Washington’s scheme of “returning to Asia.”
Huanqiu, China; 26 October 2010
It was officially announced that the U.S. would make its first appearance at the East Asia Summit, held in Vietnam this week, which is part of Washington’s scheme of “returning to Asia.” The repeated warnings about “guarding against China” by Washington annoy Beijing, but they seem to have gained acquiescence from some of China’s neighboring countries.|
The U.S. is playing a game with China on the chessboard of its global strategy, but China doesn’t seem to be absorbed in this game. Beijing has been cautious about issues concerning the South China Sea and the East China Sea, avoiding escalation of frictions with any country. The Obama administration’s strategies over the past few months may have been intended to provoke China into joining more enthusiastically in its game, as China has noticed vague shadows of the U.S during a series of frictions with its neighbors.
Since the opening-up of China, Washington has played a major role in Chinese foreign affairs. It has brought innumerable troubles to China, true, but when asked, “In the interactions with the U.S., do these troubles outweigh the benefits?” we have to say NO. Perhaps we should not have put the U.S. on the list of our reliable friends; thus, we wouldn’t be so disappointed with its China policy, and more practically, could figure out effective countermeasures to its tricks.
It may be a strategic mistake to neglect the White House’s intent to contain China within its “returning-to-Asia” scheme, but it is unnecessary to over-exaggerate the threat. Current conditions are intricate, but clearly, the U.S. is unable to checkmate China in this game, a fact that the White House recognizes.
Since China and America are both important actors on the stage of Asia, China has to display greater patience and tolerance. The U.S. is a country of hegemony, egoism and unilateralism, proven by Obama’s withdrawal of his multilateralism slogans. However, Washington still stands in some awe of China, so unless necessary, it avoids head-on collisions with Beijing.
Therefore, in the long run, U.S. actions in Asia will be limited to “making trouble” for China, which will only develop China’s resilience in the face of provocation from Washington. With this awareness, we can relieve anxiety about this provocation and stand ready to play tai chi chuan patiently with the U.S. in Asia.
We used to confront, rather than break up, with the U.S., and that will certainly remain the same in the future. China and the U.S. used to play games at the governmental level, but from now on, the Chinese at all social levels should be ready for more games to come, with more patience.
It is clear that the U.S. guards and will continue to guard against China, owing to the fact that China is a big country and growing rapidly. On the other hand, this also explains why Washington’s tricks and alliances with some wavering Asian countries do not work smoothly.
Nations have to be aware of potential threats from other nations, on the one hand, but they must be realistic, economically, on the other. As China grows, the U.S. exerts more psychological pressure upon Beijing with its “siege,” but Asia is not a field for psychological warfare — rather, a ground for common interests.
There must be a clear recognition that China is not the former Soviet Union, so strategies aimed at the Soviet Union should not apply to China. Washington’s efforts toward an anti-China alliance with China’s neighboring countries will prove to be in vain.
Our resilience has increased strongly during frictions with the U.S., a fact that owes much to Washington’s policies over the years. In the 1990s, when the U.S. government restricted textile imports from China, the Chinese were very concerned with Sino-American relations. Now that we have weathered so many ups and downs, we need to be more self-assured, bearing in mind that Washington is a “paper tiger,” who continues to make trouble for us. We should be undisturbed and more confident.