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Presidents George W. Bush and Hu Jintao Hold Court on
the Sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly Meetings Last Week.
—UNITED NATIONS VIDEO: President Ju Jintao's Address at U.N. on Wednesday,
September 14, 00:08:30
U.S. Has Nothing to Fear from China
China believes that the United States seeks to stifle its development in an effort to maintain its dominant position. Assuring Americans that the Middle Kingdom, “is in no position, nor does it have the ambition, to challenge the United States,” this article from China’s State-run People’s Daily rebuts American fears, point-by-point.
September 23, 2005
China's attitude toward the United States is an important aspect of its foreign policy. The
basic tenets of this policy are that: On the basis of the Three Joint Communiqués, China will strengthen its cooperation, minimize differences,
avoid confrontation, develop a constructive cooperative partnership and
ensure the long-term stability and development of relations.
This policy is founded on a very deep
understanding of the Sino-U.S. relationship.
First of all, the United States is the lone superpower, with the greatest national
strength in the world. This state of affairs is not going to change for
a long time to come. China, in its effort to strive for an environment that is conducive to its
own peaceful development, regards the cultivation of a positive and cooperative
relationship with the United States as of the utmost importance.
Taiwan and North Korea Continue to Haunt Relations.
Second, there are a vast number of common
interests, and the two countries conduct a high level of effective cooperation
in commerce, trade and security - including regional and non-traditional
security, like the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
However, with different social systems
and ideologies, both sides must handle relations delicately if they wish
to help one another address issues of mutual concern and resolve matters
like human rights.
Third, in recent years Sino-American ties
have evolved into a relationship between a superpower and a major rising
power. The improvement or deterioration of this relationship increasingly
influences regional and international events. Beijing is worried that the United States, in order to sustain its dominant position, is bent
on obstructing China's development. This has contributed to a heightening
of the importance, complexity and sensitivity of relations
Since the end of the Cold War, Sino-U.S.
ties have undergone many upheavals. However, since 2002, the relationship
has seen such well-rounded development that former U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell has repeatedly described them as the best in the 30 years
since the two countries normalized ties.
But since the beginning of the year, Sino-American
disputes have been increasing once more. Apart from the intensification
of economic and trade conflicts, friction has also appeared in the political
and security arenas.
The matters in question include the lifting
of the European Union arms embargo on China, Beijing’s enactment of its Anti-Secession Law [aimed
at Taiwan], the United States and Japan making security in the Taiwan Strait a common strategic objective, China's military development, and China’s increasing status and influence in the Asia-Pacific
Under these circumstances, the notion
of the "China threat" has gained currency in the United States. At the same time, in both China and the United States, there are voices arguing that since the war on
terror has entered a new phase, conflicts between China and the United States will emerge once again, with the United States considering China a major competitor.
I do not favor such an argument. Indeed,
it is not the mainstream opinion in either China or the United States. Although friction has intensified, particularly
over commerce or trade, the two countries have generally maintained the
pace and stability of development in bilateral ties. Behind this lay several
- A Better Understanding: Beijing has a clearer understanding of the concern other
countries have over China’s rapid development, and has responded to these
concerns without an excess of sensitivity. This is well-demonstrated
in China's attitude toward the United States.
- No Snap Reactions: There is intense
debate in the United States about the renewed "China threat." The Bush Administration has adopted
an even policy. While it is showing more concern, it has not changed the basic tenets of its cooperation
- China is not the Soviet Union: Sino-U.S. relations are far different from the
Soviet-U.S. relations of the past. China is in no position, nor does it have the ambition,
to challenge the United States. For a long time to come, the greatest threat to
remain terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,
not a "rising China."
- Lessons Learned: Since the end of the
Cold War, China and the United States have gone through several major ups
and downs, and through this both countries have accumulated a great deal
of experience handling disputes between them. Several mechanisms have been
established to enhance the risk of confrontation. To a certain extent,
this is also a demonstration of maturing bilateral relations.
- Fear of China’s Military Overblown: The argument that the development
of China's military strength will upset the regional military balance is without
basis. Many objective American experts don’t agree with this argument.
On the military question, with the increasing strategic dialogue and transparency
of Chinese military affairs, U.S. concern should be allayed.
- No Exclusion of U.S. Influence: The
United States is increasingly worried that China is curtailing U.S. influence
in East Asia, as well as the whole of Asia, and is attempting to exclude
the United States from the region altogether. It is an undeniable fact
that China's influence is increasing in the region, but it
is definitely not China's policy to exclude the United States.
The Chinese Government has explicitly
stated that it welcomes the United States undertaking a positive and constructive role in
regional security. China and the United States have worked well in multilateral forums such as
the Six-Party Talks. China does not object to a U.S.-Japan alliance as long
as it doesn’t intrude upon the sovereignty of other countries, and Beijing is willing to work with the United States to promote regional peace and stability.
Energy Competition Need Not Be a Problem:
Energy is a new bone of contention for China and the United States. Many people in both countries realize that this
can only be resolved through dialogue and cooperation, and the potential
for Sino-U.S. cooperation in this regard is great indeed.
China's effort to achieve an energy-efficient society is of great importance
in resolving this clash. As to the questions of sustaining peace and stability
in oil-producing regions and maintaining smooth passage on maritime routes,
there exist common interests.
Reducing Tension With Taiwan: Finally, the Taiwan question is very important to both sides across
the Strait [Taiwan and China]. The reduction of tension across the Taiwan Strait is conducive to the steady development of Sino-American
Should a framework for peaceful and steady
development of the Sino-US. relations be formed, this will allow some more
badly-needed time for China and the United States to increase their cooperation, resolve their differences
and build mutual strategic trust.
Source: China Daily
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