Gordon Chang Misleads the World in Shaking China

Chinese-American author Gordon Chang, one of the concocters of the “China collapse” theory, recently wrote an article titled, “If Anyone Bombs Iraq, Shouldn’t It Be China?” The article claims that China receives more benefits in Iraq than the United States because China is the biggest patron of Iraq’s oil. He stresses that the United States should let China send its navy into Iraqi territory. When Western academic and public discussion circles recently asked China to talk about bearing responsibility in Iraq, Gordon Chang was regarded as a distinguished figure.

Chang likes to speak nonsense about his own wishes. All the Chinese writings he referred to were basically taken away by his personal paranoia. He has repeatedly predicted the “coming collapse of China,” giving a specific time it would collapse, postponing it every time he was wrong, and all the while remaining thick-skinned.

As long as Chang takes the lead in proclaiming that China has more benefits in Iraq than the U.S., academia is doomed to mistakes. China now imports about 150 million barrels of oil from Iraq every day and is ranked No. 1 in the world, but using this to compare the benefits of China and the U.S. in Iraq is absolutely superficial.

U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil in recent years has somewhat declined and China’s is on the rise, but the pattern of Chinese and U.S. interests in the Middle East is still quite different. Half of China’s oil is Middle Eastern oil, but most of that is Saudi Arabian oil. China has a strong adaptability to the variables in the Iraqi oil market. Moreover, China’s benefits from Iraq’s oil are not at all measured by oil, and China’s methods of safeguarding these benefits and principles are different from those of the United States.

The United States in the Middle East can now take a breath, but there is actually no escape. It needs to maintain Israel’s security, and its political structure will not let it abandon this responsibility. Besides this, controlling the Middle East is a strategic fulcrum of maintaining U.S. global hegemony. East Asia and Western Europe, in terms of oil and national security, are inextricably linked with the situation in the Middle East. Only America’s ability to maintain its leadership of the Middle East can ensure effective deterrence of the dumbbell strategy in Europe and Asia.

The U.S. also needs to ensure that the world’s oil trade uses American dollars; otherwise, its financial hegemony will shake. If the U.S. fails in its business with Iraq after 10 years, its global reputation will suffer another heavy blow.

U.S. presence in the Middle East was never for the public good, and invading Iraq was never to secure the Persian Gulf. The U.S. cannot escape its primary responsibility in Iraq’s current chaos. China does not seek world hegemony; even though it has many interests in the Middle East, it has more room to maneuver than the United States.

In any case, even though China’s interests in the Middle East require us to strengthen our intervention there, the American method of sending troops cannot become an option for China. China will respect the choices of the local people and accept their political and social ecology, including historical heritage and the real situation. We will not attack with planes, warships and tanks. We will provide assistance, but will not force our will.

U.S. strength has indeed declined. It can no longer effectively organize strategies and tactics to deal with some nonsymmetrical challenges. The U.S. Army, winning all its battles in Iraq, lost the war. This is very strange; it clearly shows that it confronts little Iraq, but America’s power has some deep flaws that it does not know itself.

China cannot be shaken by people like Gordon Chang, or move toward the opposite extreme to avoid their misguidance. First, the situation in Iraq cannot be completely overturned. The current order will prolong in a definite range and degree, and China’s policy focus should be to protect the people in Iraq and their assets. Second, China’s gradual involvement in the Middle East situation is a big trend, so we now need careful planning of how to meet this inescapable test.

We must not look for trouble and must not be afraid. Whatever happens, China is able to withstand much more than we previously believed. Our understanding and expectations of ourselves will be useful for facing the thorny issue of the Middle East.

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