Time for peace­ful US-China co­ex­is­tence

Global Times - - Editorial -

Gen­eral Joseph Dun­ford, chair­man of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress Tues­day that “China prob­a­bly poses the great­est threat to our na­tion by about 2025,” dur­ing a hear­ing on his re-ap­point­ment for the po­si­tion. “China is fo­cused on lim­it­ing our abil­ity to project power and weak­en­ing our al­liances in the Pa­cific,” he said.

Mean­while, US Com­merce Sec­re­tary Wil­bur Ross, who vis­ited the Chi­nese main­land this week, at­tacked China’s fast-grow­ing ro­bot­ics in­dus­try on Wed­nes­day in Hong Kong. He has pre­vi­ously warned that the “Made in China 2025” plan is an “at­tack” on “Amer­i­can ge­nius.”

Al­though the China threat the­ory is noth­ing new in Wash­ing­ton, re­cently the tone has been used by more high­er­level US of­fi­cials in a harsher and more spe­cific way.

China is work­ing in its own way to im­prove its strength in key areas and at a pace com­men­su­rate with eco­nomic devel­op­ment. We nei­ther turn our progress into head-on com­pe­ti­tion with the US nor chal­lenge the US devel­op­ment mode and pace. Thus the logic of the US re­buk­ing China threats of­ten seems strange in Chi­nese so­ci­ety.

It took a long time for Chi­nese to ba­si­cally fig­ure out the US logic, but we still think this un­rea­son­able view of China’s devel­op­ment as threat­en­ing the US is hardly ac­cept­able.

We feel it un­just that Amer­i­cans con­sider their devel­op­ment mode un­ques­tion­able and find fault with the Chi­nese one. Of course Chi­nese com­pa­nies dif­fer from Amer­i­can com­pa­nies. Our two so­ci­eties op­er­ate in dif­fer­ent ways.

Chi­nese al­ways bring up the phi­los­o­phy of win-win co­op­er­a­tion with which Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion has en­dured through­out its long his­tory of cul­tural con­ver­gence.

But this is hardly un­der­stand­able to Amer­i­cans, prob­a­bly be­cause Western civ­i­liza­tion al­ways be­lieves in ab­so­lute con­quest or even the up­root­ing of the other side.

It’s an un­stop­pable trend that China will catch up with the West in mul­ti­ple areas. If the US govern­ment and its suc­ces­sors spend too much en­ergy im­ped­ing China’s mod­ern­iza­tion, then they will find they are head­ing in a wrong­headed, self-de­feat­ing, dis­mal di­rec­tion.

The US needs to ac­cept the win-win logic and work jointly with China and other pow­ers to make the world a bet­ter place. This looks like abase­ment to some US elites who be­lieve the US, stronger than other na­tions, should con­tain and crush China like it did the Soviet Union. But this ap­proach will beget dif­fi­cul­ties be­cause Chi­nese so­ci­ety has much stronger co­he­sion than the Soviet Union. The US needs to get down to pre­par­ing for peace­ful co­ex­is­tence with China.

The world needs to step for­ward into seek­ing win-win re­sults rather than con­quest. Oth­er­wise the US will be con­founded by ev­ery Chi­nese step for­ward and waste its time cal­cu­lat­ing how to con­tain China’s in­flu­ence through­out the 21st cen­tury.

While many or­di­nary Amer­i­cans have re­al­ized the fun­da­men­tal changes that glob­al­iza­tion has brought to the world, the US elites should take a broader view and lead their coun­try for­ward.

They need to buy a new compass and try to see the world in three di­men­sions, not sim­ply shadow ev­ery move China makes and de­clare it a threat.

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