China's gain from Singapore summit benefits Northeast Asia

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/14 21:28:40

Tuesday witnessed the historic encounter between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It was supposed to be a crucial turning point in bilateral relations between Washington and Pyongyang as well as the situation on the Korean Peninsula, yet quite a few US media aimed their spears at China. Media members generally believe that Trump's announcement to suspend military exercises with South Korea will undermine US strategic posture in East Asia. "It's a huge win for China," said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at Strategic and International Studies, as if a relaxed relationship between Washington and Pyongyang does not matter.

US media establishments are unhappy with the outcome. The complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea that the US sought, instead turned out to be a vague four-point joint statement with no timetable or roadmap. They believe that the summit fizzled, which only showcases their hegemonic mindset - in the face of conflict, the US is used to simply demanding its rivals to surrender, rather than engaging in a real negotiation with mutual compromises.

The viewpoint that China is the biggest winner of the summit shares the same spirit. Apparently, it is only logical for the US to benefit at the expense of others. Why can't the result of the summit be a bonus for China?

For quite some time, US military deployment on the peninsula has been used for the containment of China's rise. After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact military alliance, the US has no rival in terms of military capability. Yet it still expanded NATO and strengthened its alliance with Japan and South Korea. A vital part of its strategy is aimed at Beijing.

To ensure US hegemonic status, Washington needs to maintain its military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. But in the context of a pacifist trend in East Asia after the Cold War, it must fabricate a credible threat. Creating tensions on the peninsula later proved to be an effective way. It provided the White House an ideal excuse to uphold its strategic pressure against China. Deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is one such move.

China, however, spared no effort in resolving the nuclear crisis on the peninsula and tried to respect and accommodate concerns and interests of all parties related. Without China's endeavor, today's achievements on the peninsula could hardly be reached. US media failed to realize that China - a ballast of regional peace and stability - gaining benefit is favorable to regional development. The US will also benefit enormously from it.

Perhaps Washington elites need some self-examination over their Cold War mindset, their routine of treating China as an enemy and their habit of overly calculating gains and losses. If the nuclear crisis on the peninsula is to be resolved, it will be a win for all.

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