ALTHOUGH the reality of China's status as a world power is no longer debatable, the US prefers deceiving itself with the thought that it still can play the role of the solitary superpower, masterminding policies of whichever country it wants. It is somehow not appreciating the full impact of China's rise as a global economic giant and growing military might and its own declining power - all that, with several other countries fast catching up in the development field, has radically altered the scenario. Yet, it considers its right to proffer counsels to others on both internal and external matters. The Chinese, however, are no longer in a mood to accept.. They have, therefore, strongly rebuffed Washington's criticism of their attitude towards the issue of human rights and their policy on Indo-Pakistan relations and Kashmir. China has asserted that it needs no counselling and knows full well how to take care of its interests. To recall, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had reportedly picked holes at the way the Chinese were handling human rights in the country and raised questions about their policies towards the subcontinent. A spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Minister maintained that China was an independent country and would not countenance any criticism of internal or external policies. On Kashmir, it would stick to its stand and would continue to regard it as a disputed territory, thus rubbishing the Indian claim of atoot ang. The Chinese statement appears in the press on the day (January 26), which the people of Kashmir are observing as a black day rather than celebrating it as Republic Day like the Indians. As every year in the past, there were public rallies voicing protests at New Delhi's brutal and illegal occupation of the State, and a complete shutter-down of shops despite the security forces' heavy-handedness in trying to force the people to go about their daily business. That should serve as a strong reminder to the international community of its obligation to bring India round to abiding by its promises, as given in the UN resolutions, envisaging that the Kashmiris decide their own future in a free and fair, UN-sponsored plebiscite. While urging India to resume the composite dialogue process to put an end to the climate of tension in the subcontinent, Beijing has expressed its willingness to offer the role of a mediator should the two countries so desire. It rightly termed peace as an imperative necessity for all. One reason that the two countries, Pakistan and China, have all along been deeply and sincerely cooperating in the multifarious fields of life is their abiding commitment to peace. As the spokesman pointed out, the mutual understanding has led the Chinese to come forward and offer Pakistan all assistance possible.