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China Needs Hawks To Safeguard Its National Interest

Qiaobao, a State-sponsored newspaper in the United States, reprinted an article from Global Times, a newspaper under the State media People’s Daily that focuses on international news. The Global Times article (inclusive of two pieces) warns that China needs more hawks to adequately protect Chinese national interest. It advocates tough stance against the West and Japan as China is increasingly involved in international conflicts.

China Needs Hawks To Safeguard Its National Interest

In the past, the term “hawks” is historically used as a synonym for militants, zealots and extremists. Thus the “hawks” have a poor image and sometimes are not welcome. However, some experts have pointed out that there is a misunderstanding of the “hawks.” Being “hawks” is not equal to irrational nationalism and we should give it its original meaning, which is taking strong position to safeguard the national interest. Experts have stressed that on its renaissance path, China will be involved in more and more international conflicts. In this case, China needs more “hawks.” Without these “hawks,” the country would be like a family without brave men.

Experts: “Hawks” Do Not Equate to Irrational Nationalism and China Needs More “Hawks”

There are always people labeled as “hawks” in the Western countries, such as the United States and Japan. For example, Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, former US Defense Secretary, Mr. Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Shintaro Ishihara, the Tokyo Governor, and Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Foreign Minister, all belong to this type. Whether in the international political arena or at home, their brave and harsh style has demonstrated their firm stances and absolute attitude towards safeguarding their national interests and dramatically influences the foreign policies of their respective countries. More importantly, these hawks have played a critical role in shaping their countries’ policies on foreign relationships, military and national defense.

On the contrary, in China, hawks are the subjects of criticism. The author believes a main reason is the misunderstanding of the hawks’ words and actions. One obvious manifest of this misunderstanding is to treat hawks’ words and actions as irrational behaviors of narrow nationalism, which does not help to preserve national interests, and can harm the national security.

On this issue, researchers may follow this logic. First, the advocates of the “hawks” will lead the national policies going astray by stoking irrational extreme nationalism. Second, the overseas forces against China will use the voices of “hawks” to achieve their goals. Third, strong voice of the “hawks” doesn’t match the peaceful image of China. China is no longer the “old China” that was bullied and tramped by other countries. It is almost impossible for a foreign hostile force to invade China on a large scale. So it is unnecessary for Chinese people to over-react and become emotional on this issue.

Actually, these logics are debatable. What the author wants to emphasize first is that we should not treat the voice of hawks as completely violent, barbaric, irrational, impulsive, and illegal behaviors. If we do, we would be altering the idea of “hawks”. Hawks represent hard-line stance to defend one’s nation’s interests. There is no evidence that many hawks in Western countries will lead their countries astray, nor is there any example demonstrating that their voices collectively does not benefit their national interests. On the contrary, those hawks normally have large numbers of supporters. Hawks are backed up by powerful interest groups that sometimes are the most conservative forces protecting their national interests. Taking China as the example, if hard-line position by hawks on the issues of Diaoyu Island or Spratly Islands bring the opponents see the sentiments of Chinese and China’s determination to defend its core interests. What’s wrong with that?

There is no conflict between China’s peaceful development and justly debuting the Western forces’ slander against China. We must learn and adapt to the complex environment of international discourse, because the ideal, “you are good and I am good” kind of favorable development environment does not exist at all.

Hence, when China is proactively integrating, listening to and understand the Western developed countries, China should also ask them to face at the pains and sufferings that China went through in old times. As for misunderstandings and prejudices toward China, we should communicate and discuss with them amicably to increase the mutual trust and friendship with each other. For those who are obstinate hard-liners against China, we should have the courage to show them our strength, and fight them at the right time. From this perspective, we have too few “hawks” in China. Their stances are not tough enough. Being tough doesn’t mean irrational behavior. Instead, it is part of being reasonable. Reason consists of a variety of different voices. A single voice does not make up reason.

The existence and the rise of a hawk are inevitable in history. A nation without “hawks” is just like a family without any brave men: the widows and orphans will be bullied by wicked people and thus remain vulnerable at any time. The county that dare not say no to extortion and threats cannot achieve smooth and peaceful domestic development.

Therefore, it’s necessary for us to re-evaluate the critical role that the “hawks” play in China. We cannot simply ignore their role nor put an end to their existence. Instead, we should allow room for them to exist. After all, any country in the world needs diverse voices. (The author is from Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications)

Courage, Humor, Determination! The Well-Known Quotations From The "Hawks" in Resolutely Safeguarding Our National Interests

Iron Lady Wu Yi: We Are Negotiating With The Bandits!

Americans were the first one who experienced the "Wu Yi style." In 1991 during a Sino-US intellectual property rights talk, then Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Wu Yi led the Chinese delegation and launched a tit-for-tat negotiation with Americans. One example that most illustrated "Wu Yi style" is, when the U.S. representative said: “I am negotiating with a thief." Wu Yi responded: "I am negotiating with the bandits. Take a look at your museum, how many things were stolen from China?” The United States representative was speechless.

Surprisingly, with sharp words, and stick and carrot in hands, Wu Yi did not make Americans feel resentful, but rather she won their respect. Foreign media called Wu Yi a "woman capable dealing with the very arrogant American". Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas said, "She deeply felt the responsibility for her country."

Aggressive Sha Zukang: Your Face Reminds Me of the Opium War!

(1) Your face reminds me of the Opium War!

Reporter: “When you were appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Geneva, we know at that time each country’s Ambassador in Geneva paid you a courtesy visit, but you gave British Ambassador a different courtesy, wasn’t it?”

Sha Zukuang: “He said, ‘Your Excellency the Ambassador, the United Kingdom is concerned about the human rights situation in China.’ On my courtesy visit, he was impolite in the first place for raising a Substantive issue. I responded immediately, ‘Your Excellency the Ambassador, you know what I am thinking right now?’ He said he did not know. ‘Your face reminds me of the Opium War! You forced China to smoke opium. When Chinese people refused, you launched a war. Opium violated the right of Chinese people to be healthy. You illegally occupied Hong Kong for so many years until 1997. During the period of your occupation of Hong Kong, you never offered any democratic election. But today you suddenly care about the rights of the Chinese people. I feel that is very unnatural.”

Reporter: “When you decided to respond to him in this rather radical way, were you not worried that it may affect the bilateral relations?”

Sha Zukuang: “I was not worried, because he himself was hypocritical. Why should I need to consider endangering the bilateral relations? Why didn’t he consider that? I believe the rule of reciprocity. Since he made the mistake first with political motivation, he knew better than anyone else that he had a sinister plot. In my opinion, he got what he deserved. If I did not fight back, he would think me weak. If you acknowledge his accusation, he would be more and more arrogant, which was unacceptable to me.”

(2) We hope some countries look at themselves in the mirror before criticizing and accusing others.

Geneva has been the main battlefield for human rights. On March 24, 2004 at the 60th session of the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations, when the United States brought out the anti-China motion, Sha Zukuang immediately responded in English, a wonderful speech in the conference: "Western countries are not the role model for protecting the human rights, developing countries do not lead the violations of the human rights. (United Nations) Human Rights Commission does not authorize any country or group to act as judge of human rights. Developing countries should not be forever a defendant in the human rights court. There is an old Chinese saying, ‘He who wants to fix others should fix himself first.’ We hope that some countries look at themselves in the mirror before criticizing and accusing others.”

Sha said, “American friends, we China are poor, a country still in development. But no matter how poor we are, we can afford a few mirrors. We want to buy some mirrors to give you for free to let you take a look at yourself. Because the White Paper you published has one thing missing. Our State Council Information Office wrote a report called ‘The United States Human Rights White Paper.’ That is a mirror. I hope you take a look at it. One more thing, I advise you not to read it before going to bed. Because the United States human rights record, if you read it, especially if you read before going to bed, will give you nightmares. You won’t sleep well.”

Sha Zukuang later told reporters during an interview: “I remember my four-minute reply, was interrupted five times by the applauses. Thunderous applause came from everyone. The United States delegation was also laughing, also felt it laughable. To tell the truth, he is not very serious about his anti-China motion. That’s how I felt. He was not really concerned about China’s human rights. He appeared to be more concerned about Chinese people than the Chinese government did. I felt that was bizarre. I think they are most concerned about themselves.”

Li Zhaoxing, Quick-Witted Yet Humorous: The Corruption of Provincial-Level Official Is Not Part of My Responsibility!

(1) Chen Shui-bian is a provincial-level official; corruption is a domestic affair!

After attending a joint reception for 3rd Ministerial Conference and Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Li Zhaoxing had a media interview. In the interview when being asked about Chen Shui-bian, he said Chen Shui-bian is a Taiwan Provincial level official. “Do you have questions about our work? The corruption is a domestic affair. I am the Minister for Foreign Affairs, OK?"

(2) Why should I talk to Chen Shui-bian face to face? Who is he?

During the 2006 National People’s Conference session and the session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a Taiwan reporter asked Li Zhaoxing, “If there was an opportunity for you to talk to Chen Shui-bian face to face, what do you want to talk about the most?” Li Zhaoxing immediately answered very angrily: "Why should I talk to him face to face? Who is he?” This quit-witted answer, put reporters amused.

Another reporter asked, “Japanese media says you are about to retire, is it true?” Li Zhaoxing, with his “swift and fierce” style, asked reporter, “Do you believe Japanese, or believe me? If you believe them, do not ask me.” Facing Li’s sharp words, the reporter had no choice but said, “I believe you, I believe you.”

(3) You Texas only joined the United States in 1845, but Tibet has been incorporated into Chinese territory since mid 13th century.

The then Chinese Ambassador to the United States Li Zhaoxing once gave a lecture at the University of Ohio. An elderly lady asked him: "Why did you invade Tibet?" Li Zhaoxing, changed his usual style, did not give a direct counter-attack. After learning that the old lady was from Texas, he said, “You Texas only joined the United States in 1845, but Tibet has been incorporated into Chinese territory since the middle of the 13th century. Look, your arms are part of your body. Can you say your body invades your arms?” The old lady laughed. Giving Li Zhaoxing a warm hug, she kept saying, “Thank you, thank you for letting me to see the truth of history."

Hard-Liner Chinese Generals: With The People’s Liberation Army, Those Who Want to Occupy The Nansha Islands Has No Hope to Succeed!

(1) Navy admirals are determined: with the People’s Liberation Army, those who want occupy the Nansha Islands has no hope to succeed!

Political Commissar of the South Sea Fleet Huang Jiaxiang: Some countries with illegal attempts to take over Nansha Island won’t be able to succeed. To certain extent they are doing some kind of propaganda. They can’t achieve their goal. We have full confidence and capability in safeguarding our interests in the South Sea.

(2) The son of Ma Benzhai, Naval Aviation deputy commissar: for Nansha issue, China will be gentleman first and soldier next!

Ma Benzhai’s son, Deputy Commissar of Naval Aviation Ma Guochao talked about the recent frequent harassments over China’s Xisha and Nansha islands. He said, “China will be gentleman first before resorting to force. We will try to avoid conflict as much as possible when patrolling. But if some country chooses to take over China’s land, China’s navy is fully capable of defending our waters and airspace.”

(3) East sea fleet commander: we must build aircraft carriers and be tit-for-tat with the ambitions of Japan.

East Sea Fleet Commander Zhao Guojun: Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Diaoyu Island is Japan’s inherent territory. We must carry out our own tit-for-tat position.

[1] Global Times, March 9, 2009 reprinted by Qiaobao