Messy world needs China’s sta­bil­ity

Global Times US Edition - - EDITORIAL -

Var­i­ous con­flicts be­tween coun­tries, which seem freak­ish from a tra­di­tional per­spec­tive, con­stantly take place. Af­ter re­ports re­vealed that the British Am­bas­sador to the US pri­vately dissed US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in leaked ca­bles back to the British for­eign min­istry, Trump called him “a very stupid guy” and took the chance to lash out at Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May. UK For­eign Sec­re­tary Jeremy Hunt said Trump’s be­hav­ior was “dis­re­spect­ful.”

Ja­pan has im­posed re­stric­tions on the ex­port of semi­con­duc­tor ma­te­ri­als to South Korea, gen­er­at­ing enor­mous dif­fi­cul­ties to the pro­duc­tion of elec­tronic prod­ucts in South Korea. Ja­pan’s move came as re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures over the forced la­bor com­pen­sa­tion case with its neigh­bor.

World or­der is dys­func­tional in some key as­pects. A sense of in­se­cu­rity

is spread­ing. Af­ter the US made a few moves out of tra­di­tional rules, it has be­come even more wild-minded, while the neg­a­tive ef­fects are brew­ing. Ob­vi­ously, Ja­pan is fol­low­ing the US foot­print to cut sup­plies to South Korea.

The lat­est feud be­tween the US and the UK shows the rusty re­la­tions be­tween Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies. The fierce crit­i­cism from Trump against the trade poli­cies of In­dia and Viet­nam sends a sig­nal that the Us-launched trade of­fen­sive is just the be­gin­ning, which is bound to be fol­lowed by end­less clashes.

The Korean Penin­sula nu­clear cri­sis hasn’t been re­solved, and the Iran nu­clear prob­lem has reemerged. The US has pri­mar­ily con­trib­uted to its es­ca­la­tion. Peace and sta­bil­ity used to be re­garded as the com­mon in­ter­ests of all par­ties con­cerned. But the Iran nu­clear prob­lem of­fers an­other per­spec­tive: Tur­moil some­times serves the in­ter­est of cer­tain forces.

The world will con­tinue to sur­prise us. Glob­al­iza­tion may be in­ten­tion­ally bro­ken with the sup­ply chain be­ing dis­rupted. Un­cer­tain­ties will chal­lenge more coun­tries. The slow­ing global econ­omy is the fun­da­men­tal rea­son. De­vel­oped coun­tries are at a loss in the face of the fu­ture, par­tic­u­larly the US which spreads anx­i­ety world­wide.

The West’s old po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic tools can no longer solve cur­rent prob­lems. There are dis­agree­ments on se­cu­rity risks and na­tional in­ter­ests. The Cold War men­tal­ity re­mains, but glob­al­iza­tion de­mands dif­fer­ent con­sid­er­a­tions. The line be­tween an en­emy and friend is be­com­ing vague.

We are at a time of great changes with­out a clear sense of where in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions are head­ing. But a cer­tain law prob­a­bly won’t change: The coun­try with greater na­tional strength and scale is more ca­pa­ble of with­stand­ing the risks at the time of tur­bu­lence.

Steadi­ness should be the key word for China’s cur­rent strat­egy. What is hap­pen­ing be­tween China and the US is the largest trade war. Wash­ing­ton has iden­ti­fied Bei­jing as a strate­gic com­peti­tor, but it doesn’t mean that China-us con­flicts are bound to be the big­gest fo­cus of in­ter­na­tional fric­tions in the long run. It will cer­tainly make a dif­fer­ence to Bei­jing whether Wash­ing­ton will man­age to de­velop its “united front” to con­front China or will main­tain a stale­mate with China and stir things up in other fields.

For China, the key is to de­velop, fully open up and make friends world­wide. When glob­al­iza­tion is eroded, we should rem­edy it. As the world falls into dis­or­der, all coun­tries, in­clud­ing the US, will need China.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Liu RUI/GT

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