The recent US-written-and directed farce in East Asia has a dazzlingly clear plot.
By Wang Yusheng (China Daily); 2010-09-07
The recent US-written-and directed farce in East Asia has a dazzlingly clear plot. It does exhibit the "writer-director's" habitual arrogance but belies its lack of confidence.|
To consolidate its status in the East Asian region and seek "new partners", the US has to create a "great situation", albeit artificial, and it thinks the farce will come in handy for the job. To create a "great situation", it has to discredit China, which anyway is its favorite pastime.
The US has been distorting China's strategic objectives of modernizing its military such as the defense of its land and sea borders. By stirring up disputes, it creates situations in which it would be called, by itself of course, to act as the "guardian angel".
The American mainstream media have made a perfect show in this respect. They have spread rumors against China, bandied about the "China threat" and "China arrogance" theories, and criticized it for its "bad" diplomatic behavior and "aggressive" military strategy.
The latest trick to come out of the American media's sleeve is China's "not-so-good" relations with its neighbors such as Japan, South Korea and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), especially Vietnam.
South Korea and Vietnam seem to have bought the "China threat" theory story hook, line and sinker. Some uninformed overseas scholars have even asked why China's backyard catches fire so often.
But the fact is China doesn't have (and will never have) a "backyard". The China "backyard" theory is a figment of anti-China propagandists' imagination, and no different from the "China threat" and "China arrogance" theories.
In fact, the so-called "backyard" is a byproduct of imperialism and colonialism, now found only in the US dictionary. It has its origin in the Monroe Doctrine. According to this doctrine, the US regards the whole of Latin America as a region under American influence, a region no one is allowed to encroach upon. The US has been following the doctrine to a T, which has been "perfected" by its neo-conservative wish to make every possible land on Earth its backyard.
China's policy makes it impossible for it to act the way American professor John J. Mearsheimer said it would: Once China grows powerful, it would describe its diplomatic strategies by adopting the parlance of idealism in exactly way like the US, and possess world rights to the maximum.
In complete contrast, what China has are friendly neighbors that, along with it, abide by the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the cooperative mechanisms of ASEAN, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Sino-Russian-Indian ties.
All these organizations and mechanisms are open and cooperative, and based on equality and mutual benefit. They do not target any country, and are in line with the non-aligned foreign policy that China has always followed.
As for the disputes (including those over territories with some East Asian countries), many of them are issues left over by history and geopolitical relations. China has already started negotiations, and is ready to extend them, for fair and equitable resolutions of these issues.
Therefore, the worries over China that the US has are totally unnecessary. Washington need no longer create imaginary "enemies". It's high time it eschewed the Monroe Doctrine of not allowing any country or group to flourish freely in the East Asian region and stopped stigmatizing China for "pursuing such a policy".
Many East Asian countries (including South Korea and Vietnam) seem to have sought help from the US, but they are not likely to join forces with it to pose a "threat" to China.
Lest it be mistaken, China welcomes the Americans to play a positive role in East Asia but not to "share the Asia-Pacific sky" with them. The "Asia-Pacific sky" belongs to only those countries that are under it. It, however, would welcome the US to increase its investment in the region provided it does so with the good intentions of building a mutually beneficial situation - not a Cold War-like atmosphere in which farce becomes the order of the day.
Ten years ago, another American professor, Joseph Nye, said do not treat China as an enemy because if you do so, you will get an enemy. Perhaps one more sentence could be added to Nye's statement: Only when China and the US treat each other as true cooperative partners, or at least potential partners, will they avoid making enemies out of each other.
Nye's famous statement was for George W. Bush when he first became the president of America. In the beginning, Bush didn't listen to him but he had to change his stance later.
Whether US President Barack Obama will listen to the voice of reason is still not known. But the release of the so-called China military report by the US recently is not a departure from America's Cold War mentality and hegemony.
There are differences between China and the US, but that does not mean they are destined to be enemies.
The author is executive director of the Strategy Research Center of China International Studies Research Fund.