What kind of friends does China need?

Spread the love

Author: falsetto Source: falsetto (official account ID: lxlong20) has been authorized to reprint

When summarizing the experience of Chinese revolution, Mao Zedong said:

Who is our enemy?

Who is our friend?

This issue is the primary issue of the revolution.

01 Friend question

On February 15, Iranian President Leahy said in a speech at Peking University:

“Politicians in some countries in the world are unable to bear the rise of China and Iran, and often set obstacles, causing us to spend a lot of money on the road of regional integration. We will not accept these obstacles. We will find new ways to build regional integration to protect our interests.”

“What ties Iran and China together is the history of civilization, opposing the common position of unilateralism, independence, and denying dictatorship and domination.”

——It’s beautiful and warm.

President Leahy’s visit to China has caused a lot of discussion in the public opinion circles. The public opinion circles of the East and the West are discussing the warming of the relationship between China and Iran, and even the impact of China, Iran and Russia warming together on the world.

For the Chinese public opinion circle, the main topic is what can it bring to make friends with Iran? Some people said that Iran is worth paying, and said a lot of reasons; Some people said that we should be careful when making friends with Iran, and also said a lot of reasons. In fact, the essence of this question is what kind of friends China should make.

When it comes to making friends, everyone’s first reaction must be to make real friends. This is true of people and countries. In ancient China, there has been a “debate between Chinese and foreigners”. In a sense, it is about “how to make true friends”. Sometimes it is about blood, sometimes culture, sometimes geography; After thousands of years of discussion, there is no real answer. This shows how difficult it is to make true friends.

So you may be wondering: What kind of friends are real friends?

Is it true or false to talk about poverty and wealth?

Is it true or false based on values?

Or is it true or false based on common experience?

02 Poor and rich

There are two kinds of friends in the popular sense: poor friends and rich friends. Note that the poor and rich here are just the most popular terms, because the poor and rich themselves are one of the most prominent labels in the world.

Looking back on the history of making friends in China in the past, there are both the history of making poor friends and the history of making rich friends.

New China was just born when it suffered the Korean War. After resisting the United States and aiding the DPRK, China was sanctioned by the United States and its allies and could not make rich friends with the West; We can only make friends with the socialist camp and the poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America while carrying out industrialization (laying a primary foundation for the poor Chinese industry).

After the quarrel between China and the Soviet Union, China was isolated by the Soviet Union, and China was not easy to make friends with the socialist camp; We can only engage in national defense construction (two bombs and one satellite) while making friends with poor friends in Asia, Africa and Latin America. At that time, many Chinese believed that poor friends were reliable. After all, China has made many friends in Asia, Africa and Latin America, such as Pakistan, such as Santania. However, this recognition is not entirely correct, because poor friends are also unreliable, such as Albania, who is not satisfied with so much assistance from China; Another example is Vietnam. China once tightened its belt to help Vietnam when it was dying, but it was bitten back. It can be seen that making friends cannot be based on poverty. Poor friends are not necessarily true friends.

Later, after China’s reform and opening up, it had a honeymoon with the western world. It was considered that China had made a group of rich friends, and China gradually became rich. At this time, many Chinese believe that rich friends are reliable. This cognition is not all right. Because with the growth of China’s comprehensive strength, especially after China replaced the United States as the world’s largest industrial production and trading power, the United States worried that China threatened its hegemony and began to turn China from win-win cooperation to strategic repression. Some allies of the United States (such as Australia and Japan) also began to gradually change their attitude towards China, and they tried to make trouble for China from time to time. It can be seen that making friends can not be based on wealth, and rich friends are not necessarily true friends.

So poverty and wealth have never been the standard to define true friends.

03 Are values reliable?

Making true friends with common values sounds like an ideal way. But the more ideal the pursuit is, the more difficult it is to practice in reality. For example, the debate between Chinese and foreigners mentioned above has been going on for thousands of years, but no effective solution has been found to “make true friends with values”. For another example, when the first emperor and others designed the centralized system, they thought that the implementation of the county system was the most ideal state. Now it seems that this idea is also more realistic. Unfortunately, this simple ideal has not been realized for more than 2000 years in the whole imperial era.

At present, the West also likes to talk about value alliance, which mainly refers to the three-tiered system with the United States as the template and the basis of multi-party competitive voting (in fact, it is mainly two-party), promoting the ideology of freedom, equality, democracy and so on.

The Western system cannot be mistaken. After all, they have been rich and powerful for a long time and have followers in many countries, including China. However, it is not appropriate to say that it is universally applicable. After all, the ideals of “freedom, democracy and equality” are not the patent of the West, but the pursuit of most nations. In pursuit of these ideals, Chinese people with lofty ideals have engaged in revolution, shed their heads and shed their blood. Now these ideals are also an important part of socialist values.

In fact, within the West, it has not really achieved equal intersection with values. Take NATO as an example, several countries of the Anglo-Saxon system obviously hold closer together and put their interests above the EU countries. Several countries in the Onsa family are also different. The United States and Britain are in the core position of trying to dominate the world. Australia is more like a thug, New Zealand is more Buddhist, and Canada is sometimes like a thug and sometimes appears Buddhist.

It is also a multi-party election, and the effect of which varies from country to country. India and the United States are two worlds, and Japan and the Philippines are also two worlds. The reason is that the race and culture of India and the United States are different, and the race and culture of Japan and the Philippines are also different, so the same system has caused different results.

In the Cold War era, the West said that the Soviet Union and its own values were different. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia tried to make everything the same as the West (the military replaced the political commissar with priests, and carried out multi-party elections in politics), only in exchange for NATO’s eastward expansion.


In order to integrate into the West, Russia has applied to join NATO several times and has been rejected. NATO’s eastward expansion was concentrated before 2008, which was the early stage of Yeltsin and Putin. At that time, Russia imitated the West at all levels. Finally, Russia was forced to go back to the old way of Russia, and finally led to the current Ukrainian war.

If we say the difference between Russia and the West at that time, that is, the Eastern Orthodox Church that Russia believed in and the Catholicism and Protestantism that the West believed in have been opposed; Back in the real world, Russia, which is not accepted by the West, is still huge and makes the West sleep insecure. This kind of opposition can not be recognized at the level of western values through institutional imitation.

As for so many countries in the Islamic world, even if they want to squeeze into the Western circle (for example, Saudi Arabia of the Arab system is often buried by the West, for example, Türkiye of the Turkic system wants to join the European Union but cannot), there are basically no countries that can be looked down upon by the Western circle.

Modern China has also experienced the era of making friends based on values. For example, the socialist circle of friends established by the Soviet Union was a typical exchange of values. The final result was not ideal. Not only did the Soviet Union try to impose its will on China on the basis of its status as the eldest brother, but even Vietnam, which has received great favor from China, turned its back.

So the way of making friends with values sounds beautiful, but the history and reality at all times and in all countries have proved that it is extremely complex to practice.

As for the third way, making true friends through common experience is even more unreliable. Ukraine and Russia share the same culture and have lived together for thousands of years. Now they fight harder than anyone else. Outer Mongolia was also a part of China, but now it is not pro-China.

Since there is no fixed standard for so-called true friends, we might as well change our thinking, not limited to “true friends in the absolute sense”, but choose friends in a more effective way at the practical level. Generally speaking, instead of pursuing true friends indefinitely, we should establish a “limited circle of friends”.

04 Three ways

Method 1: friends who can carry guns together.

Being able to fight together with guns is, in the popular sense, a life-long friendship.

There are two kinds of friendship with guns:

One is to carry guns for friends. China once carried guns for North Korea (war with the United States), Pakistan (war with India) and Vietnam (war with the United States); But to be honest, friends who can carry guns together may not be able to maintain friendship forever. The relations between Pakistan and North Korea and China were OK, but the relations between Vietnam and China later changed.

Another kind of friend is carrying a gun to help. At present, there is no friend to help China carry a gun because it cannot be used (I hope it will never be used). In terms of China’s size, as long as we do our own things well, no country can threaten China’s security.

In terms of international relations, if a big country wants to establish its own circle, it must at least convey a posture that can carry guns for its friends. In this regard, the United States did a good job in propaganda at least, so it won the cold war. On the contrary, the Soviet Union always wanted to take something from its friends, and finally failed in the cold war.


Method 2: friends who can work together.

The so-called struggle together means that countries with different civilization systems work together to promote historical progress. In fact, in this world, most countries with independent civilizations (such as China, Protestant America, Orthodox Russia, Hindu India, Islamic Shiite Iran) have their own values. In theory, these countries can work together in the process of running to the sea of stars; But these are only theoretical. In reality, these countries will fight in the dark more often.

So from the national level, it is not easy to get close to each other in a short time. For example, at this stage, Iran and Russia are completely under the pressure of the United States to report to each other for warmth.

For China, friends who can work together refer to those who can work together to reach the sea of stars. At present, it is extremely difficult to find friends who can meet this requirement.

Third, friends who can make money together.

So far, the foundation of industrial civilization system is industrial production and commercial trade. This system sounds very complicated. The most popular and powerful sign is making money.

Countries that can make money together can usually go in opposite directions. Even if there is deviation, they can maintain the situation of fighting without breaking. The most typical relationship is between China and the United States. Looking back on the years after the end of the Cold War, the United States is engaged in globalization, and China is engaged in reform and opening up. Together, the two sides have promoted the prosperity of the global economy for decades. The most popular understanding of this model is that both sides can make a lot of money.

The characteristics of Sino-US relations are “harmony without difference, and fight without breaking”. Even when the relationship is good, there are frictions at the level of public opinion; When the relationship is bad, the public opinion war is even more vigorous, as it is now. It is also because of the great interests involved in Sino-US relations that the public opinion debate is as it is now, and the two sides have not turned their faces, which is extremely rare.

China and the United States have now pushed the big power game to an unprecedented height. If China wants to finally defeat the United States, it needs not only to make money by itself, but also to bring friends to make money, especially those who are not rich.

As I said in my previous article, there have been three waves of industrial civilization in modern history.

The first wave of industrial civilization flow was led by Britain before World War II, mainly along the Atlantic Ocean cycle (mainly along the Indian Ocean cycle), specifically from Europe to the Americas. In this wave of cycle, Britain became an empire without sunset. Even if it later disintegrated, it left behind the huge Commonwealth country.

Due to various comprehensive factors, the cycle of the first wave of industrial civilization finally settled in the United States, making the United States the largest country in industrial production and commercial trade in the world at that time.

The second wave of industrial civilization flow was led by the United States after World War II, mainly along the Pacific cycle (mainly along the Atlantic reverse cycle), specifically from the Americas to Asia.

The United States first revived Europe through the Marshall Plan (the second wave of industrial civilization flows in the reverse cycle of the Atlantic Ocean), thus bringing Europe into the United States’ chariot economically.

Because of the Korean War and the Cold War, the United States enabled Japan to operate again and become the most developed country in Asia, thus firmly controlling Japan’s lifeline at the political, military and economic levels.

Because of the need of the cold war, the United States supported the four dragons (South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan and Hong Kong of China) in Asia, making them the bases for radiating American ideology and culture.

It can be said that after World War II, the United States dominated the economic pattern of developed countries and regions. Because of this tough layout, the United States won the Cold War.

After the cold war, the United States’ globalization strategy and China’s reform and opening-up policy have provided decades of impetus for the world economy.

Finally, due to various comprehensive factors, the second wave of industrial civilization flow led by the United States after World War II settled in China on the East Asian continent, making China replace the United States as the world’s largest country in industrial production and commercial trade.

According to the historical trend, the third wave of industrial civilization will flow in Eurasia, and the most likely leader is China. The reason why it is the most possible, rather than the certainty, is that after China has become the largest country in industrial production and commercial trade, so far it has not led other countries to complete the fundamental poverty alleviation and prosperity. In short, it is to make money with friends.

The world is material and very realistic after all. If you can’t lead everyone to become rich, the best ideal will eventually fade.

The reason why the United States has so many friends (allies) is not only because the United States controls them from the political and military levels, but also because the United States has really made them rich. The reason why the Soviet Union failed to win over the United States was not that it lacked friends, nor that the war machine was not strong enough, but that it was unable to make friends rich.

China has several poor friends. Pakistan is too chaotic, and there is strategic pressure from India. With a large population, it is difficult to transform itself in a short time. The situation of North Korea is also very bad. It has been suppressed by the United States blockade for decades. It is difficult to reverse the situation in the short term.

In addition, Iran is relatively easy to get rid of poverty and become rich as long as it finds appropriate development strategies because of its rich oil resources. So in the context of being targeted by the United States, if Iran can make money with China, it will become a strong witness of China’s leading the third wave of industrial civilization.

05 Last words

So a real friend? The final answer to this question may be that there is no answer. Because between countries, no one can say what a Muslim friend should be. So people often say that there are no eternal friends in the world, only eternal interests. This may sound utilitarian, but it is not accurate.

In fact, most people, including politicians, are likely to fail in their struggle for “eternal interests”. Because they don’t understand the eternal interests, they just exchange some interests under the banner of the eternal interests.

So again (I have said it many times before): the world has neither permanent friends nor permanent interests, only permanent exchange of interests; Interests will be looked down upon, but the exchange of interests is sacred. From the national level, we need friends of different dimensions at different stages. For example, at the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China needed to develop an industrial infrastructure system, and approached the Soviet Union and achieved its goal; At the time of reform and opening up, it was necessary to establish a market-oriented system, get close to the developed world and achieve the goal.

In retrospect, China fell behind in modern times because it missed the historical opportunity of industrial civilization.

Looking to the future, China needs to seize the opportunity of information civilization to complete the real renaissance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *