At the invitation of the Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Dr. Han Fangming, Chairman of the Charhar Institute, attended and delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Zhejiang Businessmen Singapore Conference which was held at the Sands International Convention Center in Singapore on December 9th.
Nearly 500 representatives of ASEAN countries and Zhejiang Chambers of Commerce from different provinces of China attended the conference.
Chairman of the Charhar Institute Han Fangming speaks at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Zhejiang Businessmen Singapore Conference.
In his speech entitled "Actively Carry out Public Diplomacy and Grasp the International Situation", Han Fangming first affirmed the contribution of Singapore’s Zhejiang businessmen in conducting public diplomacy and in promoting the image of China. He said as Singapore is a place with a blessed location in connecting with the world and Zhejiang businessmen are well-known for their entrepreneurship, China's image has been well enhanced in the world by Zhejiang businessmen in Singapore. And it is believed that it will be further enhanced in the future, just as what a recent survey in Singapore has indicated that Singaporean's preference for Chinese technical brands has increased by 11% points in the past year.
Han noted since international situation affects everyone, entrepreneurs should not only "bow their heads to pull cars", but also "look up to see the road ahead". In the era of "global village", it is more important to "see" the "road ahead" (development patterns) of the international situation.
Han emphasized we should promote multilateralism and oppose hegemonism. Against the backdrop of the treacherous trade war between China and the United States which is regarded as some kind of "new cold war", the international community should take history as a mirror and be highly vigilant against some big powers' hegemonism.
Chairman of the Charhar Institute Han Fangming attends the closing ceremony as one of the main invited guests.
Han said that there are no isolated islands in the world and countries are connected with each other, especially in an era of globalization when the world has become a "global village". He said in dealing with international affairs, we should consult with each other, consider the sentiment of people in other countries, avoid arrogance and oppose arbitrary behavior. And it is a common sense that multilateralism should be a basic principle to be followed in handling international affairs.
Han pointed out that all the countries have their own dignity, and no country should "label" other countries in a casual way, or even call others "rogue countries". Hegemonism, as well as unilateralism, is all about not respecting other countries and trying to subdue others rather than persuade with respect, which is arrogance in essence.
Respecting other countries does not mean not regarding the standard of "being right or wrong". We should first respect the existing national boundaries, and then just demonstrate one's own country to others, in providing reference on the natural evolution of target countries, based on their own choices.
He stated even if it is inevitable for big powers to compete for hegemony, as depicted in the "Thucydides Trap", small countries will undoubtedly play a significant role, and in a certain sense, their roles can even be decisive.
It should of course be the right choice for small countries to stand up, speak up, and oppose hegemony, at least without getting involved in the power struggle, since according to history, without participation in making their position known by small countries, there would be a lack of "mass basis" for big powers to strive against hegemony, and also make it difficult to last.
As on this, Chairman Han especially praised Prime Minister of Singapore Mr. Lee Hsien Loong. He said in the Prime Minister’s speech on Singapore's National Day this year, the Prime Minister made it clear that Singapore would not "choose any side" in the China-US dispute, which is highly appreciable.
At the conference
Copy Editor: Zhu Yanhong