The Visit of Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, CPAPD to Institute of Strategic Thinking
A delegation from Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament, CPAPD visited Institute of Strategic Thinking on the 25the of October, 2019. General Secretary An YueJun and Senior Research Fellow Shen Fang was accomponied by other experts of the association. Both regional and global issues were touched upon and two institutes shared their ideas and expectations regarding those issues. Before going into the detials of the meeting, let me share some important information on the visiting association. Founded in June 1985 by various concerned mass organizations and prominent personages from all walks of life, the CPAPD is the largest nationwide non-governmental peace association with a total of 24 influential member organizations in China. The objectives of the CPAPD are to promote mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between the peoples of China and the rest of the world in joint efforts to maintain world peace, oppose arms race and war, achieve arms control and disarmament, strive for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, protect ecological environment, and promote social harmony and sustainable development.
The CPAPD conducts cooperation and exchanges in various forms with more than 300 NGOs and research institutions in about 90 countries, and takes an active part in multilateral activities of the international NGO community. With a large network of affiliated scholars and experts inside China, it focuses its academic research and analysis mainly on issues of arms control and disarmament, non-proliferation, peace and security, sustainable development. It holds bilateral or multilateral seminars regularly. It is in Consultative Status with ECOSOC.
We can examine the study areas of the association under two headings. In the first part, studies are focused on internal agendas and issues, focusing on education, peace studies, science and technology. In the second part, international security, anti-terrorism, climate change and disarmament are discussed and sponsorship is provided.
The first Wanshou Global Security Dialog Forum was held in 2018 and the second was held in 2019; in the first forum the problems in the Asia-Pacific region were discussed, and in the second forum increasing US-China competition were focused on. The aim of this forum is to bring together experts from many countries of the world in the field of global security, peace, sustainable development, instability and so on. The idea is to uncover cooperation on issues. The 3rd Forum, which will be held in June 2020, is planned to bring participants from 20 countries and to hold closed meetings.
Secretary General An Yuejun said that there are fundamental problems in the world and those can be categorized as; increasing competition among the major powers, regional conflict, unknown results of new technology, the emergence of different security concepts, traditional and new security problems, he said. In this context, he stressed that China is looking for answers to the questions whether it will continue to keep up with this order as a part of the world order in the US hegemony established after the Second World War or whether it should play a role in the establishment of a new world order.
YueJun stated that there are two headings appeared in international security systems, and the first factor was the decrease in the power of Western countries, especially in the power of the USA, and US President Trump's slogan Make Make America Great Again paved the way for a destabilization in the system. Secondly, the power of the emerging economies like (China, India, Turkey, like Brazil) is increasing and he said those countries as a group can come together and change the world order by making it as a fairer and more sustainable order.
YueJun said that there are many things in common between SDE and CPAPD in terms of working issues and strategic business in addition to the fact that serious reforms are needed in the international system. However, he added that China still complies with the UN Act, which is the main provider of international order.
YueJun stated that it is important to oppose unilateralism and that since the United States has withdrawed from many agreements and platforms the global system has suffered from this, multilateralism declined and that the institutions such as the World Trade Organization, especially the UN, need reform. He stated that the new system / order should also reflect the needs, views and inspiration points of emerging economies. He pointed out that the new system should be more fair, acceptable and sustainable in this context. He stressed that the current system is unfair.
The steps that could be followed in such a process, in turn, are highlighted as the following: the need for new great powers and the relationship between them to be based on the win-win principle; emphasizing multilateralism for the common society, the common future, and solving problems through diplomacy and negotiation, avoiding war; the implementation of new and comprehensive safety systems and concepts and their application in practice.
YueJun, who shared his views on Kashmir at the meeting where we exchanged ideas on current problems, said that he thought that this issue was a problem created by the colonists just like the Palestinian-Israeli issue. He stated that the division between India and Pakistan and the borders drawn at that time caused such a problem and that China approached the two countries equally and without prejudice. However, YueJun said that they were worried about the increasing tension in the recent years and that they were in favor of negotiations, not for a hot conflict in the region. He also stressed that domestic policy should not be forgotten when looking at foreign policy issues. He said that Modi has been following policies that improve the Indian economy in recent years, but attention should be paid to the growing approach to nationalism.
By China’s Belt and Road Initiative there has been significant investment in Pakistan; however, YueJun said that they were aware that the new government in Pakistan needed to absorb these investments and time, especially with the debt crisis. YueJun stated that China will continue this project on the basis of mutual cooperation, joint building and sharing.
The recent US-China rivalry is also mentioned and it is emphasized that the US is in a tendency to withdraw from many regions in the near term and its power has decreased. However, even if the Chinese government becomes the number one economic power in the world in the coming years, the big brother role of the world will continue to be performed by the United States said by YueJun, and emphasized that China does not have the goal of being hegemon. He said that China did not want conflict, what China prefers and works along with the win-win principle, but that the United States did not adopt such an approach.
Referring to the US-China trade war, YueJun stated that China is not afraid to fight a trade war and that this issue will cause serious harm to the US economy in the long run. He added that they are sure and confident about this. YueJun says that they think that the US will do its best to continue and/or become the greatest power, but that each country has its own dreams and that the most important thing is to increase the welfare of its citizens. He also stated that the USA is trying to stop and slow down the rise of China through Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Uighur issues; however, he strongly emphasized that the rise of China cannot be stopped.
China should increase its relations with Muslims countries and Muslim world and in this context with Belt and Road Project, they desire more intense relations with countries in the Middle East of the Arab League and Turkey.