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Shen Dingli: China Should Distinguish between Friends and Foes On the Basis of National Interests

In an opinion article published on Global Times, (the English name for Huanqiu, a division of People’s Daily), Shen Dingli, Deputy Director of the International Affairs Institute of Fudan University, recommended that, in its relations with other countries, China should define its enemies, allies, and friends on the basis of China’s national interests. 

Shen thought that this would be a more practical way to distinguish between enemies and friends in international relations. Using the United States as an example, where should it be classified among friends, allies, and foes? Based on China’s most important core interests of "national sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity, and national unity, because the United States insists on arms sales to Taiwan and uses the threat of force to interfere in China’s internal affairs, it is very clear that America is in the enemy position." However, based on China’s core interests of "sustainable social economic development," due to the economic cooperation of the United States with China in the past 30 years, it should be in the "friend" category. Even though its performance cannot be classified in the "ally" category, at least it is not in the "enemy" category. Japan’s relationship with China is mostly in a similar situation to that of the U.S. 

Source: People’s Daily, August 27, 2014