how do you interpret the current view of virtually every mainstream U.S. publications and experts that “China wants to break the world order.”
This reflects the anxiety of mainstream American publications and experts about the decline of the United States. The rise of China may mean that the United States is no longer the world's largest economy, and that the American model is not the most popular model in the world, but this is different from the so-called "breaking the world order". China is the major power that most emphasizes abiding by the UN Charter.
In the past 30 years, China has not launched wars, participated in most of international treaties, and has not withdrawn from any major international mechanisms. Compared with the wars launched or provoked by the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine, Trump has withdrawn from more than a dozen international treaties. It is the real country that breaks the world order. I believe that mainstream American publications and experts need to have a spirit of reflection and self-awakening, they should rediscover China, and more importantly, they should contribute to better stabilizing the world order through cooperation with China and the United States.
您如何描述刚刚结束的为期一周的中国共产党第 20 次全国代表大会的主要成果。
How would you describe the key results from the just concluded week long 20th Conference Communist Party of China.
Wang Wen: I know that many western media are discussing the transition of power and personnel issues at the 20th Congress of CPC. Actually, it's very narrow. The real concern should be whether China's policy can continue, whether it can continue to grow economically, and whether it can continue to contribute to the world. This is precisely the biggest achievement of the 20th Congress of CPC. 20th Congress of CPC achieved an organic combination between the change of collective leadership and the continuation of policies.
As expected, Xi Jinping entered his third term, which is the trust of the whole party and the people of the whole country in him. The leadership of the Standing politburo Committee is younger and has a better understanding of President Xi, which is more conducive to the implementation and sustainability of the policy.
China has entered the great journey of its second centenary, which is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. China will become a powerful modern socialist country by 2050. Achieving this goal, requires a more united and stable leadership. Every national leader has the right to choose his own political partners. Why are there so many conspiracy theories once you arrive in China? I think now there are some people who should change the way of observing China.
China has experienced a much lower death toll from the virus compared with other big countries, but now due to its zero-covid policies its economy is buckling under the weight of virus-related restrictions. Showing up in slower GDP growth, youth employment 20%...
Wang Wen: I don't know where the 20% data you said came from. But I must admit that China has indeed paid a lot to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic. If the U.S. approach is followed by China, at least 4 million people would die in China, but in the past three years, the number of deaths in China due to the Covid-19 pandemic has not exceeded 10,000. Who can measure the economic value of these 4 million people?
Therefore, China implements a people-centered policy at any economic cost to protect people's lives. Of course, China is now taking a more effective and comprehensive approach that can prevent more contagion and sustain the economy. In the third quarter of 2022, China's economy grew by 3%, the CPI remained at 2%, and the overall unemployment rate remained at 5.6%. Although this economic performance is not as good as in the past, compared with most countries, China is still the country with the most stable and long-lasting economic growth.
这是西方建制派的观点。 您是否同意，中国现在是否应该在其 Covid 政策上变得更加灵活，并使其与最大的经济体和贸易伙伴保持一致？
That’s the Western establishment opinion. Do you agree, should China now become more flexible in its Covid policies and bring them in line with the largest economies and trading partners?
Wang Wen: Isn't the consistent claim of the Western establishment to contain China? If China maintains the current Covid policy, the long-term economic slowdown in China would be satisfy their strategy of delaying China's rise, isn’t it? I think this is a contradiction.
China should be wary of the views of the establishment. It is impossible for China to align with the US Covid policy which, as I just said, will lead to millions of deaths and thus a disaster for China.
But one thing is certain, China's Covid policy must not hinder the sustainable development of the economy, let alone the rise of the country and the rejuvenation of the nation. China's compound policy is being adjusted. China will remain independent in economic, social, foreign policy and covid policies. We can hear the views of the United States, but it is up to China to decide whether to follow them. If the suggestion is really beneficial to China, China should heed it. But if it is a trap, then China will be very careful.
In your view, does America have a policy for China? If so what is it—
Wang Wen: Before Trump took office, it should be said that the United States did not have a fixed strategy for China. China is a strategic tool of the United States, used to check and balance the Soviet Union in 1980s, or to support the war on terrorism in Bush Administration, or to rescue the financial crisis in Obama Administation. Trump made a strategic mobilization to remind the United States to regard China as the first competitor of the United States. Biden continued Trump's China policy and intensified it.
The Biden administration put forward the "competition, cooperation, confrontation" triad as soon as it came to power, and now it has been changed to the "three points" of "investment, alliance, and competition", but no matter how it changes, it is a suppression of China & contain China. This is something China disagrees with.
In addition, and more seriously, the Biden administration hopes to replicate a war like the Ukraine crisis in the Taiwan Strait, make false defense commitments to Taiwan, and at the same time, stimulate the Chinese mainland to use force against Taiwan. I think this strategy is very dangerous .
And how would you describe to an American audience what is China’s policy for the United States.
Wang Wen: China has always hoped to maintain cooperative relations with the United States. China is a strategic partner of the United States. China has bought the most US dollar treasury bonds and exported the most commodities to the United States. In the past 50 years, China has never had a military conflict with the United States.
Even Chinese leaders have never publicly scolded the United States. China is a moderate power. Don't regard China as an enemy or a competitor, and don't believe the remarks of American politicians to demonize China. The best way to learn about China is to come to China by yourself, or make a friend from mainland China.
我想与我最近为纽约外交政策协会所做的报告相切，题为“美国和中国的生意就是生意”。 我在其中建议，在过去的三十年里，中国和美国的政客未能缓和这两个超级大国之间危险的紧张关系。 但两国的商界都取得了长足的进步。 所以，政客们应该站在一旁，让商界领袖带头。
I’d like to tangent to my recent report for the Foreign Policy Association in NY, its titled “The Business of America and China is Business.” In it I suggest that over the last three decades, politicians in China and the U.S. have failed to soften the dangerously tense relations between the two superpowers. But the business community in both countries have made enormous strides. So, the politicians ought to stand aside and let business leaders take the lead.
Wang Wen: I agree with this point of view. Right now, China-US relations most need to get back on a pragmatic track. Politicians tend to think about issues from the perspective of political correctness, ideology, and geopolitics, and always seek imaginary threats from the competition of who is the first economy.
The business community is more realistic and more willing to think about the future of the two countries from the perspective of interests. In my opinion, China and the United States must focus on how to serve their own people, how to improve the actual well-being of both countries, and how to solve domestic problems.
Now, both countries have many domestic challenges, but don't see demonizing each other as a solution to domestic challenges. The business commumity may be more pragmatic in this regard. In fact, only the cooperation between China and the United States can better solve domestic problems.
As a new generation of think tank scholars, what are your different views on American research compared to the older generation of scholars?
Wang Wen: The older generation of scholars has laid a solid foundation for American studies. In China, like Wang Jisi, Yan Xuetong, etc., they are all scholars I respect very much. As a new generation of scholars, we deserve to work harder.
By contrast, we may prefer to observe the United States horizontally. Especially in the past 20 years when we grew up, the weaknesses and shortcomings of the United States have been magnified by the Internet, and the United States has made a lot of mistakes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. In domestic policies, economic crises and democratic crises have also erupted.
At the same time, China has maintained an average annual economic growth of 9%, solved the problem of absolute poverty, maintained a peaceful foreign policy, and maintained a stable social environment. In the eyes of a new generation of scholars in China, the United States is not qualified to be China's teacher. As I wrote in the New York Times in August, the Chinese no longer look up to America.
I heard that you are now in Russia. How do you view the current situation? Has the world become more dangerous?
Wang Wen: Yes, I stayed in Russia for nearly two months and visited 20 Russian cities. I think Americans have made a huge miscalculation of Russia. First, Russian society is very stable, and the people support Putin. Second, the Russian economy is resilient and can withstand Western sanctions. The United States cannot expect to defeat Russia by taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine.
On the contrary, the United States is stimulating Russia to take more dangerous actions. The top priority is not to give Ukraine more weapons, but to encourage Ukraine and Russia to sit down and negotiate. Negotiations are more conducive to solving problems, reducing unnecessary deaths and benefiting the world. This is a proposal that I would like to sincerely exhort the US government.
“If you had a few minutes in private with President Biden, what is the single most important thing you would tell him to improve relations between the U.S. and China?”
“I understand you are now in Russia, tell us how you find the mood of the Russian people? Are they still solidly behind President Putin?”