Beijing: As the US aggressively rallying around its neighbours in Asia, China plans to counter it by going "great lengths" this year to address the concerns among the neighbouring countries with a promise to follow an "inclusive" policy, Chinese officials and analysts said.
China's relationship with neighbouring countries in Asia will be a focus of the country's foreign affairs agenda in 2011, they said.
The challenges for China in Asia this year range from security to new forms of cooperation.
"Regional security will remain a top issue for China," Zhai Dequan, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association told China Daily today.
Chinese analysts say that due to strengthening ties between the United States and many Asian states, affairs in the Asian region are becoming more "complex".
"China's marvellous GDP performance has shaken the world, yet it does not necessarily lead to a positive interpretation by others. But China will go to great lengths to dismiss concerns of its worried neighbours, due to its 'inclusive', not exclusive, diplomatic strategy," Jin Canrong, deputy director of the School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing said.
China's rocky ties with Washington, spats with Tokyo, and uneasiness among ASEAN nations, moreover, have spurred widespread speculation that "Beijing is flexing its muscles", the Daily said without making any direct reference to India's concerns which Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao tried to allay during his last month's visit to New Delhi.
China as a part of counter strategy would also take a close look at the new emerging bloc BRICS, (Brazil, Russia, India, China South Africa).
China, which is the current chairman of the grouping, has formally invited South Africa to attend this year's summit to be held here.
"China would also to delve into the future of BRICS – an increasingly influential group by figuring out its nature and where it is heading to," Chen Zhimin, a professor on diplomacy studies at Fudan University said.
Jin also pointed out that, as national interests are defined in a new pattern that exceeds the scope beyond national borders, "China's reasonable moves to protect these interests" were being regarded as "acting tough".
The global financial crisis accelerated the speed of China's rise significantly.
"It should have been about five to 10 years, but the crisis actually cut it to only one or two years," Tao Wenzhao, a scholar on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said.
"A very big change in the global situation is the redistribution of wealth and power. Emerging economies such as India and South Africa are also helping reshape the current world order," Tao said.
"However, like it is agreed by many parties, (that) with greater power comes greater responsibility, so naturally China will be expected to do more than before," he said.
Chen said that China will play a more leveraging role by an increased share in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
A reboot of Sino-US ties will be on top priority as good prospects in this bilateral relationship will have a far-reaching influence in the bigger picture the world is facing, the Chinese analysts said.
First Published: Monday, January 03, 2011, 14:19