Brandishing China threat theory helps West push hegemonistic designs

By Zhao Kejin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/7 19:33:40

According to reports, an Australian intelligence agency recently listed China as an "extreme" threat to Australia's national security. Recently, Western media and politicians seem to have hyped up a new round of the China threat theory from the field of politics, security, economy to technological progress.

In US President Donald Trump's first National Security Strategy, China and Russia are defined as competitors. Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, explicitly accused China of being a "disruptor" in the Indo-Pacific region. The Economist claimed that China is using "sharp power" to penetrate and divide other countries' political circles, media and scholars. Canberra has been saying that China is infiltrating Australian politics. Germany, France and Italy are planning to jointly block certain Chinese acquisitions amid fears of a so-called China buying spree.

The new round of hyping up stems from the fear of a rapid rise in China's strength, underlying which is a development model distinctively different from the Western one. Given its large population, booming economic might and military power, no country in the world today dares to overlook China. Western nations are concerned that China may seize their vested interests.

What worries the West in particular is that China may represent a different direction of human society's development. This is the main cause of the new round of China threat theory. The vitality that China is showing is heading toward a better future, but is different from the development outlook of the West. Some Westerners would rather choose to accept a failing West instead of a reviving East.

Facing historic changes in the balance of power between China and the West, some Westerners attempt to use the China threat theory to cover up the unreasonable, unfair international political landscape as well as the declining hegemony of the West. But trumpeting the China threat theory cannot prevent their decline.

As long as the emergence of China continues, it will be accompanied by China threat theory. Confronting Beijing's swift rise, the Western world, in the meantime, is witnessing the most tremendous change in 500 years and finds it hard to adapt to the trend.

Beijing cannot prevent people from some nations making irresponsible remarks about the rise of China. All it can do is keep showing its wisdom, passion and strength in conforming to the global trend, so as to promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

We should also be well aware that China threat theory will impede China's development and affect international public opinion to some extent.

When promoting the reform of the global governance system, profound changes have taken place in the rules according to which the world operates. Many countries may find it hard to adapt in the short term and would thus be easily swayed by China threat theory. If we fail to guide them effectively, it would be troublesome for China's future development. Therefore, we should not become complacent and prepare to face long-term fear, anger and disappointment of the West, while telling Chinese stories in an effective way to achieve a soft landing of international public opinion about China.

When confronting the China threat theory, the best response is to face it with ease. External forces can express their views at will, yet they cannot shake the foundation of China's development. The fundamental driving force for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation lies in China itself. China-proposed cooperation with mutual benefits will prove that all China threat theories are ill-founded.

In this process, China needs to make its voices heard. It should uphold its principles and voice its views to the world confidently. When it comes to whether China is a threat to the world, there should be more than one voice. And China will explain its dream of building a better world clearly. As long as we combine the interest of the Chinese people with common interests of citizens worldwide, China threat theory will surely become a China opportunity theory.

The author is deputy director of the Institute of International Studies, Tsinghua University.


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