Prof. Zhang is part of a team of Chinese academicians visiting India.
New Delhi: Due to the principle of “collective leadership”, it is “inconceivable” that China can launch wars like the United States did during the presidency of George W. Bush, a senior Chinese academician has said.
Interacting with reporters in New Delhi in the presence of diplomats from the Chinese Embassy, senior Chinese academician Prof. Zhang Weiwei — currently the Director of the China Institute at the Fudan University — said, “China has collective leadership. It is inconceivable in China’s political system to have a leader like George W. Bush who launched two wars, two silly wars, the Afghan war and the Iraq war.... at tremendous cost to the United States. The political structure (in China) will not allow this. It is a collective decision.”
George W. Bush was the President of the US from 2001 to 2008, and the Afghan and Iraq wars were launched by the US in his first tenure in power from 2001 to 2004.
Prof. Zhang is part of a team of Chinese academicians visiting India and their views are being seen as significant even though it is not being officially regarded as the views of the Chinese Government.
As reported earlier, another academician from the team Prof. Lin Minwang — of the Institute of International Studies at China’s Fudan University — had also articulated his reservations on the concept of “Ïndo-Pacific” as well as four-nation “Quad” in the region—comprising the United States, India, Japan and Australia.
Foreign policy observers point out that it is well-known that China prefers the term “Asia-Pacific” for the region rather than “Indo-Pacific”.
Prof. Lin had raised questions on the inclusiveness of the Quad and questioned why other nations like South Korea or the ASEAN nations were not invited by the US to join it.
The Quad, short for “Quadrilateral” refers to the four-nation informal grouping that stands for freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Meanwhile, Prof. Zhang’s views on the maturity and restraint of the Chinese leadership are also being seen as significant, given the bouts of military tension between China and its neighbours in the past two years.
China and India had been involved in a military face-off at Doklam in Bhutanese territory two years ago following which maters were resolved and both sides pulled back. Just recently, there was also tension between China and another neighbour Vietnam in the South China Sea.
On the current US President Donald Trump, Prof. Zhang told reporters, “Donald Trump has a very old-fashioned outdated knowledge structure. In the case of the Chinese model, leaders at every level of the Chinese government have to go through study sessions to learn about new things, new developments ... (Chinese President) Xi Jinping agreed to have a session on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Xi Jinping embraced the year 2050. Donald Trump embraced the year 1950.” The remarks were intended to portray how the Chinese President was forward-looking and visionary in his approach in contrast to the US President.