China urged to mend ties with US

HONG KONG: Legendary financier George Soros has said that China must accept its role

as a leading global power and improve its relations with the United States by being more open to external criticism.

Soros, who made billions from currency speculation, said China, the country

that survived the financial crisis the best, had to take the reins to the maintain the world order.

“Basically, Chinese leadership said ‘we got tremendous problems of our own, we still have poverty and that we don’t accept that responsibility’,” he told a packed audience at the University of Hong Kong. “Unfortunately, China has to accept that responsibility. Otherwise the world order will fall apart.”

Soros said to continue to rise, China must also pay increasing attention to how the rest of the world viewed it. “One of the strengths of China today is the leadership is very self-critical and very anxious about doing the right thing,” he said. “But I think it’s very important to allow outside criticisms as well,” said the Hungarian-born Soros, famous for speculating against the British pound in 1992 as well as for his philanthropy.

He said good Sino-US relations were vital to the

world order and their deterioration in recent months was a matter of grave concern. “To a large extent, it’s based on misunderstanding,” he said. “It is very important that each side should properly understand the view of the others. Agree to disagree,” he said.

Soros cited US President Barack Obama’s plan to meet with the Dalai Lama and Washington’s sales of a $6.4 billion weapons package to Taiwan as examples of misunderstandings that prompted the two countries to go further down the wrong direction. On the

issue of Tibet, Soros said

that while Beijing saw Chinese shopkeepers being attacked by Tibetans, the rest of the world saw a minority being oppressed.

China on Tuesday warned Obama not to meet the Dalai Lama and threatened diplomatic reprisals over US arms sales to Taiwan, widening an escalating feud between the world’s top powers.

Relations between the two countries were already strained over Google’s threat to halt operations in China, which sparked a row over Internet freedom, and a host of trade and currency disputes.