US should erase its Cold War men­tal­ity

Global Times - Weekend - - OPINION -

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a Fox News in­ter­view on Mon­day that China had beaten the US con­sid­er­ably in terms of trade but that “doesn’t make them an en­emy.” He also said that it was not up to the US to “pass judg­ment” on Beijing and that China has “a sys­tem of govern­ment that has ap­par­ently worked for the Chi­nese peo­ple.”

Kelly’s re­marks are frank but not what many US and Western elites wish to hear from a se­nior US govern­ment of­fi­cial. With President Don­ald Trump set to be­gin his Asian tour which in­cludes a stop in China, it is also a time for some politi­cians to try to con­vince Trump to take a hard line on China.

Speak­ing of Asia, the first thing that would come to many Amer­i­cans’ minds is China’s rise and the North Korean nu­clear is­sue. On mat­ters af­fect­ing Asia, they are pre­oc­cu­pied with China’s rise. Some rad­i­cals get emo­tional and be­lieve that China is an ex­ter­nal source of prob­lems af­fect­ing the devel­op­ment of the US. Their prej­u­dice against China’s politi­cal sys­tem has deep­ened their sen­ti­ment and they want to see Washington take harsh stance on China.

Kelly’s com­ments are true. With in­ter­ac­tions be­tween China and the US, in­clud­ing those that in­volve bi­lat­eral trade, so huge, how could they be en­e­mies? China can by no means be de­fined as a US “en­emy”. China’s sys­tem of govern­ment fits the coun­try. China’s econ­omy has grown so fast and the na­tional strength and peo­ple’s liveli­hood have im­proved spec­tac­u­larly. How could China’s sys­tem not be fit for the coun­try?

For a long time, some Amer­i­cans and Western peo­ple have been brain­washed by the Cold War era. They have lost the abil­ity to as­sess and em­brace the new re­al­ity. In a fast-paced world, China-US re­la­tions have evolved dif­fer­ently from the pre­vi­ous mind-set. But they can­not un­der­stand the new world or­der at all and still mea­sure re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions with an old yard­stick.

The old way of think­ing is stub­born. Af­ter Kelly spoke, Fox News host Laura In­gra­ham re­sponded by say­ing that (China’s sys­tem) does not work for all Chi­nese, and not for Chris­tians. She should come to China to see with her own eyes that most Chris­tians in China, like many other Chi­nese, rec­og­nize China’s politi­cal sys­tem and more im­por­tantly ben­e­fit from it. It is an in­dis­putable fact that China’s sys­tem is com­mit­ted to al­low­ing the pub­lic to ben­e­fit from devel­op­ment and max­i­mize the in­clu­sive­ness.

With China’s grow­ing strength and in­creased com­pe­ti­tion and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and the US, it is es­sen­tial to pre­vent the two coun­tries from turn­ing com­pe­ti­tion into con­fronta­tion. The gov­ern­ments and elites of the two coun­tries should help their so­ci­eties un­der­stand each other and ob­jec­tively as­sess the sit­u­a­tion.

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