2019 is the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China, and our reform and opening up has gone through 40 years. China has gradually realized a leap from standing up to becoming rich to becoming strong. What core values have China contributed to this process?
—— If you look back carefully, far from that, I would say that 40 years of reform and opening up. China’s judgment of the whole era, “peace and development” is a cliche for us. But when you finally look back, it’s very important for China to succeed. It’s very important to get the values in the world. Most countries want peace and most countries want development, which represents the real trend of the times.
Recently, Oriental Satellite TV’s political commentary program “This is China” continues to be popular every Monday night at 21:30. In each program, Professor Zhang Weiwei, Dean of China Research Institute of Fudan University, will compare Western and Chinese discourse based on his own experience, starting from hot and difficult issues at home and abroad.
In the thirteenth program on April 8, Zhang Weiwei, the guest of the program and Dean of the Chinese Academy of Fudan University, deconstructed the concept of universal value in the West, pointing out that “universal value” is not the four dilemmas of universal value.
The Observer Network organizes the question-and-answer section of the program for readers.
Luo Jun (Program Guest, Xinhua News Agency Reporter): African scholars have made a very comprehensive summary of Western countries’assistance to Africa. He gave a very specific example. Western aid sounds good, but it actually destroys Africa’s economy. This is the conclusion of an African scholar.
For example, if there is a famine in a certain part of Africa, some Western countries send live chickens to it, destroying the very fragile poultry industry in a short time. For example, where there is a shortage of clothes and food, the western countries have sent a batch of old clothes to the past on a whim, and destroyed the very fragile textile industry in this place. Africa’s light industry will never develop, and it will continue to suffer from the West’s practice of aiding, but in fact destroying economic development.
Xu Qinduo (Program Guest, Senior Commentator of Guangzhou and Guangzhou): It’s very interesting to talk about old clothes. Rwanda is a small African country. Second-hand clothes are part of the imports of the country, which is aided by the United States. When Rwanda wanted to develop its own textile industry, it decided to reduce imports of second-hand clothing by raising taxes. Is it not conducive to the development of light industry that developing countries have to wear some clothes themselves or export them? As a result, the United States says, if you dare to raise taxes, I will punish you! This is a living example. At this time, when you talk about the so-called universal value, you will feel that the hypocrisy of this thing is totally untenable.
Q1: At present, Western politicians are playing too double standard on universal values, and it must be more and more clear to everyone. For example, Russian agents were poisoned in Britain, and there was little evidence that a large number of Western countries directly sanctioned Russia; on the other hand, Saudi journalists were killed, but the West had done little to Saudi Arabia. So I would like to ask, in the context of the whole human race, should there be universal value? Or what kind of thing can become universal value?
Zhang Weiwei: That’s a great question. In fact, we have now put forward a concept called Common Values, which is much better than universal values, because universal values do have the tradition of Western religions and originate from a religious language. So now we use the word “common value”.
I think there are two ways. One way is to extract some important values, such as peace, development, benevolence, and even the community of human destiny, as we mentioned earlier. We can also extract them, together with the values of other civilizations. Then we can talk slowly through international negotiations and finally reach a consensus on the common values of human beings in three, five and ten years. I think this is a way.
Another way is to learn from the West. We don’t care about the opposition of the West at all. We regard it as the common value of mankind. For example, who dares to oppose “peace”? Except for the American objection, he was very embarrassed when he objected. We can say that we are particularly in favour of the common human values based on peace. It is often said that if you say it a hundred times or a thousand times, it will be accepted gradually, and the United States will be passive. Although he disapproved of peace, he could not oppose it openly and could not speak out bitterly. So we did it right, and we took the initiative.
So one way is through negotiation, which is the best way; the other way is that we are confident that if we formally put forward the value
of China, the state and society will gradually accept it.
Ye Qinglin (Program Guest, Invited Fel上海419论坛low of China R419论坛esearch Institute of Fudan U419论坛niversity): To add that, jus上海419论坛t as we do not interfere in other countries’internal affairs and sovereignty, this should be a part of universal value. The United States does not recognize this. We often say that the world is slowly coming to a consensus. I think this is also a way.
Xu Qinduo (Program Guest): Non-interference in internal affairs is actually stipulated by the United Nations. It should be accepted. But the United States and the West are relatively strong, and they simply ignore the principles of the United Nations. In Libya, for example, the West would say that it was their responsibility to intervene and protect civilians there. It’s like Syria today.