US should respect China’s right to develop

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/8 23:13:39

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Beijing Monday after he visited Japan, North Korea and South Korea. The itinerary shows that North Korea is a priority for Pompeo's trip to Asia. But as tensions escalate between Beijing and Washington, China-US relations are also an important issue during his trip in Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi frankly expressed his dissatisfaction toward recent US words and deeds during his meeting with Pompeo. Wang Yi said that as the US side has been constantly escalating trade friction with China, it has also adopted a series of actions on the Taiwan question that harm China's interests, and has made groundless criticism of China's domestic and foreign policies. US actions have "undermined China-US mutual trust and cast a shadow over China-US relations," Wang said. 

Almost all of the world's media mentioned the deteriorating China-US relations when reporting Pompeo's trip to China. For Asia, the friction between China and the US has somewhat directed people's attention away from the Korean Peninsula. China-US relations have wider implications. If the relationship keeps worsening, Asia's strategic environment, where the peninsula issue and other Asian issues linger, will change profoundly.

But Pompeo's visit to China may have a limited impact on China-US relations. The current relationship is dominated more by the White House, trade, national security establishment and the Pentagon. The State Department is relatively sidelined. The US attitude toward China is tied to the White House and Republican Party's interests in the midterm elections, and US Vice President Mike Pence's unusual speech on Thursday reflected those interests.

The 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit in November may be the next key point in China-US relations. We'll see if there will then be a summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, and how the summit will go.

Wang Yi, as foreign minister of the host country, kept his words frank but restrained considering Pence's previous attack against Beijing. Chinese society is actually much angrier at Pence's speech, the trade war and Washington's provocations on the Taiwan question.

What exactly does Washington want from China? Does it want fair trade? If so, both sides should negotiate properly on a multinational stage.

Waving a big trade stick is not the right way to seek fairness. China has never seen such a hostile US government, and China doesn't know what it did wrong. China seeks development within the country, does business with the world, and hopes to safeguard territorial integrity. Although China has friction with neighboring countries, it has controlled the disputes. China doesn't export its ideology like the Soviet Union did. How can China be the US' "greatest threat?"

China knows how powerful the US is, and China doesn't want any strategic confrontations. But the US should respect China's right to development. It's morally despicable to stop 1.4 billion people from marching toward prosperity and it is impossible to do so in reality. The US government should remember that Chinese people are the masters of China's own destiny.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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