The question of peace, progress and prosperity, it’s a motherhood statement, all of us like it.
Apprehension is natural, but it must not be concluded that it is a threat. Certainly not.
I had the good fortune to be thrown unexpectedly into something called the Labour Research Unit – a little known organisation set up to assist the fledgling labour movement. It was not a company, nor a statutory board, nor a government department – in fact it did not exist at all as a legal entity. Thus in slightly unorthodox circumstances I became part of that struggle.
China also has moved away from its original status of purely producing basic, what you call, consumer commodities and Chinese companies are moving beyond China to various parts of the world.
We are each other’s seventh largest trading partner, we are the fifth largest investor there and likewise, we have a lot of exchanges between political leaders, businessmen, tourists and school children too.
In the United Nations, when China entered, we voted on the same position, and since then we have maintained the same position, that position has not changed.
Well, as you’ve said, we cannot expect the people of China not to want to progress, so if you have an opportunity to progress, to develop your economy to a world class economy, it’s an aspiration that is natural and that, I welcome.
My own perception is that there are two tiers of countries, one, the original ASEAN, and then the new members. The new members are in various stages of development.