Q&A with Kishore Mahbubani on The Asian 21st Century at CCG
"If China hadn't launched the Belt and Road Initiative, the United States, and the EU would not have launched the infrastructure initiatives."
On July 18th, 2023, the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) held a book launch at its headquarters in Beijing, where it released the Chinese edition of The Asian 21st Century, authored by veteran Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani.
Kishore Mahbubani, a former Singaporean Ambassador to the United Nations and currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, gave a speech at CCG and answered questions, which was broadcasted in China via its social media accounts and also widely reported by China Daily, Global Times, CGTN, China News Service, Beijing Daily, Phoenix TV, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, etc.
Mike Liu, CCG Vice President and Senior Fellow, moderated the event.
The transcript of Mahbubani’s speech has been published. Below is a transcript of the Q&A.
Mike Liu: Thank you so much. I'm sure our media friends have many questions. May I request our media friends to just raise your hand. And also, when you start the question, explain which organization you represent and keep your question brief and short. Thank you so much.
CGTN: I'm an international editor with CGTN. First of all, thank you very much for this very stimulating and thought-provoking presentation on the occasion to mark your book, the Chinese edition of your book. So I have about three questions. I will ask them altogether and you can respond. I believe you have touched upon part of those questions in your speech itself, but you can perhaps elaborate a little more.
My first question is: your book The Asian 21st Century explores the rise of Asia and the rebalancing of power between the West and the East. How do you foresee these partnerships influencing world politics and global governance in the coming decades? Are there specific areas where Asia's influence and contributions will significantly reshape the international order?
Also, you spoke about wars being the result of geopolitical incompetence. So in that context, there are certain differences between the major Asian powers that we see on and off, including China, India and Japan for that matter. So how do you see these differences challenging the emergence of an Asian Century? Can the regions still unite and achieve collective progress despite these differences? Will the Asian powers be able to show geopolitical competence in resolving these differences?
And my third question is specific to China. In your book, you discuss the peaceful rise of China and the return of ASEAN as a major geopolitical force. Now, Chinese civilization has also long cherished the principles of peace as are evident in the teachings of Confucius and Taoism. China has a historical track record of not invading other countries as the other Western powers have done. How do you believe this civilization of cultural and philosophical foundation can influence China's role in shaping the Asian Century? What potential contributions can China make towards fostering regional and global peace and stability? I will end with my final observation that you remarked, basically, Asia is reclaiming its position in the world after the aberration of two or three centuries where the Western powers dominated. Then why stop at the Asian 21st Century and not call it the Asian Millennium? Thank you.
Kishore Mahbubani: Thank you. I must say you have asked a lot of very big questions. And you're definitely right on the first question about how Asia's power shifts will influence our world politics. I think you will see a gradual shift within all institutions of global governance, whereby the Asian voice will become bigger and bigger.
Even though the West, for example, has been resisting the increasing share of Asian countries’ voting in the IMF, I think over time, the resistance will be worn down, and Asia will have a greater influence. I see that sometime in the next 10 to 20 years, they'll have to acknowledge that maybe it's time for Asia to run the IMF or the World Bank. That's a simple example of that. And there's also been the creation of new multilateral organizations in Asia. For example, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), also the New Development Bank (NDB) have done a good job. These are new organizations created in Asia with the participation of all Asian countries. And so the New Development Bank is based here in China, but the largest amount of loans have been given to India, for example. So you can see, therefore, how the Asian countries are growing their own institutions also.
So that's the positive side of the story. But you also raised a question about possible rivalries within our region, like between China and India, China and Japan. I would say that my biggest worry today is the state of the bilateral relationship between China and India. I think it's fair to say that the relationship between China and India today is troubled. We know it was a result of, from what I can tell, an accidental clash in Galwan in June, 2022. And sadly, there have been fewer bilateral meetings at their leaders’ level between China and India, and they haven't resumed completely yet. So I would say that's one area that we have to pay attention to. But at the same time, it is important to emphasize that despite their differences, trade between China and India is growing, and in many areas, they continue to cooperate with each other. So on issues of climate change, for example, China and India are still cooperating with each other. But these are relationships that need to be nurtured and developed.
And there's also, as we know, a rivalry between China and Japan, but that one is somewhat less worrisome because as Professor Erza Vogel of Harvard who wrote a book, China and Japan, in which he pointed out that China and Japan had the longest recorded history of 1,500 years. And about 1,500 years, they were only fighting each other for 50 years. But that was recently, roughly from 1895 to 1945, Japan and China were at war, in conflict in one way or another. So hopefully, as Erza Volgo says, they can go back to the past record of peace between China and Japan.
Now, on the question of China and why has China risen, that's a very deep question. But what is shocking is that many Americans especially, are not aware that China represents the world's oldest continuous civilization. At least what, four thousand, five thousand years of history. And therefore, it was China's civilization that has gone up, gone down, gone up, gone down. Of course it went down recently in the Century of Humiliation from 1842 to 1949. But history of China tells us that when it goes down, it goes down; but when it goes up, it goes up. China's recovery may last at least another 100 years. 44 years since the Four Modernizations were launched in China, China began to open up. So China's growth still will continue for a long time, but driven by what I call the Chinese Civilization Cycle.
Of course, you have good leaders. They have learned the best practices from the West. And when China embraced free market economics, it was quite amazing - how China was the first country to propose a free trade agreement to ASEAN and so on, so forth. It shows you how much China has changed, grown and developed. So it was actually when China was under-performing, that was normal. And now that China is performing well, that's normal. So I hope that answers your question as to why China is doing well.
Mike Liu: Thank you so much.
Phoenix TV New Media: Okay. Thank you. Good morning. Mr. Kishore, I'm Oliver from Phoenix New Media. And I have three questions. One for very famous proverb cited by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in 1973. He said that when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers and many politicians quoted this sentence. And I want to ask under the background of China-US strategic rivalry, what actions and plans can these grass countries implement?
And my second question is about India. And you mentioned India in your speech just now, and in your new books, many chapters are about India. All the information tells us that India is becoming a more and more important country in many aspects. But now maybe the Indian government seems to have abandoned its old diplomatic policy and tries to carry out more in-depth cooperation with the USA. And I noticed some Indian media cite that “the current juncture could be seen as PM Modi’s Deng Xiaoping moment” now, just like China in late 1970s and the early 1980s. What's your opinion of the India-US operation? And how will it affect China? And my third question is about the war. You mentioned the war in your speech. You said Asia can get a big lesson from Europe to avoid the war. So my third question is about the war: which area in Asia do you think has the worst possibility?
Kishore Mahbubani: I would certainly agree with Lee Kuan Yew’s statement that when elephants fight, the grass suffers, but that's a very well known proverb. Although the Sri Lankans also add another line, when elephants make love, the grass also suffers. So in terms of what can the grass do, I think it's fair to say that many countries in the world are very troubled by the growing rivalry between the US and China.
And in the Cold War, many countries took sides. Some supported the United States, some supported the Soviet Union. What is interesting is that today, in the US-China contest, most countries in the world are saying they want to be friends with China, and they want to be friends for the United States. So most countries in the world are not taking sides. And that's good, because that is actually restraining the geopolitical contest. I know that when the US launched this geopolitical contest, it expected the world to come along with it and join it in its efforts to isolate China. But all the America's efforts to isolate China have failed. Indeed, China today is a far larger trading partner of more countries in the world than the US is, so the fact that most countries in the world want to remain neutral is a positive development, which will restrain the two elephants from fighting too much.
So that's the good news. Now, on the case of India, I would say that it is true that India has become much closer to the United States of America. And you saw this in the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Washington D.C., but at the same time, India is also like China, a very ancient, very proud country. And Indians believe that India should emerge as an independent pole in a multi-polar world. So that's why even though India has maintained close ties with Washington D.C., it is also maintaining close ties with Moscow, even though relations between the United States and Russia are very bad.
So if India was an ally of the United States, it would not have emerged as the largest single purchaser of Russian oil. Right? Before the war began in Ukraine, India only imported 1% of its oil from Russia. Now it's 20%. So that shows how significantly Indian ties with Russia have also grown in the last few years. So India will have an independent foreign policy of its own.
And your third question was about where will the war take place? I would say the one region where I worry the most about war, and you won't be surprised by my answer, is Taiwan. Because we know for a fact that if the government in Taiwan declares independence, it will leave China with no choice but to declare war. That's why it's very important that the Taiwanese people understand that they should not declare independence. It's also very important for the United States not to support the independence movement in Taiwan.
I can tell you that in the past, the United States would do a good job of suppressing independence movements in Taiwan, during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. When Chen Shui-bian was running Taiwan, he wanted to push for independence. He was put under tremendous pressure by President George H. W. Bush who said, “Don't you dare”. As a result of it, Chen Shui-bian had to back down, but he backed down under American pressure. You can see, therefore, that Americans do understand the danger of starting an independence movement in Taiwan. That's why. And if the United States maintains its One China policy, then I think the prospects of war are much, much less.
People's Daily: Professor Mahbubani, I'm a reporter from the People's Daily Overseas Website. I have two questions.
The first one, data released yesterday showed that China's GDP grew by 5.5% year-on-year in the first half of this year with a 6.3% year-on-year growth in the second quarter. How do you evaluate China's performance among major global economies this year? And China plans to achieve the 5% economic growth target. Do you believe that China can achieve this goal?
The second one, it is known that Japan has decided to discharge nuclear waste water into the ocean, which sparked opposition from China, South Korea, and Pacific-Asian nations. How do you view Japan's approach of transferring nuclear pollution risks to the whole world? Are you concerned ?And do you oppose it? Thank you.
Kishore Mahbubani: The first question on China's economic growth, I must say the whole world would be very happy to see China's economy growing faster. Because China has contributed more to global economic growth than any other country has over the past 20 or 30 years. So China's economic growth is good for the growth of the global economy.
In some ways, it's actually surprising that China announced the 5.5 % figure, because people expected a lower growth figure. So the 5.5 % figure is a positive development. As we know, some Western countries are gonna slow down in the rest of the year. That's why China's economic growth could balance it.
By the way, India also will do well this year. As long as the CIA countries - China, India, ASENA do well, they could help to contribute to global economic growth.
Your second question is a much more difficult question to answer, because I'm not a technical expert on these issues. But I would say that if Japan were to carry out something that concerns its neighbors, as a good neighbor, Japan should consult its neighbors and talk to them before carrying out any such action. For example, as you know what happened with Chernobyl. When a nuclear reactor melted down, the radioactive effect was not kept within the Soviet Union. It traveled outside, and so the world felt that the Soviet Union had an obligation. To prevent the radioactive contamination of other countries, in the same way, Japan should also make a very important, conscious effort to reassure its neighbors that what it is doing is not going to harm or hurt its neighboring countries.
Mike Liu: Thank you. May I you yo keep your questions to only one and give other colleagues a chance? Thank you.
Beijing Daily: Hello, Professor Kishore, I'm from Beijing Daily. Mr. Liu, may I ask two questions? Cause I have prepared three questions.
My first question is about the BRI. We know that Professor Kishore, you are very confident about the BRI. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the BRI now in the future?
And my second question is about your country, Singapore. We are often encouraged by our views on the ancient century and BRI. But in China, there are still many people who have doubts about Singapore, that is, which side does Singapore belong? Is Singapore on the side of the US? What do you think about this? Thank you.
Kishore Mahbubani: Excellent questions. I'm very positive about the BRI, and I think it's actually very sad to see the Western media run down the BRI. And they say that the BRI is what they call “debt-trap diplomacy”. It traps poor countries and so on.
And that's something that the West is doing in writing negative stories about the BRI. It’s actually very cruel. It is cruel because the BRI is actually helping poor countries to grow and develop. There's no way Laos, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, can build a fast train within its borders without the assistance of China. And their lives of Laos have improved. And it is very important that the Western media stop its negative coverage of the BRI, because it may hurt these poor countries who need the BRI.
Also, when the West uses the term “debt-trap diplomacy”, it is an insult to the intelligence of the countries of the Global South. Because what the West is saying is, "You poor countries, you are so stupid, you don't know what you are doing, you are being trapped by China...". I think it is important to emphasize that developing countries are not stupid. They know what they are doing. They can tell when the project leads to benefits or not benefits.
For example, Indonesia will soon complete the Jakarta-Bandung Railway, which has been built under the BRI. You will improve the lives of the Indonesians. So this is why it is important not to listen to the Western media on the BRI, because it is completely unfair and jaundiced in its description.
Your second question on where Singapore stands. The leader of Singapore was among the first leaders in the world to say openly in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, and also in an article in the magazine Foreign affairs. As you know Foreign Affairs is considered the leading international journal of the world. He published an article, and in both his speech and his article, he said, "Singapore will be good friends with China, and Singapore will be good friend to the United States, and Singapore will not choose or take side". And in fact, he was among the first to say so. After he said that, many other countries said, "We agree with Singapore”.
In some ways, Singapore has been very helpful to the world in making its position clear. So others can follow soon. I'm confident that Singapore's position hasn't changed from what the Prime Minister of Singapore has already said. Thank you.
China Daily: Thank you, Professor Kishore. And this is Alice from China Daily. I have one question. The first part is: you just mentioned that the dominance of the West is abnormal and now we are back to the normal of Asia; and China and India both share a very long-standing, splendid civilization. So speaking of civilization, what do you think of China's newly-launched Global Civilization Initiative?
The second part of the question is: this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, and also the 45th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. So what do you think of China's contribution to the world in terms of the Belt and Road Initiative, and those newly-launched civilization initiatives? Thank you.
Kishore Mahbubani: I think as China grew and developed, it is possible that China could have said, "We are still a poor developing country. We want to develop our country, and we will not go and interact with the rest of the world”. And China could have done that. And the world would say, "Okay, China wants to focus on its own development. That's perfectly understandable”. But China, against that background that is actually been quite generous, said, "We are growing and developing, but we will share our successes in development with other countries". That's what the Belt and Road Initiative has done. And the most important thing to know about the Belt and Road Initiative is that China invited all the countries in the world to come and join the Belt and Road Initiative.
Now, there are 193 countries in the world, and they are free to choose. So some countries chose not to join—the United States didn't join, Japan didn't join, Australia didn't join, and India didn't join. Fair enough. You are free, and you can join or not join. So the most important fact to know about the BRI is that, out of 193 countries in the world, over 140 countries have signed BRI agreements with China. That is a clear vote of confidence in the BRI.
And as they say, imitation is the best form of flattery. Why are the United States and EU launching their infrastructure initiatives? I can assure you if China hadn't launched the BRI, the United States, and the EU would not have launched the infrastructure initiatives. They had to launch it to compete with China. So in that sense, actually, China is benefiting the world. Because it's good that the United States and EU are copying China in providing infrastructure projects throughout the world. So in that sense, the BRI is something that the world should be celebrating, not condemning as the Western media does, as I said earlier.
Similarly, when China launches the Global Civilization Initiative, the most important word is “global”. And why is that word important? Because the opposite of “global” is “local”. If you look at what President Trump said all the time, President Trump never used the word “global”. His only goal was what they call MAGA—to make America great again. And his only focus was making America great. If you had asked Donald Trump, do you have time to develop African countries? He would have used a very rude and impolite word to describe the African countries, and that shows the difference.
Therefore, in that sense, with China launching global initiatives, I hope other countries will follow China's example and also launch global initiatives, which is frankly what the developing world needs. So the more global initiatives there are from China, the better it is for the developing world. Thank you.
World Views: The question from the World Views, Li Xiang. My question is Singapore is known as a brand of ASEAN. ASEAN is China's largest trade partner. Can ASEAN become a model for win-win cooperation with China? And what is the significance of bilateral cooperation for the exchanges and contacts between China and the West? And with your rich experience, what do you think is the reason why China and the West fall into mutual communication barriers, even separation and accusations? Is China going to replace the older international order as advertised by the West or something else?
Kishore Mahbubani: On the first question, on ASEAN, you're absolutely right. If you are looking for model win-win partnerships in the world, one of the models is the China-ASEAN relationship. And I mentioned in my remarks how China surprisingly had become the first country to propose a free trade agreement to the ASEAN countries in the year 2000.
Now, the results have been spectacular. In the year 2000, ASEAN’s trade with the US was 135 billion dollars, more than 3 times ASEAN’s trade with China, which was 40 billion. As a result of free trade agreement, by 2022, which was last year, US trade with ASEAN had grown significantly from 135 to 440 billion, a big increase. But China's trade with ASEAN had grown from 40 billion to 975 billion dollars, almost a trillion dollars. And that's the world's largest trading relationship, larger than the trading relationship between the US and the EU, which are bigger economic powers. So it shows you how the China-ASEAN success story is a model for the world. And frankly, the European Union has done such a bad job of improving the economic development of the African Union. Europe and Africa are as close as China and ASEAN. But Europe's impact on Africa has been, I would say, negative rather than positive. But China's impact on ASEAN has been positive and not negative. That's the contrast I want to make.
Now, in terms of why China and the West have a major misunderstanding, the answer is complicated. But there are essays in my book that explain it. So please buy a copy of the book. There's one fundamental reason why there's a misunderstanding between the US and China. This is a result of, I explained in my book Has China Won, the United States behaving in some ways naturally in trying to stop China from becoming number one, because the United States doesn't want to become number two power. There's an iron law in geopolitics, which says that when the world's number one emerging power, China, is about to overtake the world's number one power, the United States, the world's number one power pushes down the world's number one emerging power. That's the iron law in geopolitics.
Europe, by contrast, could have enhanced its strategic autonomy and emerge as an independent pole in the world. But unfortunately, Europe is losing its strategic autonomy, especially after the war in Ukraine, and has become very dependent on the United States. And as a result of that, that's one reason why Europe's relations with China are also in a difficult patch. But to be fair, some European leaders like President Macron and Chancellor Scholz are still trying to maintain good ties with China. And I think we should welcome the fact that some leaders are still, despite pressures from Washington D.C., still trying to improve their ties with China.
Mike Liu: Thank you so much. With all the overwhelming questions, because we are running out of time, I will still keep the last two questions. So maybe your turn.
CGTN: Thank you, Professor Kishore Mahbubani. I'm a reporter from CGTN and my name is Li Jingjing. As a long-time fan of your work, I also downloaded a copy of your English book. I have two questions. I will try to make it very simple. First is about the disputes among Asian countries. As Asian countries, we have border disputes, we have conflicts. Also, America sees this region as their battlefield to control Indo-Pacific. They put military bases in different Asian countries. That will force countries to take a side during the China-US confrontations. Do you think even if we have all these disputes and conflicts among each other, it will continue to be an Asian 21st century? The second question is the rise of the Global South. Because there's a trend that Africa is working together as the African Union via pan-Africanism, Latin America is working on it as well. Do you think they are great competitors with Asia? Which region is more competitive to be the leader of the 21st century?
Kishore Mahbubani: There will always be, almost every country in the world has bilateral problems with this neighbor. Even if I take two countries like the United States and Canada, they have the friendliest relationship, but they've had border disputes as well.
It's normal to have border disputes. But the question is how you manage them. You can either choose to go to war over border disputes or you can negotiate. And so far, there are a lot of negotiations taking place, as long as you can have negotiations and a peaceful resolution, then I think we are OK in the region. But as I said earlier, we should not be complacent. We should definitely try to take proactive measures to prevent conflict in our region. And if there are border disputes and if we keep talking about them, we’ll avoid a conflict over them. And I’m reasonably confident that we managed to keep the gun silent in East Asia. As I said, over 33 years, let's keep it up.
Now, on the question of the Global South, I think the it'll be good for the world if everyone does well, if Asia does well, if Africa does well, if Latin America does well. But it is not a secret that so far in the last 20 years, for example, the growth of the Asian countries has been much better than the growth of the African countries or the growth of the Latin American countries.
In fact, it's a bit surprising that in Latin America, their per capita income is higher than in many Asian countries, but their growth has been stalling. Argentina’s economy is struggling still, sadly. If you look objectively at the track record, there's no question that overall, most Asian countries, not all Asian countries, are doing well and I think will continue to do well over the next 10 to 20 years.
Mike Liu: Thank you. The last one, the lady in the back.
CRI: My first question is that NATO invited four Asia-Pacific countries to its summit last week. How do you see NATO’s growing interests in Asia-Pacific partners, what consequences would NATO’s acts lead to? And my second question is do you think a so-called “Asia NATO” would finally come into being? Will such an institution be a good thing for Asia’s peace and security?
Kishore Mahbubani: I think it's a bit sad. The whole study of geography was a gift by the West to the rest. All the world maps are produced by the West and so on, and so forth. It's interesting that NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As far as I know, the North Atlantic is not in Asia. The North Atlantic is on the other side of the world. And why do countries of NATO want to expand NATO to Asia? I don't understand. If you can, I suspect it may be in this book. I'm not sure. I wrote an article in the Singapore newspaper Straits Times saying “Asia: say no to NATO”, because NATO doesn't belong to Asia. NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is the people of Europe like NATO. I agree you can love NATO, but keep NATO in Europe or in the Atlantic, don't bring NATO to Asia. It is important for more Asian voices to speak out, and to say that we have developed in Asia, a different culture of peace, which doesn't depend as much on defense-related organizations, but more on a culture of inclusiveness.
For example, when the Cold War ended, at first, paradoxically, the West embraced Russia and said, “Hey, we can get along with Russia”. And the Southeast Asia was also divided. There was a division within ASEAN and Vietnam. And what's remarkable is that since the end of the Cold War, Vietnam has now become a fully-fledged member of ASEAN. Indeed, one of the most successful members of ASEAN is Vietnam. And by contrast, Russia has been excluded from Europe. So you see how we in ASEAN have done a better job of managing the post-Cold War world than Europe has. And that's the difference because we don't have NATO. We don't have organizations that exclude countries. We have organizations that include countries. The big difference between European organizations and Asian organizations is that, in Europe, they say to join an organization, you must be like us. If Russia is not democratic enough, they say to Russia, you cannot join. In ASEAN, we say the opposite. We say, because we are different, we must come together in one organization, then we can talk to each other. We actually welcome differences. The Europeans reject differences. That's why they haven't admitted Turkey into the European Union. You see, that's the difference. The Asian culture of inclusiveness is the opposite of NATO. That's why NATO should stay in the North Atlantic.
Mike Liu: Thank you. The final one from the lady.
Hongxing/Red Star News: Sorry for taking the time of all. Hi, Mr. Kishore Mahbubani, I was here last year for the English version release, and you were online and I asked you a question online. I’m very glad to see you here face to face. I'm from Hongxing News. Due to the pandemic, you were only able to be here this time. The newspaper I'm from is headquartered in Chengdu, and Chengdu is going to hold the World University Games at the end of this month.
We know that last year we have Beijing Winter Olympics and it was relatively closed to the world. But the Chengdu World University Games is going to be the first international multi-sport event open to the world that China is going to hold since the end of the pandemic. I want to ask you as a diplomat, how important do you think is face-to-face communication is? What is the significance for China to hold this multi-sport event in an opening-up way? Thank you.
Kishore Mahbubani: I'm a great believer in the importance of international sporting events because our biggest Challenge in the 21st century is to make the world accept that we live in one world. And the world has shrunk so much, I use a boat analogy to describe how the world has shrunk. In the past when we live in 193 separate countries, it was as though we were living in 193 separate boats. We were separated from each other. Now the world has shrunk. Our planet has shrunk. Now we may live in 193 separate countries, but we are no longer in 193 separate boats. It's 193 separate cabins on the same boat. Now, if you are on the same boat, we must take care of the boat as a whole, because if you only protect your cabin and the boat sinks, there’s no point protecting your cabin, you’ve got to protect the boat as a whole.
How do we change the mindset of people and make them aware that we are all in the same boat? One way of doing it is to get people to join international sporting events. You see that we belong to one common humanity. So the best runners in the world, you admire them; whether they come from the United States or Ethiopia, it doesn't matter. You feel a common sense of identification with them. And that's how you create the notion of one world. When you host the Olympics Games, when you host the Winter Olympics Games, or when you host the World University Games, that's a very positive development. And you're contributing to creating a better global understanding when you host such games, and I wish you great success with those games.
Mike Liu: Thank you so much. I have a tough job to do because we have a very tight schedule for Kishore. And Professor Mahbubani also has a plane to catch. Thank you so much, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, for sharing these fascinating thoughts. I really look forward to many substances we can contribute, maybe to your next book. We definitely look forward to welcoming you back again in person to have interaction with our media friends and Chinese audience. As we approach the end of the event, I would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to all the distinguished guests, media friends, and colleagues, who have made the book launch event a remarkable experience, as well as a great learning experience for all of us. That concludes today's book launch event. Thank you all. Looking forward to seeing you next time. Thank you so much.
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