US intensifying intervention in China through legislation means

By Li Haidong Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/23 18:03:39

The US has recently significantly strengthened legislative efforts to intervene in China's internal affairs. After approval by both houses of Congress, US President Donald Trump signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act on Wednesday. The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018, which contains a reaffirmation of the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances, was also unanimously voted through Congress in the first two weeks of December. It is highly likely that Trump will eventually sign this as well. The US' legal and policy environment toward China is deteriorating and the influence of this on China-US relations has caused widespread concern.

First of all, the US' so-called "domestic laws" involving Tibet-related and Taiwan-related issues are violations of the basic norms of international relations and breaches of the existing international order. Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries is a prerequisite for state-to-state relations and a condition for international order and stability. Both Tibet and Taiwan are parts of China's territory recognized by international society at large. The generally stable China-US relations that existed over the past four decades were founded on the US not crossing the red line on issues involving China's core interests. However, the US' current intervention is essentially a blatant use of the "long-arm jurisdiction" arbitrarily applied to other countries. It has damaged China's core interests and had a devastating impact on the international order. It is a reflection of the US' consistent arrogance and hegemony which should be disdained by the world.

Second, the foundation and tradition of US diplomacy lie in transforming the outer world in accordance with the American interests to maintain its national security, which has led to numerous dishonorable practices in different regions of the world. After the Cold War, US intervention and transformation attempts outside its borders all ended in extreme chaos, countless civilian deaths and large-scale refugee migration. Countries which have gone through the so-called powerful "democratic transformation" advocated by the US through military coercion and political involvement, such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Ukraine, are deeply mired in a quagmire of civil wars and division. After making major adjustments to its security strategy, the US is now trying to make China the main target of intervention.

This year, destructive measures for intensive intervention in China's internal affairs, including the Taiwan Travel Act, Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018, are US attempt to seed chaos in China just like it did in the Middle East. Any interventions of the US will inevitably lead to strong vigilance and resolute opposition by China. Various actions have completely exposed the reality that the US itself has become a source of instability and chaos in today's world. Robert Kagan, a well-known US think tank scholar, conducted a systematic study of US diplomatic history and came to the conclusion that the US is a "dangerous nation." This summary objectively and accurately reveals the nature of US diplomacy.

Third, through domestic legislation involving Tibet and Taiwan, US policy elites are intensifying geopolitical competition with China. US laws concerning China have deviated from the spirit of the law itself to become a political tool to suppress China. Irresponsible US policy elites are solidifying their uncompromisingly tough stances on China and forcing the entirety of American society to accept it by adopting so-called legal forms, thereby creating a "hardline whole-of-society consensus" that will make it the US' long-standing strategy in the coming decades.

These political tactics, camouflaged by legal maneuvers, will directly lead to a distorted public understanding of China and ultimately bring about the catastrophic failure of the US' China policy. In contrast, China's key policy toward the US is to seek all-round cooperation under the premise of US respect for China's core interests. If US policy elites insist on damaging China's core interests through so-called laws concerning Tibet and Taiwan and instilling a false understanding of China's intentions toward the US, chances are high that the US' China policy will eventually follow the same old disastrous road of the 20th century.

China-US relations are currently at a critical turning point. China's consistent policy toward the US has always involved a focus on mutual benefit and the adoption of win-win strategies. Nonetheless, if the US keeps harming China's core interests, it will eventually lose the game. It is an objective fact and basic common sense that China and the US cannot leave one another nor change each other. US policy elites should pragmatically handle bilateral ties in the current transition.

The author is a professor with the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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