the hospital because it is safer, more reliable, and more hygienic. People also have a lot of trust in the hospital," said Zhao Yi, the director of the obstetrics and gynecology department at the Nagqu People's Hospital, who is also a doctor from Liaoning.

Nagqu is located in northern Xizang, deep within the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, and is a crucial area covering the country's western border security and a strategic support point. It serves as the "North Gate" of Xizang and a major crossroads for land transportation in the entire region.

Nagqu is also the highest-altitude prefecture-level city in the country, with the harshest environmental conditions and the most demanding conditions for local residents. The average elevation in the city is 4,500 meters, and the oxygen content in the air during the summer is only 58 percent of that at sea level. The annual average temperature ranges from -0.9 C to -3.3 C.

Spain: Building momentum toward COP28 seminar held

Building momentum toward COP28, a seminar co-organized by the United Nations in China and the Embassy of Spain, with the support of the Delegation of the European Union, was held on Tuesday at the UNICEF Compound, Beijing. 

The seminar aimed to mediate negotiations and share a preview of China's strategic line at COP28, and spearhead detailed discussions both on China's position and priorities for the upcoming COP28, along with member states and other stakeholders' expectations with a view to advance dialogue in the lead up to COP28.  

Spanish Ambassador to China Rafael Dezcallar de Mazarredo, UN Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee, chief researcher, National Climate Center China Zhang Yongxiang, Ambassador of Brazil to China Marcos Galvao, Ambassador of the European Union to China Jorge Toledo Albinana, Ambassador of Mozambique to China Maria Gustava, and other guests shared their opinions about the urgent solution for climate change and how to ensure COP28 rises to the challenge. 

The Spanish Ambassador stressed that climate change is threatening the very existence of life on earth and people should work together and rise to the challenge. 

"We want to work together with China. We can contribute with our experience on issues such as technological cooperation, energy market reform, energy transition (with its essential components of energy security and emissions neutrality), and energy efficiency. We are open to increase our cooperation in all fields," he told the Global Times and expressed his sincere cooperation willingness with China in dealing with climate change. 

The final objective of the seminar was for all parties to have a greater level of understanding on each other's positions in advance of COP28, a shared understanding of the importance of the Global Stocktake at COP28, and generate ideas on how to develop paths that can lead to ambitious agreements and actions at COP28.

Time for the West to learn from China’s ethnic unity

In Western Canada, ground penetrating radar has unsurfaced approximately 100 suspected unmarked graves of indigenous children near a former residential school in late August. Along with the 751 unmarked graves found in 2021, more than 1,300 unmarked graves near religious educational institutions have now been recorded.

These deaths are the legacy of Canada's forced assimilation into a Euro-centric Canada where 150,000 indigenous children were taken away from their families from the late 19th century to the mid-1990s. Under this regime, native languages were not taught and children were punished for using their native languages. This has led to a devastating cultural and linguistic loss.

Official Canadian statistics show that the indigenous population comprised 1,807,250 people in 2021, of which only 237,420 were able to conduct a conversation in their indigenous language - 13.13 percent. Canada, which was founded in 1867, has in 156 years practically wiped out its indigenous culture and replaced it with European civilization.

This tragedy has been repeated across North and South America, as well as Oceania. Despite this historical fact, I have had many conversations with Europeans and those from the aforementioned three settler continents who have without a whiff of irony or self-reflection highlighted to me the danger of China's growth - "evidencing" its treatment of its ethnic minorities.

On the one hand, I can't blame them. The propaganda of the Western transnational liberal elite is so encompassing that challenging false narratives of Chinese ethnic mistreatment needs hours of research to debunk - few have the interest or the time.

However, facts on the ground show that the West has much to learn from China. Both Xizang (Tibet) and Xinjiang, which are large ethnic minority regions, have been part of China long before global European linguistic colonization -  Today the use of both Tibetan and Uygur languages in both its spoken and written form is ubiquitous. I can say this with absolute certainty as I have visited both autonomous regions for an extended period.

China's own use of boarding schools has been used to disparage China. However, there is no policy of wiping out ethnic languages - this is not a rerun of Canada's policy. China's policy for ethnic minority groups is dual language education, coupled with extra help for impoverished ethnic minorities to allow them to attend university. For some, even this is too much but all countries need to balance cultural and linguistic diversity with a lingua franca and a shared dream. History proves China does this far better than the West!

As a former university teacher in China, I know well that many Uygur parents encourage their offspring to have a strong grasp of both Mandarin and the Uygur language. This organic support may seem counterintuitive to propagandized liberals. However, those opposed to my experience would no doubt readily accept that the same Uygur parents, just as their Han counterparts, also readily encourage their children to master English so as to improve their future prospects.

As a Western citizen my experiences on the ground, between 2005 and 2019, my interactions and friendships with Chinese ethnic minorities, and as a witness to China's miraculous development - along with the consciousness of the cultural destruction on three continents, due to the expansion of the European "lebensraum" make me wince with embarrassment when those such as the ultra-woke Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau feels he has the moral high ground to lecture China on its ethnic situation, as he did in 2021, or when Britain's Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, on his recent visit to Beijing, brought up the same topic.

Perhaps to Cleverly's defense, he does know the human rights abuse claims are bogus - there has been more than enough evidence and time to disprove the hoaxes, which all lead back to Washington funding. Thus, Cleverly may be posturing to the corporate liberal press - of course, having to do this in the first place has serious implications for the health of British democracy as it indicates that the governing apparatus is captured by an outside anti-China force.

This transnational force uses its historical atrocities pragmatically to justify its own internal and international class objectives. For example, Trudeau's apology to the indigenous community is the "gild on the sword of liberal imperialism" giving the image of a system that self-corrects and works to not repeat such errors. Consequently, it imbues Western transnational spokesmen, such as Trudeau, as repentant sinners, who have the capacity to lecture China and the Global South. Even the atrocity of war is justified in the name of their sham human rights claims.

Internally, this history is used to divide the Western working class. For example, the class project of settling the Americas, including the history of genocide and transatlantic slavery (which the indigenous graves are but a footnote of), is misplaced into the embodiment of the white working class as "white guilt" when the ancestors of this section of the working class fled tyranny and poverty in Europe. 

In a clever sleight of hand, racism in the guise of woke anti-racism is disguised in plain sight. The divisions in Western societies are manifest and rather than combatting these divisions with a real leftist ideology or elitist self-correction at home, woke ideology is all they have to fortify their class position. Instead of real change, the right is set free to explain ensuing social chaos caused by division through an individualizing "pull your socks up" narrative or worse a racist ideology that justified the subjugation of the world by European powers in the first place.

Western states beset by ethnic divisions nonetheless seek to delegitimize and carve up China's ethnic unity justified by ethnic differences. In fact, all states are multi-ethnic to some extent and have their own ethnic contradictions - the trick is to balance diversity with an overarching unity, which is something Western woke elites are currently unable to do. 

China in contrast, constantly strives for unity while expressing diversity. Their dominant ideology regarding ethnic groups is not one of creating division or racial guilt. Instead, China expresses unity in a family of ethnic groups whose shared task is to develop common prosperity. It is this unity and shared purpose that the West lacks. Indeed without a major shift in their global outlook, Western transnational elites will continue to fear ethnic unity both at home and abroad.

Western media has ‘warned’ Vietnam on the pros and cons of Biden’s visit: Global Times editorial

The just concluded G20 Summit in New Delhi, marked by significant disagreements and low expectations, ultimately reached a joint declaration, reflecting the international community's shared desire for unity and cooperation in overcoming challenges, as well as setting aside some significant differences. However, US President Joe Biden's subsequent itinerary after leaving New Delhi has brought people back to the more complex and rough reality of international politics.

On Sunday, Biden arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam, beginning a short visit there, which has been buzzing news for some time and has attracted much attention. Since the normalization of US-Vietnam relations in 1995, every US president in office has visited Vietnam, which can be seen as a form of Washington's attention to Vietnam. However, never before has Washington's exploitation of Vietnam and lack of respect for Vietnam been so thoroughly exposed. Paying attention cannot be equated with paying respect. Attaching significance with ulterior motives is instrumentalizing the targeted country, which fundamentally disrespects the principle of equal and mutually beneficial relations. It is the Western media itself that pierced through this thin veil.

From the moment the news was released that Biden would be visiting Vietnam, numerous Western media outlets have been making noises for over half a month. However, all the reports and commentaries are "all the same." Some media outlets have explicitly stated in their headlines that "Biden heads to Vietnam in latest push to counter China." This is an unusual phenomenon in the clamorous Western public opinion arena, but it reveals the less glamorous truth about Biden's visit to Vietnam. This message brought about by Western public opinion unintentionally serves as a strong and lasting reminder to Vietnam.

First, Biden did not go to Vietnam for the sake of Vietnam. As Radio France Internationale put it, his diplomatic activities in Asia all revolve around one central theme - confronting the world's second-largest economy. Ultimately, it is still a matter of geopolitical maneuvering, treating Vietnam as a battleground for major powers. Washington's positioning of Vietnam is clear, as stated by Kurt Campbell, White House coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, that Vietnam is a "swing state." In other words, in their view, Vietnam has more "instrumental value" for the US in countering China.

Second, what Biden wants to peddle to Vietnam is neither what Vietnam wants nor is it in line with Vietnam's national interests. As a scholar in the US said, "Washington was more keen to risk upsetting Beijing than Hanoi was." In other words, the US and Western media have been discussing it for so long, but no one has said anything about the actual benefits that Biden's visit will bring to Vietnam. To some extent, it is like a clever housewife who can't cook without rice. 

American and Western public opinion and Washington do not care about Vietnam's national interests. What they really care about is how to get Vietnam to "fall into the arms of the US." The title of an article in the Diplomat magazine is "Vietnam's Time to Choose." Even though American public opinion and Washington clearly know that Vietnam, like other Southeast Asian countries, is unwilling and has been trying its best to avoid choosing sides between China and the US, they still continue to push, pressure, induce and even coerce in this direction. This is the diplomatic practice of the US to coerce other independent and sovereign countries.

One of the biggest points of concerns of Biden's visit is whether the US-Vietnam relationship will be upgraded to a "comprehensive strategic partnership." According to the US media, this will give Washington an equal place with Beijing and Moscow in Hanoi's diplomatic relations. American public opinion generally believes that this will arouse China's vigilance. If the US doesn't have ulterior motives, why should it worry about China being unhappy or angry when the US develops bilateral relations with Vietnam? China doesn't interfere in other countries' diplomacy, and is happy to see other countries live in harmony and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation. However, if it conducts activities against China, it's impossible for China to sit still.

Not long ago, when General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong met with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Trong said Vietnam views its relationship with China as a matter of top priority. It is understandable that Vietnam hopes to maintain a balance in its relations with China and the US, the two major powers. But what the US is doing now is tantamount to pulling the balance pole away from Vietnam, or blowing headwinds that will make Vietnam unable to maintain its balance. This indeed requires Vietnam to be particularly mindful.

We also notice that, according to local media reports, Vietnam asked the US to refrain from the use or threats of force and actions that go against international law which further complicate the situation, resolve disputes peacefully. This indicates that Hanoi is not willing to pull chestnut out of fire for Washington. It also shows that regional countries are well aware of the dangers posed by Washington and are vigilant.

Joining Quad is extension of pro-US policy, showing Yoon administration’s lack of experience

South Korea is very keen on joining the Quad grouping, said the South Korean Envoy in India Chang Jae-bok on Wednesday, according to The Hindu. However, just recently, at the G20 summit, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol publicly expressed his hope to promote the stable and healthy development of the South Korea-China relationship. 

Currently, the South Korean government's foreign policy is heavily leaning toward the US, and the eagerness to join the Quad is an extension of this diplomatic policy. The Yoon administration's foreign policy is deeply entrenched in the mind-set of a "new cold war" and cannot extricate itself. 

The South Korean government seems to believe that the world has entered a new cold war and agrees with the US in dividing the world into "liberal" and "authoritarian" camps. In other words, South Korea may acknowledge the need to view non-Western countries as enemies, and cooperation has limitations. South Korea also understands that strengthening relations with the Western camp will lead to friction in the relations between China and South Korea and even on the Korean Peninsula, but it considers this a necessary cost.

The important thing is that South Korea believes that by doing so, it reflects its identity as a "global pivotal state" and assumes global responsibilities. Zhan Debin, director and professor of the Center for Korean Peninsula Studies at the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times that South Korea, which claims to be the vanguard of safeguarding the order of freedom and democracy, has become an important ally in promoting the US Indo-Pacific strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, which can enhance South Korea's international status. However, this confidence and enthusiasm may only be wishful thinking on the part of South Korea.

Since the Yoon administration came to power, it has shown great confidence in joining the Quad. Due to the influence of the Japan-South Korea relationship at that time, Japan did not want to see South Korea's participation, let alone South Korea decreasing its influence within this small circle. Compared to Japan, India is even less willing to see the Quad become an anti-China and anti-Russia group, as this would diminish India's value. As the leader of the Quad, the US has also not provided much support to South Korea.

Despite the active pressure from the Donald Trump administration for the South Korean government to join the Quad, President Joe Biden has not made a proactive statement on this matter. The Yoon administration believed that as long as South Korea proposed it, the US would immediately agree. However, from the perspective of the US, South Korea's capabilities and contributions, especially in terms of security outside the Korean Peninsula, are limited and cannot be of much help to the US.

If South Korea joins the Quad, the US naturally needs to consider how much contribution South Korea can make within the Quad mechanism. Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times that in current Quad mechanism, the US is using India, Japan and Australia to contain China from the Indian Ocean, the West Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea. What can South Korea do? It can at most cooperate with the US and Japan in economic and trade measures to suppress China. In other words, South Korea has not yet proved its capabilities among the Quad countries.

For South Korea, the security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia should be the most concerning issue. Without cooperation with China, South Korea cannot maintain a stable and peaceful situation in the region. However, the inexperienced administration of Yoon clearly does not realize it. On one hand, it claims to maintain China-South Korea relations, but on the other hand, it continuously tests China's bottom line, which is detrimental to regional peace and stability and does not align with South Korea's own interests. If the Yoon administration wants to manage China-South Korea relations well, it needs to show sincerity. If the trilateral summit between China, Japan, and South Korea is only for showcasing South Korea's leadership and international status, the public's dissatisfaction with the government will only continue to rise.

US clearly knows what 'Global South' least wants to hear at UNGA: Global Times editorial

Starting from Monday, the high-level week of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will begin and last until September 26. Compared to previous ones, this year's UNGA has placed a greater emphasis on the "Global South" countries. Several high-level meetings to be held during the General Assembly will focus on the priorities of developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, including climate, health and financing. Countries in the South have also influenced and responded to the agendas of the UNGA with a stronger spirit of unity and cooperation as well as a sense of "being the host." The director of an international think tank believes that "this is a year when the countries of the Global South have set the agenda."

For this year's high-level week of the UNGA, Secretary-General António Guterres has long had high hopes, hoping to "help rescue the Sustainable Development Goals." The term "rescue" reveals the current difficulties faced by global development, and also reflects the unbridgeable rift between developing and developed countries. What Guterres mentioned is a fundamental change in the current international situation, that is, the collective rise of developing countries, which brings a call for a more just and reasonable international order. Meanwhile, established major powers such as the US and the West are trying hard to maintain their dominance and resorting to every possible means to discredit, attack and suppress this call. It must be said that this contradiction is the deep factor causing the current geopolitical division.

For example, what the international community, mainly developing countries, most hope to discuss at the UNGA is how to solve poverty, alleviate high inflation, cope with climate change, among other issues. They hope to promote sustainable development through multilateral dialogues. The key words of the general debate - peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all - which are generally regarded as the "highlights" of the UNGA, also fully reflect this strong desire. What these countries are most worried about is that the Ukraine crisis will once again become the dominant topic in the UNGA and shift people's attention from development issues. The endless chatter about war and overt and covert threats made against other countries, forcing them to pick sides, are the last thing these countries want to hear. However, while the US pays attention to the "Global South," it also declared that "the world cannot address one without the other," meaning the Ukraine crisis and development issues. This shows that the US is well aware of the demands of developing countries, but it insists on bringing in its own agendas at multilateral forums.

There are many similar examples, all of which strongly prove without exception that the practice of bringing geopolitical calculations into multilateral occasions has undermined global cooperation efforts and wasted many opportunities for developing countries and developed nations to reach compromises, reconciliation, and cooperation. It has also severely limited the effectiveness of previously well-functioning multilateral platforms. This is very regrettable. In this process, the US and the West have continuously demonized the legitimate and just demands of developing countries using their powerful public opinion tools. On the eve of the opening of a series of important meetings at the United Nations General Assembly, the G77 + China Summit was held in Havana, the capital of Cuba, from September 15 to 16. The participating representatives unanimously passed the Havana Declaration, which underscored the "right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust, and plundering international order." This became a collective call from developing countries before the high-level meetings at the UNGA. However, it remains uncertain to what extent the voices and concerns of "Global South" countries and the UN Secretary-General can be heard by the representatives of developed countries inside the UNGA in New York. 

The US and other Western countries are clearly increasing their efforts to win over the "Global South," but it is evident that this is not about granting developing countries a more equal status and development opportunities, but rather an attempt to continue to confine them to the periphery of the "center-periphery" system. The reality is that developing countries are now more awake and capable of maintaining independence and autonomy than ever before. This is not only reflected in their cautious and balanced approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict but also in their clear-headedness and calmness in the face of US instigation for confrontation against China and Russia. The UNGA is the most representative multilateral forum globally, and the US and the West should be more humble here and clearly see the mainstream direction of the international community.

Pragmatic ties require collaboration, dialogue and mutual learning

Editor's Note:
Europeans and British people need to be better educated about China, Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese Studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King's College, London, told Global Times reporters Sun Wei and Gu Di in an exclusive interview. "I hope British and Europeans can… at least having more respect for Chinese values, Chinese culture and Chinese identity," Brown said, adding that "we can have a discussion. But it's not about trying to engage with someone else to change them."

GT: How has China Through European Eyes: 800 Years of Cultural and Intellectual Encounter shaped perceptions in the UK and the West? In what ways has it enhanced the Western audience's understanding of Chinese culture?

Brown: It's essential to recognize the extensive historical connections between America, Europe, Britain and China. This book, alongside my upcoming work, delves into the lessons of the past for our present and future.

And we do have a lot of mutual knowledge. I hope this helps people understand our history better, so that we can have a bit more information about where we are today and where are we going to go in the future.

GT: Over the past three decades, you've extensively travelled across China and spearheaded numerous rural studies. With the upcoming release of China Incorporated: The Politics of a World Where China is Number One, you've noted a pervasive apprehension about China's rising prowess. What compelled you to cultivate a dialogue that's "less anxious and more constructive"?

Brown: I've been in and out of China a lot. In the last 30 years, I lived in China for six years, and I've visited China probably 100 times, and I've been to every province and every single autonomous region.

I last went to China at the end of 2019 and had a memorable and very good visit. I learned a great deal and look forward to going back, delving deeper into Chinese issues.
I think that Europeans and British people need to be better educated about China, and its important place with a significant history. I hope these books help people understand why China is important, why it matters and gain a better understanding about our shared history. We have a big shared history.

Especially now, China's economy and its political importance are prominent. There should be greater awareness of what China is and why it's crucial in our cultural and political lives. That's why I have done this. And I think it's really about public information, public education, but for the British people, obviously not for Chinese people. I get the impression that Chinese people are very knowledgeable about their history with Britain and Europe. On the whole, it's quite surprising how little Europeans might know about our shared history. I think one of the reasons for that is it's not very easy to access. This history is spread across many different books in many different places. I've really tried to put it all in one place to make it more accessible and easier to engage with.

GT: In the first chapter of China Incorporated, you assert that China is powerful, has evolved into a maritime force and its values diverge from Western perceptions. Why do you consider these three facets pivotal in today's conversations about China?

Brown: Obviously, China has a different view of the world, and it's not just the Chinese government. Many Chinese people also hold this perspective. They feel culturally distinct. Actually, I think they want to be better understood. Even if we are agreeing or disagreeing, I believe Chinese people want to be better understood, and that makes sense for sure. When you're having a dialogue, you do want to feel that the people are trying to understand you, even if they don't agree.

I got the sense that there wasn't so much said about what China and Europe, and China and Britain, were talking about. The tone of their dialogue and the way they were speaking to each other was not quite right. I sensed there was some sort of issue, and it wasn't just about what they were talking about; it was how they were talking.

I hope British and Europeans can do more about this by at least having more respect for Chinese values, Chinese culture and Chinese identity, even if we don't agree. This is not about agreeing. It's about at least trying to understand and acknowledge that others are different. We have to acknowledge that we can't change that. Then we can have a discussion.

But it's not about trying to engage with someone else to change them, to change who they are. It's really about engaging with someone else about ideas while accepting who they are.

GT: You highlight the undeniable unique intellectual and cultural history of the territories now forming the People's Republic of China. Why do you stress the impracticality of superimposing Western values onto China's distinct cultural backdrop?

Brown: I think China has accepted ideas from the outside world. Marxism, for instance, was originally from Europe, and many ideas of Chinese thinkers have engaged with thinkers from Europe and elsewhere. Economically, Americans and Chinese have accepted many of the ideas of capitalism. But, for Chinese people, there's a unique Chinese view of the world, and I think that always means there's a slight kind of transformation or change. The ideas will enter China, but they'll always be slightly adapted and changed according to national characteristics. That happens everywhere; Britain engages with ideas from America but changes them for the environment here.

So, I think we have to accept that with all of these ideas, there's always going to be adaptation and change. That's just a natural part of making them fit into particular environments where they are used.

In Britain, some people probably have a good understanding, while others don't. To me, it's important for British people to acknowledge when they don't understand. There's a rule that says people with the least knowledge have the strongest opinions. That's because you have to have a lot of knowledge to know you don't know. British people may often feel that they have a substantial amount of knowledge about China. 

GT: As we mark a decade of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), you've addressed some Western misconceptions in your latest book. In your estimation, what's the initiative's paramount contribution either to global economics or to nations along its path?

Brown: I believe it has raised awareness about the importance of engaging with China and how to approach such engagements thoughtfully. Especially for regions like Central Asia, the Middle East and Asia, there may be compelling reasons for economic engagement with China, whether in terms of investment or access to technology through initiatives like the BRI.

This provides a sort of platform or avenue. However, for Europeans, the connection might seem more distant. It's really about discerning the types of investments and modes of cooperation with China that promote harmony, rather than focusing on areas where there are clear disagreements. The BRI has been a significant learning process. I think it's still evolving, but it has afforded us a decade of getting to know each other better, understanding our respective strengths and weaknesses.

In Britain, for sure, there has been a noticeable shift. There have been more debates, particularly due to issues like those surrounding Hong Kong. The pandemic has, of course, introduced many challenges. The relationship between the US and China has also deteriorated, so there have been several negative factors. However, we are still working toward establishing a practical relationship with China. The government's stance is that it's a pragmatic relationship that requires ongoing collaboration, dialogue and mutual learning.

It's just that there are currently many dissenting voices in Britain, which may be receiving more attention than they warrant. As I often find, those who express the strongest opinions often possess the least understanding. They might continue to echo the same sentiments, only louder. In my view, they're not particularly relevant. 

GT: With two recent prime ministerial transitions in the UK and changing stances on China, are you disheartened by the evident shifts in bilateral ties?

Brown: I believe Britain needs to contemplate more deeply its objectives and what it can realistically achieve with China. While there are clear differences, there are also many common areas, and it's crucial that we acknowledge the need for realism. In Britain, there are often very critical voices regarding China, but our approach is generally pragmatic, but perhaps not as ideologically driven as in, say, Australia. 

Describing the UK's stance as more pragmatic is, I believe, an accurate characterization. As I mentioned, it should be a narrative of equality. The relationship should be one of respect, with a critical eye, but also conducted with courtesy. It should be guided by facts, a constant evaluation of what we have learned about each other in the past, and what we could come to understand in the future. In this way, I envision a dynamic relationship. 

GT: Prominent UK voices, including University College London(UCL)'s Michael Spence, emphasize the valuable contributions of Chinese students in the UK. With the recent cooling of UK-China scientific collaborations, what are your thoughts on these pragmatic perspectives within the cultural and academic spheres? Do you have specific recommendations to fortify UK-China cultural and academic exchanges, particularly given current economic dynamics?

Brown: Michael Spence is right in pointing out that there is a great number of Chinese students in Britain. We need to acknowledge that fact, along with the significant amount of economic and academic collaboration between the two countries. It's wrong to instill fear in people about engaging with China. Some individuals in Britain have made attempts to discourage British academics and others from dealing with China, portraying it as a major problem. However, for many areas, it's not a problem at all.

I think it's something we need to do, as there aren't significant security issues in most areas. There are, of course, some strong opinions in Britain from individuals who, as I often say, have the biggest opinions but know the least. They are trying to portray China as a major security threat.

In my view, security threats exist everywhere. While there are certainly areas where China poses challenges for Britain, and vice versa, we are well aware of those areas. However, there are also numerous areas where we need to collaborate and work together. Therefore, I believe a balanced relationship is better than a paranoid one.

GT: As an academic against the "decoupling" from China, how do you interpret the EU's recent designation of China as a "partner, competitor, and systemic rival," and the ensuing dialogues on "de-risking"?

Brown: I think it's a complex description. It's a rather intricate portrayal. I view it as a partnership. It is indeed a partnership. There will be areas where partnerships come more easily and other areas where it's tougher. However, I believe creating such a nuanced perspective is sometimes not very helpful. Britain, China, Europe and China have numerous trade, investment, technology, climate, environmental and other political relationships. They form a partnership, but it's a complex one.

Whether or not you need to categorize it into these three distinct aspects is more of an internal consideration for Europe. It's not necessarily the way you should frame your policy, so I wouldn't necessarily use that division. However, I understand that in implementing policy, you probably need to differentiate between areas that are more straightforward and those that are more challenging, and take note of that as you implement your policy.

Certainly, Europe's relations with China do influence the British relationship with China. Currently, because Britain is not part of the European Union, it has to take a different approach. I think this can sometimes be challenging. Dealing with China outside the European Union hasn't been easy for Britain because it's a much smaller entity. If we were still part of the European Union, I believe our policy toward China would probably be somewhat easier.

GT: With the UK's recent induction into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and considering past UK policies aligned with China's ascent, where do you foresee UK-China relations heading in the immediate future?

Brown: I don't think it'll ever be an easy relationship, but I think in the end, it will be about trade, investment and whether we are able to do more in those areas. Britain's trading relationship with China is big, but it could be much bigger. 

GT: During in meeting between Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi and Veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger in Beijing in July, Wang said the US policies toward China require Kissinger-style diplomatic wisdom and Nixon-style political courage. Do you believe the UK requires a diplomatic personality to further bolster UK-China relations? 

Brown: No, I think the world only has space for one Henry Kissinger, and that's quite enough. We have a different relationship with China, and we don't want to mimic the Americans. We can cooperate with both America and China, but we can't replicate them.

I believe that Britons have a lot of knowledge about China, but we need to acquire even more. I hope my books are attempting to provide some insight. For Britain, we already have a narrative about China; we should strive to comprehend that narrative and learn from it.

GT: Despite China's consistent emphasis on its non-adversarial stance toward the US, why do you think there's a persistence of misperception in the West? How can we prevent the West from misconstruing China based on historical precedents of their own powers?

Brown: It won't be easy. It's going to be a tough process, but the reality is that America and China can't afford to have a direct confrontation. If they did, it would be a disaster for everyone.

However, I don't foresee them ever having an easy relationship. The challenge in the next few years will be how to manage it. How can Americans and Chinese work toward a relationship where disaster is avoided? Moreover, what role does the outside world play in this? It's all going to come down to management. I believe, and hope, that we will find a way to navigate it, but it won't be easy. This is going to be a tough period and the next 10 years are going to be a challenging transition.

GT: China's trajectory of development and resurgence is underpinned by its singular historical context. How do you interpret this "Chinese modernization," and what do you identify as its defining characteristics?

Brown: The challenges that China faced in modernizing were enormous. It has been successful in some areas, while in others, it has had to struggle. Chinese modernization has led to where we are today - a China with significant economic, military and political influence in the world. However, it is likely to face difficulties in defining its proper role. What is China? What kind of global role does it truly have? This is not very clear.

At present, some of this ambiguity may be due to the outside world's reluctance to assign China a certain role. Additionally, some of it may stem from China itself being hesitant to take on a more prominent global role.

I believe this is the most significant issue we will need to address. After all, China, in its current state, cannot simply be overlooked or marginalized. It demands recognition. The question then becomes, what kind of recognition and acknowledgment does it seek? This is a substantial matter that requires our attention.

The world, including China, unwilling to lend to an empire that prints money

China's National Day, which falls on October 1, is just around the corner. For the Chinese people, September 30 marks the start of a seven-day holiday following the Mid-Autumn Festival.

In the upcoming days, they will enjoy the happiness and joy of the "long holiday," which they have earned through their hard work.

Meanwhile, across the ocean in the US, this year's October 1 is a critical day.

Federal government agencies will run out of funds previously approved by Congress at midnight on September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. A government shutdown due to the bipartisan inability to reach an agreement seems inevitable.

For the rest of the world, this situation appears to be a farce of a commonplace American political struggle. People are not concerned about whether Washington will shut down. Where exactly is the US debt ceiling? This is what worries them. Can it continue to rise indefinitely?

The US has not defaulted on its national debt in the past, which is why US debt has become the most reputable in the world. But it has now reached an alarming height - $33 trillion! That amounts to $100,000 per person across the nation! What's even more concerning is its growth rate, with an increase of $10 trillion in three years! That means $833 million is being added to the debt every hour since it crossed the $33 trillion mark.

A nation that frequently accuses other countries of creating debt has set a huge trap for the world in recent decades. Let us not overlook the fact that the US possesses the power to "print money," which it uses to sustain Washington's audacious habit of borrowing and spending recklessly, exemplifying its dominant "style" of hegemony. Government finances in the US have struggled for nearly half a century due to excessive spending without proper control, resulting in the continuous accumulation of federal government debt.

In the realm of election politics and hegemonic policy, the US has wasted significant financial resources. These resources have been used to cater to the interests of interest groups and self-serving politicians. Consequently, there has been an excessive increase in military expenditures to sustain hegemony, along with a continuous distribution of funds to appease voters.

Filippo Gori, an economist at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has published an article entitled "America's Debt-Ceiling Disaster: How a Severe Crisis or Default Could Undermine U.S. Power," on the website of Foreign Affairs magazine (April 24, 2023).

The article points out that "because most international trade is in U.S. dollars, the United States can print money to pay for goods that it buys from abroad, allowing it to finance a large international trade deficit without having to worry that it will run out of cash."

This monopoly advantage, known as "too big to fail," has resulted in a peculiar situation where the US is "insolvent" but not officially bankrupt. As a result, the US must employ diverse strategies to uphold the dollar's dominance.

Another fundamental truth is that when the global community thinks about how the impact of this "Grey rhino" can be prevented and begins to make necessary preparations, the hegemony of the US and its foundation, the dollar, will surely be shaken.

China is a significant creditor of the US. The US' containment of China, particularly through creating military tensions in China's neighborhood, as well as the overall restriction on Chinese manufacturing and its impact on the livelihoods of the Chinese people, has heightened China's worry about the US reneging on its debts.

The hardworking Chinese people, who are about to enjoy a wonderful holiday, know that they work hard for the well-being of their families. If their hard-earned money were to be used to prop up an empire's hegemonic and brutal actions, as well as an unsympathetic political struggle, and then they were to be paid back in the form of "printed money," they would definitely say "no."

We believe that hard-working people around the world would share the will of the Chinese people.

Understanding China's past and future on Martyrs' Day: Global Times editorial

September 30 of this year marks the 10th Martyrs' Day in China. On the morning of that very day, in Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing, President Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the state presented flower baskets to fallen national heroes. Since 2014, when the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress designated September 30 as Martyrs' Day in the form of law, President Xi has participated in the wreath-laying ceremony to honor the heroes of the people each year. Just one day before the National Day on October 1, it holds profound historical and practical significance that the country commemorates the heroes and remembers history in the highest form, outlining the great journey of the Chinese nation's rejuvenation.

The People's Republic of China has been established for 74 years. The tremendous changes having taken place in China's national status, comprehensive strength, and people's living standards have made the glorious history of the revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives and shed their blood for national independence, freedom, and happiness seem somewhat "distant." For some young people, it may even feel somewhat "unfamiliar." "Forgetting history is tantamount to betrayal." The heroes revered by a nation best illustrate this point. Martyrs' Day is a kind of inheritance, passing down the heroic spirit and strength of the Chinese people, ensuring that the heroes and their deeds will not fade away with the passage of time, and inspiring the Chinese people to continue their struggle from generation to generation on the journey of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is also the true essence of not forgetting the original intention.

"Any nation with hope cannot be without heroes, and any country with promising prospects cannot be without pioneers." The great achievements that China has made up to date were created by the Chinese people and the heroes of the people, who have contributed their sweat, blood, and even their lives. Every era has seen its own heroes, and although the heroes bear the imprints of different times, their spirit of selflessness and sacrifice for the country, for the nation, and for the people is consistent. The contributions they have made are evident to all. The masses of people can often be discerned at a glance whether someone is an authentic hero. As the saying goes, "By reviewing the heroic deeds of the past and present, we draw inspiration from our predecessors to fuel our own fire," and the spirit represented by the heroes and martyrs has long been integrated into the spiritual world of generations of Chinese sons and daughters, becoming an indelible cultural imprint on the Chinese nation. Heroes of every era should receive the utmost and permanent respect in China, which should form an inviolable social righteousness.

To commemorate our predecessors is to inspire future generations. Although the eras of our predecessors have passed, their spirit is still worthy of our promotion. China is currently in a new stage and position, and the great cause that countless martyrs had fought for is facing new challenges, but at the same time also ushered in more opportunities. The internal and external environment for inheriting the red genes has undergone tremendous changes, which requires us to draw strength and direction from the predecessors and heroes of past generations, to never forget our original intentions, and to forge ahead. Chinese society has indeed entered a more diverse state, which is a reflection of the country's progress. However, the main theme of Chinese society must be filled with a heroic spirit. The main theme and diversity are not contradictory or conflicting, but complementary. The spiritual core of the Chinese people must never change, and we must resolutely fight against historical nihilism and remain vigilant, cautious, and resistant to the ideological infiltration of the West into China. To destroy a nation, one must first erase its history. The historical lessons in this regard are profound.

One more point must be mentioned: The ultimate goal of all the struggles and efforts of the Chinese people to commemorate the martyrs and heroes is to create better conditions for the peace and development of the country and the nation. Just like the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), which was fought to defend the our homeland and strive for a peaceful environment for national construction, it is essentially a pursuit of peace. This point is particularly important in the current context. With the accelerated evolution of the global situation over the past century, people remember history and pay tribute to the martyrs in order to better understand the value of cherishing peace while also remembering the principles defended by the heroes and martyrs. In other words, what we need is not only to cherish the hard-won peace but also to firmly uphold justice, as these two are dialectically unified. The inherent logic and historical inevitability of China's firm commitment to the path of peaceful development also lie in this balance.