Enhancing strength, achieving peaceful rise is the path China should pursue
Published: Sep 23, 2023 01:07 AM
China US

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We must dare to struggle with the US and deal with its arrogant plan to contain China. At the same time, the Chinese people should understand that struggling with the US is not about turning the game between the two countries into a strategic conflict or a military contest, and not about using war to reshape the pattern of China-US relations. We must seek peace through struggle and seek coexistence and cooperation through countermeasures. The main arena of struggle between China and the US should be the vast economic field. The economy should be the "preset battlefield" for us to contend with American power and achieve China's strategic breakthrough.

Some time ago, I saw some posts on the internet claiming that Professor Li Li of the National Defense University of China "said bluntly on a TV show: When China's territory is threatened, we must launch an attack immediately to destroy the US military base. We should resolutely and decisively kill targets that directly endanger China's security to ensure the initiative in the war." Professor Li then issued a statement, denying that she had ever expressed such views.

As for this tough view of "preemptively attacking US military bases," I felt it was false at first glance. I believe that only very extreme people would enjoy saying this. The possibility of China launching a "preemptive attack" on US military bases in the Asia-Pacific is basically zero. Similarly, I believe that under the current strategic situation, the possibility of the US launching an attack on China, a nuclear power, is basically zero. China-US tensions are far from being that serious. Regardless of whether it is the US or China, anyone who advocates launching a "pre-emptive military attack" against the other side is being seriously irresponsible.

Advocating a "pre-emptive" devastating strike against US military bases - isn't this an attempt to create another Pearl Harbor incident? Have those people thought about what would happen next? Similarly, if the US launches an attack on China's military bases, would China not carry out devastating retaliation? Neither China nor the US can afford to fight such a war. I advocate that China should massively upgrade its nuclear power and establish conventional military superiority over the US in the Western Pacific in order to curb the strategic ambitions and impulses of the American hawks and consolidate peace.

The continuous upgrading of China's military and comprehensive capabilities has given us the initiative on how to resolve the Taiwan question and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. We no longer need to be irritated by the US militarily. We retain the option of reunifying Taiwan through non-peaceful means, but this is different from reversing the pattern of the China-US strategic game through war.

The US is a relatively powerful party, and it will be a long process for us to achieve a strategic reversal. Enhancing our strength and achieving a further peaceful rise is the path that China should strive to pursue the most. We are a nuclear power and our comprehensive strength forms an effective deterrent, which makes our peaceful rise highly realistic. We must maintain bottom-line thinking, prepare for the worst, and convince the outside world that we are not afraid of war and cannot be overwhelmed. However, this is completely different from the belief that China and the US must have a war.

There are some very extreme claims on the internet that the central task now should be to "prepare for war." Sometimes I feel that if one doesn't advocate "preparing for war with the US" online, accusations of being a capitulator will follow. It is quite normal that there are hard-liners on the internet. It is not necessarily a bad thing that public opinion is diverse. However, those voices that should be relatively marginalized are unwilling to be marginalized and want to rush to the leading position of public opinion. Such wrong self-positioning should not be accommodated by our society.

One of the purposes of the struggle with the US is to continue China's opening-up, because the US' strategic suppression of China can also be seen as an attempt to block China's door to the outside world. If China-US relations become more tense, we may become timid in opening up to the outside world. We must not do so. This would play into the hands of the anti-China elites in the US. China's national policy is completely different from this. Opening up to the outside world is being fully promoted in China. Most exchanges between China and the US cannot be interrupted due to obstruction by some political elites in the US, and our exchanges with the West and the entire world cannot be interrupted.

Let us have enough power to deter the US, and at the same time have enough patience to engage in complex games and exchanges with the US. We must maintain a complex relationship that is difficult to define, use our strategic initiative to guide China-US relations, and prevent both sides from moving in the direction of being enemies. I believe that doing this well is the great strategy and great wisdom of the Chinese nation.

The author is a media professional. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn