OPINION / VIEWPOINT
China’s right to develop cannot be deprived
Published: Jul 16, 2020 01:28 PM

Photo: GT

Has China done anything wrong? The Trump administration has launched a totally Cold War-like campaign to contain China. What is the essence of this unjust strategic suppression now coming out of the US?

The term "China's rise" was coined by Westerners. Influenced by the West, some Chinese people also began using them but added a determiner to make it China's "peaceful rise." Nonetheless, Chinese officials never used such words, but rather spoke of "peaceful development."

The old powers rose in two ways - to colonize or to launch wars. In the Spanish-American War, the US seized the Philippines from Spain. Japan invaded others and launched wars to gain chances to rise too. Big countries were ruthless in their competition for spheres of influence - the US drove European countries out of the Americas with Monroe Doctrine.

In other words, all big countries except China have risen through military expansion. Historically, their rise and decline was actually a song of blood and fire.

China is the only big power whose development has been based on its people's hard work. New China never colonized or launched a war aiming at invasion. Although there have been frictions at border areas, China hasn't had a border war for over 30 years. 

China started from the bottom of the world's industrial chain. Chinese people are willing to take the most laborious job and they like saving money. Today, working overtime is normal in China. I myself haven't taken any annual leave for more than a decade. Some of my friends don't take a break even during Spring Festival - this celebration is to Chinese what Christmas is to many Westerners. China's prosperity has been accumulated bit by bit in such way.

Some say China is a socialist country with values that are different from the West's universal values. But it is exactly the Chinese political system that has lifted China's huge society out of poverty. The People's Republic of China will celebrate its 71st anniversary this year. Over the past four decades, it realized the fastest economic growth in the world.

More importantly, China never tried to export its political system. There are different systems existing in the world - monarchy, constitutional monarchy, republicanism, chiefdoms, and so on. So why does socialist China have to be the target of the US' malicious campaign? 

It is known that the US suppressed the Soviet Union after World War II. However, it is often forgotten that Washington once took Tokyo as a top threat, until it totally put the latter under control with the Plaza Accord.

Germany is the European country least favored by the US as it is the strongest within the European Union. President Trump even once publicly labeled the bloc the "vehicle for Germany." All in all, the US cannot accept having its global hegemony threatened, even slightly. Therefore, it is super sensitive to any potential challenge.

In the eyes of Washington, Beijing is more dangerous than any other rival. China has great potential due to its huge population. It believes China can generate overwhelming power with fully operating tools of modernization. This is the geopolitical calculation of today's hysterical Washington. 

Therefore, the US wants to decouple from China and rope in its allies to contain China as it did against the Soviet Union. This has come so abruptly that people around the world even cannot believe the clock of history is really reversing — and that the world is moving back to an era of major power confrontations. Three years ago, nobody dared imagine such a scene would happen. The Trump administration has crazily and shamelessly mobilized the US society to support its geopolitical competition. Now it is attempting to mobilize the whole West for the end. 

Will China replace the US as a hegemonic power? Since the reform and opening-up of China, the Chinese leadership has never formulated any plans that aim at overtaking the US in terms of national strength. No Party members have ever heard of any timetable that China set to exceed the US in terms of GDP. All of China's development plans have been made based on domestic demands. These are realistic roadmaps to improve people's living standards. Frankly speaking, Chinese people's desire for a better life and to let the next generation have a more wonderful life is the real driving force for the country to keep moving forward. If the Chinese government maps out a long-term development plan that aims at a low growth rate, then Chinese public opinion won't accept it — as this doesn't tally with people's wish to improve life. China is a society that must keep advancing. 

The US containment of China, in essence, is to suppress Chinese people's right to live better. It seeks to stop and even roll back China's development. It wants to worsen the growing environment of Chinese young people. 

It needs to be pointed out that hundreds of millions of Chinese people are still living a non-modernized life. Even in big cities, there is still great room for people to further improve their lives. The US wants to halt all Chinese improvements, making China retreat to the lowest end of the global industrial chain and forcing 1.4 billion people back to the marginal position of modern civilization. I have to ask: Does the US really have right to do this? On what moral grounds is it launching the containment on China?  

The development of China in recent years is indeed the largest human rights movement in human history. In old photos featuring the early days of the Republic of China, Chinese people wore ragged clothes and their faces were expressionless as they were hit hard by the misery of everyday toil and hardships. The Chinese people moved forward uneasily over the past 100 years. Now, the US wants to block the development path of China and destroy Chinese people's future under fabricated pretexts. The US has lost reason, but Chinese people should keep clear-headed. 

The China-US relationship is an interactive process. Our response to US moves may not necessarily be accurate every time, but our original intention is simple and with goodwill. China doesn't challenge anyone, nor does it have the ambition to seek hegemony. Of central importance to us, is that our right for development cannot be deprived. 

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn 


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