Even If the U.S. Sees China
As an Enemy, There Is No Fear
By Ding Gang
Translated By Peixin Lin
16 May 2011
Edited by Derek Ha
China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)
Does the U.S. view China as an enemy? That is both an old question and a new one. Ever since China's reform and opening up, debate over this issue has never stopped. Some people in America keep having the impulse to look for evidence that China is indeed America's enemy. Likewise, similar worries sometimes arise in China with some people unable to erase this heavy shadow over their hearts.
To view China as an enemy is a ready-made option for the U.S. China now has the second largest economy in the world, smaller only than that of the U.S. In the past decade, China's GDP grew from a tenth of the United States' to a third. With strong economic power naturally comes a strengthened military. Furthermore, China is not an ally, and her political system and ideology both differ from America's. Most crucially, China often does not behave in accordance to the wishes of the U.S.
Actually, in the current world, only China has the potential to surpass and replace the U.S., even if the Chinese do not think so and try to explain this to the U.S.; such explanation would be useless. This is because from a historical perspective, the U.S. always needs to find an opponent to motivate itself to move forward.
One priority of U.S. global strategy is to prevent the rise of another power which could challenge its position. If this strategy does not change, then the first nation to defend against is definitely the "world's number two" because only the "number two" is most likely to exceed and replace America.
Many people think that if China does not demonstrate its capabilities whenever possible, does not always position itself as rival to the U.S., perhaps even make some compromises and concessions and better express sincerity for cooperation, then the U.S. would perhaps not view China as a challenger. This could have worked in the past, when China was smaller in size, but it would not work now. Once Yao Ming steps on court, the opponent would surely defend heavily against him.
This reasoning is lousy to the core, and there is really nothing to be scared of. Since we want to be "number two," then it is impossible for "number one" to not think this way. From another perspective, that the world's only superpower is viewing us as an opponent, perhaps even an enemy, indicates our strength.
It is best if the U.S. does not view China as an enemy, but even if it does, there is nothing to be afraid of. The size of China now ensures that China would definitely not be easily controlled and ordered around by the U.S. Trust between China and the U.S. is sure to require a long period of getting used to, and we could certainly be less sensitive towards their criticisms of us. To not be overly concerned is the best way to deal with the U.S. We must continue to eat on time and work according to our schedules. We cannot, just because some in the U.S. view us as the enemy, spend 24 hours a day thinking about how we can compete or defend against this or that, deeply afraid that the U.S. would stab us for no reason. If that was the case, then we not only waste our energies but also our economic resources. Actually, there are some in the U.S. who deliberately spread the idea of China as the enemy for the precise purpose of disrupting China's development, to cause China's collapse just as the Soviet Union collapsed.
Actually, over the last 30-odd years, even though there were always people in the U.S. who viewed China as an enemy, nothing was ever done towards China. What is there to fear for today's China? Thus, our first task is still to follow our planned development path and speed, to do things well. This is not to defend against the U.S., and even more so, it is not to fight for the so-called "world's number one" position, but to help the common Chinese people achieve better lives, to strengthen the country. The more we do our own tasks increasingly well, the less we have to worry about whether or not the U.S. views us as an enemy.
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