China's struggle with US aims to encourage cooperation
Published: Jul 12, 2023 01:02 AM
China US Photo:GT


The US is undoubtedly the biggest obstacle in China's path to a further rise. How to deal with the strategic containment from the US is also a huge test for China. As a powerful country, it would be strange if the mainstream public opinion in China is not tough on the US but rather appeasing toward it. Chinese people are not that submissive.

At the same time, China is a country with rich historic experience, a nation with a solid foundation in vision and tolerance. We must demonstrate wisdom, patience, and magnanimity that other rising powers in history did not possess, and draw a beautiful arc that has never been seen before in the game of major powers.

I firmly believe that China will definitely strengthen its struggle against the US and make the US pay the price for encroaching on China's interests. At the same time, our struggle against the US itself is not the goal. We do not fight just for the sake of fighting, nor do we aim to escalate it into a strategic confrontation between China and the US, with the intention of completely defeating and overthrowing the US. Instead, we aim to seek peace through struggle, and co-existence and cooperation through competition. Through necessary struggle, we will gradually make the US realize that its containment of China will not only fail to achieve its goals but also harm itself. Coexisting peacefully with China and exploring a win-win path is in line with the long-term interests of the US and should be its ultimate strategic choice.

We should have a strategy for stabilizing China-US relations, requiring confidence and determination, as well as precise tactical application and accurate understanding of the intensity of the struggle. If we become weak under pressure from the US, we will be defeated easily. If we become zealous about struggle with the US, believing that the more resolute and intense the struggle, the more "correct" and "patriotic" it is, it will also be undesirable and lead to radical and impulsive actions.

We must have a clear understanding of the power balance between China and the US. Firstly, we must admit and face up to the fact that the comprehensive strength of the US is greater than that of China. At the same time, China has already gained considerable strength and has the ability to defend its core interests. We can effectively deter the US in the waters nearby China. We must have a clear understanding of this and form a firm confidence.

In other words, we will not take the initiative to launch strategic strikes militarily against the US, as such attacks would not be successful. However, we have the ability to pressure the US and make it believe that it would face disproportionate costs if it takes action in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, and that it would not be successful either. If the Taiwan authorities promote "legal independence," making peaceful reunification with the Chinese mainland impossible, we will use force to liberate Taiwan in accordance with the Anti-Secession Law, and the US must accept this reality.

Recently, I talked about how China should avoid military confrontation with the US when there is no chance of winning. Some people accused me of "discouraging the Chinese people" and even called me a "surrenderist." I am truly worried about their lack of basic realism and their unfounded enthusiasm. China is not yet the world's No.1 power, so how can we think we can win no matter what we do? Even if the No.1 superpower makes strategic mistakes, it will fail. If the US comes to the Taiwan Straits and fights against the People's Liberation Army, it will suffer a defeat. It has already learned enough lessons from the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, not to mention that it is now facing China, which has second-strike capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The US is still the most developed country in the world, and it really bothers us with its chokehold in the chip industry. It rallies its allies to "contain" China, which also poses a threat in the international environment for China's development. Dealing with the US cannot be achieved solely by hot-bloodedness. It requires generations of Chinese people to mobilize the wisdom of Chinese civilization and move ahead firmly step by step in the country's strategic competition with the US.

Our best approach is to maintain the overall situation of safe and peaceful exchanges between China and the US through both struggle and cooperation, and to gradually change the overall balance of power between China and the US with our continuous development momentum. This can be achieved as China is a nuclear power; our conventional military power is constantly expanding, and our development potential is greater than that of the US.

In the end, what we want is that the US is forced to accept the new situation of win-win development between China and the US in the history of human development. US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in Beijing recently that the world is big enough for both China and the US to thrive. However, her words are personal and do not represent Washington, so overall, they are "not sincere." We need to turn this statement into a true consensus formed by the American elite through a long game where they suffer losses.

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