US Efforts To Contain China in the Name of Competition Will Ultimately Be a Trap for Itself

The U.S. Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act on June 8 (local time). This product of partisan collusion, which packages and integrates a number of bills aimed at containing China, treats China as an “imaginary enemy” at every turn, disparages China’s development path and domestic and foreign policies, calls for all-out strategic competition with China and even promotes the cutting of ties and confrontation between China and the U.S. The Cold War overtones and zero-sum thinking displayed by the bill are so out of touch with the times that it is astonishing.

The law is based on the “Endless Frontier Act” previously introduced by U.S. lawmakers and incorporates more than 600 amendments later inserted by both parties, covering almost all China-related issues. Discerning eyes can easily see that the law is nothing more than a comprehensive crackdown on China in the name of innovation and competition. This not only distorts the original intent of innovation and competition, but also tramples on and disgraces the principle of free, competitive markets touted by some in the U.S.

Some on the U.S. side regard the bill as a “panacea” to preserve U.S. dominance, but in reality, it is like “drinking poison to quench your thirst.” Many analysts have pointed out that none of the assumptions in the bill touch the core problems of the U.S. and so will not help address the current crisis facing the United States. On the contrary, the more the bill hypes the “China threat,” the more it exposes the incompetent governance of some U.S. politicians and their attempts to pass the buck.

The website of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in the U.S. recently quoted Michael D. Swaine, director of its East Asia Program, as saying parts of the bill repeat the most extreme of Washington’s demonizing rhetoric against China today. To some extent, this reflects the fact that the U.S. is looking for a scapegoat for its faltering economic growth and shows the resulting insecurity and frustration of Americans.

In today’s globalized economy, the attempts by some on the U.S. side to comprehensively crack down on China through legislation will undoubtedly cause damage to global development and progress and will eventually hurt themselves.

Take the technology sector as an example. The bill claims to invest more than $200 billion in U.S. science, technology and research and to exclude people associated with Chinese research projects from U.S. projects to enhance U.S. competitiveness. This quest for scientific and technological dominance will inevitably damage global cooperation and exchanges in science and technology, and will have a major negative impact on human technological innovation and progress. The U.S. is hardly immune to this and will harm others as well as itself.

Have some people on the U.S. side forgotten that in many high-end technology fields over the past few decades, U.S. suppression and exclusion have not only failed to achieve their goals but have also helped create many Chinese specialties? The Chang’e program has explored the moon, built a space station and landed on Mars. This list of space achievements made by China is the best evidence. Today, China has ultra-large-scale manufacturing, production and consumer markets, as well as plentiful human resources. These all provide favorable conditions for China to take the path of independent innovation in science and technology development. A recent commentary on the Russia Today website pointed out that the U.S. ban on investment in Chinese companies is counterproductive and will make China stronger.

In fact, the goal of China’s development has never been to replace the United States, but to give the Chinese people a happier and better life. China welcomes healthy competition on a fair and just basis, but does not accept bitter “life or death” competition where parties attack each other, and it does not allow anybody to deprive themselves of their legitimate right to development.

Whoever causes trouble should be the one to put an end to it. The enemy of the United States has never been China, but the “inner demons” of American politicians. The U.S. should immediately stop pushing forward its deliberation of negative, China-related laws and turn its efforts to handling its own affairs. Nobody can stop the progress of the Chinese people toward a better life. If certain people in the U.S. insist on clinging to their course, they will eventually be caught in their own trap.

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