This February, according to the newest U.S. poll, the American people will no longer view China as a top enemy, although there are still hints that Russia is a threat. According to American media, this study, conducted this year from Feb. 8 to 11, was based on 837 random U.S. residents above the age of 18. Statistics from 2014 showed that 20 percent believed that China was the top U.S. enemy, the highest percentage on the list, but the latest study shows that this number is now 12 percent, falling behind Russia and North Korea. On the issue of the economic domain, in 2013 and 2014, 52 percent of Americans believed that China’s rising economy threatened the United States’ economic interests, but now it is 40 percent.
If we had to summarize these statistics in one sentence, it would be this: There are fewer people who see China as a major threat to the U.S. economy and security. This is a good thing; it shows that China has received evident approval from American society of its efforts to promote the positive development of China-U.S. relations. However, at the same time, we are also aware that the decrease of China’s “threat index” to the U.S. is for the most part because of external factors becoming more apparent, not really because the U.S. has loosened its grasp on China.
Last year, the White House’s interference in Ukraine’s affairs incited a color revolution, making Russia retaliate and tarnishing U.S.-Russia relations. For more than a year, President Putin has taken an uncompromising position against America and Western countries, turning Putin and Russia into the United States’ most important media target. Under these circumstances, Russia has naturally attracted more attention from the USA. Sanctioning and attacking Russia has become the daily focus of American media. With Russia as an object of comparison, the U.S. naturally relaxes its grip, calms its media, and eases its attitude toward China.
Regarding China-U.S. relations in a new age, China had actually already proposed its “New Model of Major Country Relations;” it is just that the U.S. strategy toward this plan has always been to avoid comment. In discussing China-U.S. relations, American officials have barely discussed the new model and have a different interpretation of what China is trying to express. Even according to what U.S. scholars have said, China believes that it has reached an understanding with the U.S. about establishing new major country relations, but the U.S. has a different perspective on this. This disagreement is quite worthy of a discussion of its own.
We believe that the U.S. still does not completely understand or approve of the underlying meaning of China’s idea of new major country relations. The model that China speaks of is actually not at all as complicated as some people think. China intends not to be above everyone else, but to stand alongside the U.S. as the G-2.
In the third session of the 12th National People’s Congress, Foreign Minister Wang Yi had words about China-U.S. topics, too. He stated:
“China and the United States are two large countries. It’s impossible for there not to be any disagreements between us. And these disagreements will not disappear the moment we commit to build a new model of major country relations. But we shouldn’t magnify the problem through a microscope. Rather, we should use the telescope to look ahead in the future and make sure we’ll move forward in the right direction.”
Wang Yi also stated that building new major country relations is a brand new beginning. It will not be smooth, but it is a road that must be taken because it is in the interest of both parties and the growth of this generation. There is a saying that goes, “Sincerity works miracles.” As long as both countries are sincere, advocate no conflict or confrontation and establish mutual respect, we can share a victorious legacy.
Wang Yi explains very clearly the relations that China ever vouches for, addressing a proper bottom line and foundation for such relations. We believe that the U.S. should completely understand China’s sincerity and should not treat China like an enemy, but instead, resolve the friction between them. The U.S. should build its trust in China and wholeheartedly work with China to construct new major country relations that benefit both parties.
This September, President Xi Jinping will attend the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations to discuss national affairs with the USA, which will be his first time doing so since taking office. With the 2013 California Summit and the 2014 Zhong Nan Hai evening talk in Beijing, China and the U.S. shall put their heads together once more. This time, we predict that expanding cooperation, promoting trust, and working with each other’s differences are the only way to take initiative.
We believe that if the U.S. sees China as a top enemy, then China will be an enemy. If the U.S. can gradually reduce its animosity and distrust, then China will not be an enemy. The conflicts between the U.S. and China cannot be resolved in a day, but just as Wang Yi says, the countries should be optimistic about the beautiful distant future of China-U.S. relations. [The proponents of] new major country relations should also meet eye to eye to obtain more and fruitful results.
China is not, and never will be, the United States’ top enemy. The U.S. should know this.
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