Blaming Beijing no more than excuse for Washington’s failed policy in Iraq

By Xinhua Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-10 19:18:01

China has played an increasingly positive role in the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, but the US seemed reluctant to acknowledge the Chinese contribution and, instead, ungratefully labeled China as "a free rider" that benefited from Iraq's oil.

The US accusation, which comes out of nowhere, is nothing but an attempt for Washington to find a scapegoat for its failed policy in Iraq.

In an August 8 interview with The New York Times, US President Barack Obama called China a "free rider" in Iraq for the last 30 years and blamed China for not taking on more international obligations.

In a self-congratulatory note, Obama seems to be asserting the so-called "responsibility" of the US in Iraq. But no one would fail to remember that it is precisely the politicians in Washington that have dragged the Middle Eastern country into a bloody war.

From Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, the failure of the US' Middle East policy has been gnawing at the conscience of US leaders. Despite vast commitment and high causalities, the security situation in the region has only turned for the worse.

The emergence of the extremist group IS in Iraq this July was a slap in the face of US policymakers.

The terrorists increased their strength during Syria's civil war and took advantage of the mess left behind by US troops in Iraq.

When it is time for explanation, Obama has unfortunately opted for an excuse.

Rather than admitting an inconvenient truth, he tried to divert public attention to China, and in a quite old-fashioned manner.

Playing the card of international responsibility, Obama wants to win public support for his foreign policy, but his comment on China as "a free rider" is far from convincing and makes no sense.

After the Iraq War ended, China has contributed huge personnel and financial support to restore the war-torn country.

Incomplete statistics show that since US soldiers were pulled out from Iraq in 2011, up to 60 percent of the reconstruction funds have come from China, and some 40 percent of substantial facilities, including hydropower stations and living quarters, were built with the help of China.

"When Western enterprises are evacuating the war-torn country, Chinese companies are entering without any fear," the leading Chinese newspaper the People's Daily wrote in an article last month.

It is obvious that the US is an "invader and deserter," while China has been a "partner and builder that has all along played a cooperative and constructive role," added the newspaper.

Obama has certainly turned a blind eye to the huge scale of China's postwar reconstruction efforts, which helped stabilize the turmoil-hit country.

Like some other Western countries, the US is exaggerating China's economic prowess and downplaying China's contribution to the international community.

As a major source of UN peacekeeping troops and assuming a pivotal role in pulling both the regional and world economy out of crises in 1997 and 2008, China, the world's largest developing country, has made its due contributions to the world community.

China is an economic power. Its contribution, though largely in terms of trade, investment and infrastructure construction, has promoted regional and world stability.

Beijing has been working hard to build a new type of major power relationship with the US.

Washington should discard its stereotyped mentality of finding a scapegoat for its messy domestic and foreign policies.

If the US treats China as a true partner, it will certainly catch up with China's train of fast development and benefit from China's prosperity.

China is not a free rider, but a responsible stakeholder.

The author is a writer with the Xinhua News Agency.

Posted in: Viewpoint

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