US must end anti-China ‘political tsunami’

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/14 19:53:40

On February 14, St. Valentine's Day, China and the US, the pair of ex-trade "Valentines," started higher-level talks as the March 1 deadline looms. It seems that the "couple" may give up on ideas of a break up and try to get along.

In fact, it is easy to find a solution if a couple only haggles over money issues. The complexity of the China-US relations lies in the "political tsunami in Washington against the China threat," said Susan Shirk, former US deputy assistant secretary of state.

The Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations and the University of California San Diego's 21st Century China Center on Tuesday issued a task force report Course Correction: Toward an Effective and Sustainable China Policy. Shirk chaired the task force.

The report believes that Beijing and Washington are on a collision course. 

It recommended that "the US must never compromise its national interests, neither should it define those interests as always antithetical to China's pursuit of its legitimate economic and security goals... Opposing Chinese influence across the board is neither desirable nor feasible." The strategy is concluded as "smart competition" in the report.

However, the actual situation is completely different from the recommendations. Judging from Washington's understanding and policies toward Beijing, there is "a tendency to overreact to external threats," according to Shirk. The "political tsunami" has swept across all areas. In particular, anti-China spy actions are way too intense in the current US.

Many China-US economic and trade conflicts have been labeled as maintaining national security, such as taxing Chinese high-tech products and excluding Huawei equipment for 5G network applications.

Washington is not willing to admit that Beijing's economic strength is gradually growing, even if it is achieved in accordance with fair market rules. This is the root cause of the "political tsunami." There are elites in the US who expect the trade war to suppress China's rise rather than promote fair trade.

US anxiety about China's rise is the biggest challenge to a stable and constructive China-US relationship. It also makes many Chinese people worry how much a trade deal would stabilize the two countries' relations. They believe that a trade deal may be reached, but it is not likely to bring China-US relations back to a constructive level.

Many of Washington's demands on Beijing are US-centered, lacking a basis in international law and morality. The US seeks absolute security and opposes China's national defense building which matches its economic scale. 

The US also wants China to be as humble and restrained as a small country. It doesn't accept China's influence as the world's second most powerful country.

China is strongly self-disciplined, but the US is not. The US wants to affect China's development and will blame Beijing for not following Washington's path. Whether politics, economics or ideology, the US seeks to interfere in China's domestic affairs. Meanwhile Beijing's effort to promote friendship is regarded as infiltration.

China and the US should protect their relations together. A sound relationship would benefit the US. If Washington is not aware of this, it will be hard to rebuild the two countries' friendly relations. We hope the US delegation and US elite will understand that bad relations hurt both sides, and China will never be the only victim.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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