Beijing: China advocates building a harmonious neighbourhood, but has inviolable 'red lines'. "If necessary, it will resort to force after trying peaceful means," warned a state-run Chinese daily Friday, days ahead of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
An article "Is low-profile strategy outdated for China?" in People's Daily said that former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping once stressed that China should be modest and prudent, keep a low profile, never seek hegemony, and aim to accomplish something.
"Certain people wrongly believe that Deng mapped out the low-profile strategy because China was still weak at the time, and now that China has developed into the world's second largest economy by gross domestic product (GDP), it is time to teach disobedient countries a lesson," it said.
It added that keeping a low profile is one of China's long-term strategies, which is determined by the country's social attributes.
"However, rigid adherence to the low-profile strategy can easily lead to `few accomplishments'," the article said, adding: "At the same time, overemphasis on `accomplish something' and appearing aggressive may damage the overall situation of Chinese diplomacy."
"China should maintain a flexible low-profile strategy, and play a reasonably active role in world affairs."
The US is shifting its strategic focus back to the Asia-Pacific region and "Japan is not satisfied with being just the world's third largest economy, and is thus taking advantage of the US to gain more benefits. The Philippines and Vietnam have followed suit. It is obvious that they want to provoke and contain China".
"Facing such a situation, certain people suggested teaching those disobedient countries a hard lesson, but China `let them down' by remaining highly vigilant and prudent about certain countries' provocations. It has enhanced military capacity in case of armed confrontation on the one hand, and stressed peaceful development on the other hand," said the article.
"This is not a sign of weakness."
"The parties concerned know clearly that China advocates building a harmonious neighbourhood, but has inviolable `red lines'. If necessary, it will resort to force after trying peaceful means," it warned.