Doesn't Blinken mean 'Asian NATO' by 'shaping the environment around China'?
Published: May 27, 2022 12:40 PM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Photo: VCG

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Photo: VCG

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday delivered a speech on US policy toward China. He barely said anything new. 

What he emphasized and drew most attention included that the US is "not looking for a new Cold War" and "does not want to sever China's economy from the global economy," but it "must defend and reform the rules-based international order"; the US doesn't "rely on Beijing to change its trajectory" but it "will shape the strategic environment around Beijing"; the US doesn't "seek to transform China's political system" but will "prove once again that democracy can meet urgent challenges." Blinken also reiterated that although the Ukraine war continues, China poses "the most serious long-term challenge."

Blinken said the US' policy focuses on "invest, align, and compete." That is, invest in US competitiveness, align with allies and partners, and compete with China.

Blinken said the US doesn't seek to change China. In my opinion, this statement shows that the US administration has been clear it is not capable of engaging in tough interference in China and thus reshaping the country. Frankly, some political elites in the US want to do that, but they are not capable. Besides, the US won't stop its "soft interference" in China just because Washington publicly says it doesn't seek to change China. Instead, they will continue encouraging different forces of the US to engage in ideological warfare against China and value-based infiltration into China so as to maximize the disruption of China's development. Actually, the US has been doing this for years - and it will continue. 

The US has recently repeated the idea to reshape strategic environment around China. That is, build anti-China alliance in Asia and eventually form an "Asian NATO." Reshaping the strategic environment is just a disguise used to whitewash US' evil conducts. Washington is creating division in Asia, promoting confrontation, and creating a geopolitical superiority for its hegemony.

The US administration repeated it doesn't seek a Cold War with China. Frankly, it doesn't really matter how people call the US' strategic blockade against China. The US indeed cannot duplicate a Cold War like the one between it and the former Soviet Union - because the US is not able to shake China's position as a world major trading power. The US cannot economically block China as it did to the Soviet Union. However, Washington's hostility against Beijing is rapidly reaching the Cold War level: its malicious suppression of China as its competitor is expanding to more spheres. 

From the Trump era, the struggle between China and the US has lasted for years. We can already make a summary.

First, it is impossible to defuse the hostility of US political elites toward China, and no matter what we do is unlikely to change Washington's positioning of regarding China as "a strategic adversary."

Second, it should be noted that the US doesn't have the capacity or enough tools as they thought to contain China. They have the desperate idea of decoupling from China, but they cannot bear the self-injury caused by doing so, and therefore they are struggling, hesitant and wavering on specific measures against China.

Third, due to their wavering and the ambiguity caused by it, China-US relations may still avoid extreme deterioration and maintain the base of nongovernmental interactions and cooperation. It is necessary for China to make efforts to stabilize China-US relations and slow down the deterioration.

Fourth, we must have bottom-line thinking and strengthen the preparations for high-intensity confrontation with the US if it violates China's core interests. The most important preparation is to enhance the strength, including that of strategic deterrence on the US. This is the fundamental way to suppress US hard-liners' attempt of acting strategically recklessly toward China.

Fifth, the time is on China's side in the China-US competition. The US cannot harm China on the whole. The most fundamental way for China to defeat the US' strategy of containing China is to develop itself well and do its own thing well.

The author is a commentator with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn