Pushback the only way to deal with US

By Li Haidong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/3 17:23:40

Photo: VCG

The US has revisited its definition of China as strategic competitor, subjecting it to outright suppression. This has given voice to demands that Beijing relent to meet US requirements to bring an end to hostilities.

Such opinions stem from not only blind worship of US technology and systems, but also out of fear they would make it difficult for other countries to catch up. Living with admiration and ingrained fear of the US is not the way to go.

The admirers lack a clear understanding of US policies toward China. Some of them intend to imitate the US economic model in search of prosperity. Nonetheless, with a level of prosperity and charisma, China will never be accepted by the US decision-making elite. 

Although it has become widely known that the US has taken a hardline stance against China, its uncompromising policy toward China is not understood by everyone. 

Since the end of 2017, the US has clamped down on China's high-tech sector by repeatedly imposing tariffs and improving Taiwan relations. 

Such actions indicate that the US will never be satisfied with any compromise on economic and trade issues. Its intention is to destroy internal and external environments conducive to China's rapid development, change the country's economic and political systems, and interrupt its steady growth.

Some believe that by agreeing with US values and systems China can have a future. These people have lost their understanding of why China has become what it is today, while also losing themselves and the ability to decide between what is right and wrong with China-US relations. 

The first principle of US diplomacy is that it gives priority to strength and is intolerant of equal competitors. Regardless of China's domestic changes, it is difficult for the US to accept other superpowers that challenge its primacy. This is part of the overall reason why the US decision-making elite has implemented a whole-of-government China approach.  

The US has suppressed constructive voices and power with their China policies. It has built a hostile consensus against China at the societal level by creating major events. 

US worshippers maintain the illusion of establishing a partnership with the US through systemic changes. They do not understand the real purpose of the US, which is to weaken China through internal changes rather than become partners. For the current US administration, today's China-US relationship is not a partnership, but a rivalry.

America worshippers should recognize that current US policy against China will not seek "benefits" with so-called engagement but will disintegrate China's development model. If there is any patriotic conscience, these people need to sober up quickly.

Those who fear the US believe the tough policies aimed at China will harm development. Such thinking is related to insufficient understanding of domestic political and social changes in the US.

Although the US military, economy, science and technology remain strong, national and self-identity and elite identity have thick division lines and uniting them is delusional. 

This is the source of the internal "sickness" US diplomacy suffers from and its gradual decline. In dealing with the Korean Peninsula and Iranian nuclear issues and its alliances, efforts to rebuild an international economic order that serves the US have also ended in vain. It is unlikely that the US will cause overall damage to China.

The complexity of China's national conditions and the multi-dimensionality of its strength have determined that it is difficult for any US policy of sabotaging China to achieve its goals. The US has been identified as "rogue" by many countries, including its allies. 

The challenge in today's international community is how to unite the wisdom of all countries and restrain US behavior. In this regard, China is in a favorable position in dealing with the US. Those who fear the US do not know enough about its diplomatic tradition of honoring strength. Only when China applies its strength will the US take China's propositions seriously. 

Constant retreat will not only make China lose opportunities to accumulate experience in dealing with complex international affairs, but would also incur humiliation and demand from the US.

The US decision-making elite's policy on China completely deviates from the fundamental interests of US society and undermines healthy pattern of bilateral relations. When US policymakers wish to decouple from China, the propositions from the Chinese who fear or worship the US will inspire their US peers to remain headed in the wrong direction. 

The nature of this relationship is not determined only by the US. It is imperative to save the misguided US decision-making elite with rational Americans and shape a positive China-US relationship. 

The author is a professor at Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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