U.S. should return to rational, pragmatic policy toward China
People's Daily Online
By Hu Zexi, Zhang Mengxu (People's Daily) 10:46, April 29, 2022
As the spillovers of the Ukraine crisis continue to spread, the international situation is increasingly complex and grave. The U.S., the instigator of the crisis, has neither reflected on its mistakes nor done its duty for world peace and security by trying all means to promote a ceasefire and peace talks.
Instead, it has continued to fan the flames of tensions between Russia and Ukraine and made it more difficult to achieve reconciliation. The country even attempts to shift the blame for its mistakes onto others and has willfully smeared and attacked China, sowing misunderstanding, antagonism, and insecurity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Remarks and acts of the U.S. regarding the Ukraine crisis, including spreading lies to create the illusion that China is responsible for the crisis and attempting to bracket the Taiwan question and the Ukraine crisis together to seek an excuse for using Taiwan to contain China, won't do any good to the settlement of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but will further undermine mutual trust and cooperation between China and the U.S.
"The U.S. has kept stirring up trouble and only pursued 'coercive diplomacy' to make other countries pay for its mistakes and suppress China. Obviously, the U.S. hasn't learned anything from its wrong foreign policy in the past and still views the world with the friend-enemy binary logic," pointed out Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies.
Washington's actions on the Ukraine crisis have proven that creating confrontation is the essence of the current U.S. policy toward China, according to Diao Daming, a research fellow with the National Academy of Development and Strategy, Renmin University of China.
"By using the Russia-Ukraine conflict to create division in the world, the U.S. attempts to cast China as a 'common threat' to the West so as to enlist its allies in confrontation with China at minimal cost, thus maintaining its hegemony and interests," said Diao.
Such moves of the U.S. have exposed the country's Cold War mentality and the wrong approach it has taken in dealing with its relations with China.
Some people in the U.S. hope to spawn a "new Cold War" with China, and regard the cultivation of a shared enemy as the necessary key to maintaining the so-called "liberal order", said Peter Isackson, chief strategy officer of Fair Observer, an independent, nonprofit media organization in the U.S., in his recent article published on the website of Fair Observer.
According to the article, these people believe the fear of "enemy" can divert American people's attention from serious and worsening problems at home, such as income inequality and an enduring pandemic punctuated by contestable government mandates.
Some in the U.S. oppose the U.S. policy of engagement with China because they object to the loss of American global and regional preeminence and the inability of the U.S. to have its way unilaterally, which is "narrow-minded and short-sighted", pointed out Chas W. Freeman, Jr., former U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.
U.S. politicians' fear-mongering over China and hyping the China threat will make the U.S.-China relations harder to manage, according to Andrew J. Nathan, a professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
Major countries in the world are supposed to shoulder major responsibilities for safeguarding international peace and security.
The U.S. must abandon its wrong approach, return to a rational and pragmatic policy toward China and show its sense of responsibility by working together with China to steer the China-U.S. relations back on the right track at an early date.
Last year, bilateral trade between China and the U.S. exceeded $750 billion for the first time, and two-way investment between the two countries jumped to nearly $240 billion. Meanwhile, more than 70,000 American enterprises made investments in China.
Facts have fully demonstrated that the interests of China and the U.S. are deeply entwined, ideological differences can't define the relations between the two countries, and the U.S. waging a "new Cold War" on China despite opposition would harm both China and itself.
The move to contain China will further divide the U.S. from its partners and undermine the reputation of the U.S., thus constituting an act of self-destruction, according to G. John Ikenberry, who is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University.
The Asia-Pacific region is not a wrestling ground for international politics. For a long time, the U.S. has attempted to create tensions and incite confrontation and antagonism in the region by pushing its Indo-Pacific strategy, arousing widespread concerns among countries in the region.
Countries in the Asia-Pacific region share the general desire to prevent the resurgence of the Cold War mentality and refuse to take sides between major powers.
"All countries in the world want a positive and constructive relationship with both the U.S. and China," said former Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, whose view is echoed by many.
Competition among major countries is not the theme of the times, and zero-sum game is not the right choice. Now that the world has emerged from the Cold War, it should not suffer from a new Iron Curtain.
The U.S. should shoulder its responsibilities as a major country and respond to the international community's expectations by returning to a rational and pragmatic policy toward China and working together with the latter to bring the bilateral relations back on the right track.
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