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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Opinion: Blair: China reminds me of the best of America

August 27, 2008
August 26, 2008

Tony Blair has praised Chinese society following the Olympics, saying
its "get up and go" spirit reminded him of "the US at its best".

In an article for the Wall Street Jounral, the former prime minister
said: "[The Games] mark a new epoch - an opening up of China that can
never be reversed.

"It also means that ignorance and fear of China will steadily decline
as the reality of modern China becomes more apparent."

In an overwhelmingly positive piece which will irritate human rights
activists and supporters of an independent Tibet, Mr Blair said: "The
policy of One China is not a piece of indulgent nationalism. It is an
existential issue if China is to hold together in a peaceful and
stable manner as it modernises.

"This is why Tibet is not simply a religious issue for China but a
profoundly political one - Tibet being roughly a quarter of China's
land mass albeit with a small population.

"So we should continue to engage in a dialogue over the issues that
rightly concern people, but we should conduct it with at least some
sensitivity to the way China sees them."

Mr Blair then urges the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics to use
the opportunity to explain to the east what "the modern west is about".

"We will have to come to terms with a world in which the power is
shared with the far east," Mr Blair added.

"I wonder if we quite understand what that means, we whose culture
(not just our politics and economies) has dominated for so long. It
will be a rather strange, possibly unnerving experience.

"Personally, I think it will be incredibly enriching," he concluded.
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