Community of common destiny wise way to counter US shift to Asia

By Zhou Fangyin Source:Global Times Published: 2014-4-27 22:23:01

In many people's view, one of Washington's purposes in adjusting its Asia strategy is to deal with a rising China. According to this view, Beijing should feel anxious about US President Barack Obama's ongoing Asia trip. However, it is notable that the Chinese government has demonstrated a relatively easy attitude toward possible maneuvers of the US, Japan and the Philippines during Obama's journey.

Since the Obama administration officially initiated what it called a "pivot to Asia" strategy in 2010, we have seen the US engaging in various deployments surrounding China. Many think that China's peripheral environment is deteriorating and therefore have developed a strong sense of crisis.

Nevertheless, China's peripheral diplomacy has taken on robust vigor and energy since the beginning of the latter half of last year. The new climate in our diplomatic endeavors has obviously improved the surrounding environment.

During the past more than one year, the Chinese government has adopted a spectrum of complementary and coordinating measures, gradually opening up new prospects in peripheral diplomacy and offsetting the effect of the US "rebalancing to Asia" strategy to a certain degree.

The Peripheral Diplomacy Work Conference which was held in Beijing in October 2013, the demarcation of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, the steady development of military modernization, a more flexible stance in negotiating the South China Sea code of conduct with ASEAN, the advancement of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Silk Road on the Sea of the 21st Century, the proposal of a "two plus seven" framework between China and ASEAN, and the initiative of building a community of common destiny with ASEAN, all reflect a series of comprehensive and high-level strategic designs.

Beijing cautiously handles relations with Washington and its allies, which have constantly made provocations over territorial disputes in adjacent areas, in a bid to avoid negative effects of regional conflicts on China's cooperation with its neighbors.

Beijing and Washington have great cooperation potential in the Asia-Pacific region but at the same time their own interests and policies. If some nations target China intentionally, we should respond to them in our own way, which will further boost our confidence in collaborating with other states.

The establishment of the State Security Committee means that China has resolved the issue of top-level design to a large degree in its peripheral diplomacy. As long as we can continue to persist in and effectively implement the existing policies and strategies and avoid being confused and misled by policies of other countries, our surrounding environment will keep improving despite some twists and turns for a long time to come.

As long as Beijing's strategy of a community of common destiny achieves substantial results, the US' "rebalancing to Asia" policy, which is directed at China, will end in vain unless it turns into substantial cooperation with Beijing.

The author is a professor with Guangdong Research Institute for International Studies.

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