Vying for regional hegemony outdated idea

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-10 0:23:01

The 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' meeting kicked off Monday. At the gathering of business and political leaders on Sunday that preceded the meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered the world a vision of the "Asia-Pacific dream" for the first time.

The principle of APEC is to promote economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. But prior to the meeting, public opinion always focuses more on discrepancies between great powers. In this regard, US and Western media have particularly described this year's APEC meeting as a stage for China and the US to fight for regional dominance.

Their reasons are simple. First, this year's event is held in Beijing and China has the privilege to set the agenda. Second, China proposed the idea of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. The China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank has already been established. Both are considered to be in competition with the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Asian Development Bank, in which it has a huge influence.

These give the impression that the US is afraid of competing with China. But the reality is that China-US relations are not that fragile. Both should handle their discrepancies without conflict.

These discrepancies should add vigor and flexibility to the Asia-Pacific region rather than becoming a source of regional tensions.

China has no intention of dominating the Asia-Pacific region. It is also unlikely to follow US leadership as far as its core interests are concerned.

Wary Western elites have drawn the conclusion that China is rectifying US-made rules and is trying to be a rule-maker itself so as to break the past international order.

Only in recent years has China begun to think about international rules and order. As China's interests expand around the globe, it should have the right to speak for itself. China does not want to overthrow the current world order, but it hopes the order can cater to the changing world and take into consideration the interests of all parties, including China.

The US always wants to lead the world, but it does not have the strength. There has been no global hegemony that can wipe out diversity in the world, and the US is no exception.

If either China or the US disregards the interests of the other to seek its own interests, there will be no success in the region. Dominance is perhaps an outdated mentality, and fighting for dominance will benefit neither.

American elites don't have to worry that China will scramble for US power. What is that power? What benefits can this power bring to China? These are not the core interests of Chinese society.

Both China and the US should keep a strong mind. Complexities in the Asia-Pacific region will force the two to adapt to the situation.

The US should revitalize itself and prevent its influence from waning. Otherwise it will feel even worse. But this is not connected to whether China competes for dominance with it.

Posted in: Editorial

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