US elites' efforts to ossify Chinese society will fail
Published: Nov 04, 2023 12:58 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

It is becoming clearer and clearer that the US wants to construct an oppressive, cold relationship with China, and to obstruct China's development while trying to avoid a severe clash. Breaking such a US strategic scheme will be a truly long-term and significant challenge for China.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken kicked off another trip to Asia on Friday, traveling to Israel and then to Tokyo for the G7 foreign ministers' meeting and making stops in South Korea and India. It demonstrates the US' "enduring commitment to and focus on the Indo-Pacific, even amidst other global challenges," said Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen asserted that the US economic relationship with China must consider human rights and national security. She said Washington was not seeking to "decouple" from China, but wanted to diversify by investing domestically and strengthening ties with "trusted countries" in Asia. "We've put forward a vision of the world grounded in values we share with these allies and partners," Yellen added, while also mentioning the need for a "healthy and stable economic relationship" between the US and China.

"When we take national security actions using economic tools, we do so in narrowly targeted ways, such as with President Biden's executive order on outbound investments, aimed at accomplishing our national security goals, not choking off growth in China," she said.

China and the US face decades of highly strategic and complex games. The US has the advantage of being at the top of the technological ladder and having almost the entire developed world as allies, as well as a strong pull for some of China's neighboring countries.

There is a risk of military friction between China and the US, but with the overall strengthening of China's military power, especially the expansion of its nuclear arsenal, Washington is increasingly fearful of a large-scale military conflict with China. It should be said that China will certainly ensure its own military security. As long as we continue to strengthen our military build-up and maintain a robust national defense strategy, China's national security is guaranteed militarily, and the US clearly lacks the vision to overwhelm China in this regard.

The suspense between China and the US is based on whether the US can shut down the engine of China's economy. The US elites are hoping for this, and they are also very enthusiastic about "decoupling" in terms of high-tech sectors and trade diversification. However, they are deeply uncertain about whether these measures will work, so there are many pessimists.

The reason is that China is a unique country that has strong leadership from the Communist Party of China and is very mobilized and cohesive. The US has sanctioned many countries, which has led to problems in those countries, such as currency devaluation, and this can easily create a series of other problems. But China's situation is very different: Its economic size is close to that of the US and its GDP in purchasing power parity terms is even higher. Therefore, the US cannot achieve its goals to impact China seriously through economic sanctions and market shifts.

The US has tried all the tricks it has, including a trade war with China, raised tariffs and a comprehensive embargo on high technology products. But China as a whole still stands firm. China's economy has seen a sight slowdown, but the biggest reasons are issues such as the COVID-19 epidemic, the real-estate bubble and the overall weak demand in the international market. It is hard to say how much this is related to the implementation of the US' strategy against China.

However, apart from trying to stifle China's economy, the US can do nothing more. Some US elites surely think, how about a "color revolution"? However, due to the meticulousness of the Chinese system, that would be almost impossible.

Therefore, China's economic and social development in the long term is the focus of the future struggle between China and the US. What needs to be pointed out is that China's future development mainly depends on the Chinese people, and the US can only play an "exogenous" role. China's economy has huge potential. The US cannot take this away; it is very afraid of it and deeply resigned to it. What Washington can do is intimidate, interfere, create trouble, and set various traps.

This is actually China's greatest strategic advantage. Instead of messing things up due to external interference from the US or being subject to its constraints, we should keep strategic determination, focus on doing our own thing and promote China's development in all spheres resolutely in accordance with the laws of economic and social development. As long as we can do that, the US will not be able to hijack the general strategic trend. It seems that the US has many pawns in Asia and all over the world and together they can be powerful. But in fact, the Chinese people have the initiative in the China-US game. This is because as long as China continues to develop and grow, the US' strategy of containing China will change on its own, and it will collapse gradually until it's gone.

Some US elites would like to see China make efforts to deal with Washington's strategic attack, and for national security to become the central theme of China's internal affairs. They want to see our society gradually lose resilience and for the grass-roots level of our society to lose considerable freedom. They want to see the general environment of the market economy severely deformed. This is just wishful thinking. The most important thing in the struggle against the US is to figure out where the main battlefield is so that the US elites' attempt to ossify Chinese society will fail completely. I suggest that Chinese people use the reality of our society's vitality and vigor to hit Washington hard in its face and send those US extreme elites who arrogantly want to fight a "new cold war" with China into despair.

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