(This Huan Qiu Shi Bao Editorial was carried in the on-line edition in English, the Global Times, as well with the title,“China must stay true to own course despite US posture”. Reproduced below is the English version published on the Global Times website, pending translation of the Chinese original.)
The Trump administration, which has no opportunity to run into a second term, has repeatedly put forward new anti-China measures, aiming to use its last days in the White House to intensify antagonism between China and the US. At the same time, in the wake of Joe Biden’s election success, calls for the US to unite its allies against China have become more obvious. Beijing cannot and should not be optimistic about the global environment it will have to face.From the perspective of bottom-line thinking, China is facing the challenge that some forces are attempting to isolate China and pressure the country to collapse, thus overthrowing it. There is evidence and signs pushing China to get prepared with corresponding measures.
In the meantime, we should keep the confidence that is due for a major power. The above-mentioned intentions are real, but they can hardly be delivered. This judgment is vital to make Chinese society maintain its willpower politically.
It is worth noting that although some US politicians have already been extremely wicked toward China, today’s world is different from what it was previously. Political and economic realities have fueled the engine and shaped some bases for international relations. We have seen fierce and brutal struggles among countries to acquire more land in history. The largest interest of almost every country is development, while the norm of national security is strongly connected with economic security.
The US wooed some of its allies to launch fierce suppression against China. But China has accumulated decades of strength, and any attempt to suppress China is nothing but illusion. The past few years have proved that China’s status as a major trade power remains stable. China’s trade with the US in the second half of this year bounded back. Except the US-advocated high-tech decoupling, the most concrete elements in China-West ties have not been affected much. China-West economic and trade cooperation is unlikely to shrink in the future.
The most serious clash between China and the US and between China and the West hangs on the ideological front. It has had a detrimental impact on relations, yet its real impact is limited. Most countries do not want a confrontational relationship with China. Few believe ideology is more important than economic interests and it is only some political and opinion elites who hold a radical view toward their China relations.
The US is a special case in that it takes hegemony as the main consideration in its China policy and constantly waves the geopolitical flag in Asia. Washington does stir up the region and has created a lot of issues that are disadvantageous to China, but there is a limit as to how far it can go. It is not in the interest of other countries to turn their relations with China into a zero-sum political game.
The overall stability of China’s external economic cooperation will, to a large extent, provide China with the space to respond calmly to geopolitical challenges. China has sufficient capital to maintain autonomy on issues such as how to ease the tension between China and the US and between China and the West, and how to coordinate the interests among them.
Of course, we should attach sufficient importance to the pressure from the US and the West, but there is no need to exaggerate the seriousness of the challenge. The right thing is to remain coolheaded. We are not likely to get impulsive and angry if we are not nervous or anxious, and we can focus more on strengthening internal unity and achieving our own goals.
To strengthen the unity of Chinese society, we need to be guided in the right direction. Some people advocate or unconsciously regard the antagonism with the US and the West as the main catalyst of China’s internal unity, using it to light a touchpaper to domestic public opinion. Objectively speaking, something like that will inevitably occur if we do not provide guidance when this kind of conflict is constantly occurring. But we believe that Chinese society needs to have a collective consciousness to prevent this tendency from naturally escalating and even polarizing China-US tensions.
China should oppose the smears and interference of the US and the West, while also having the magnanimity to bear their ignorance. We must stick to our own political, economic and social agenda and not be hampered by external attitudes. China must resolutely avoid the idea that we should oppose whatever the US supports and support whatever it opposes. We should rather do whatever is good for China. We should insist on reform and opening-up and the evaluation criteria for our achievements should be result-oriented while not being influenced by Western public opinion.
The Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union came into being gradually and became solidified amid their interactions. China-US relations have been tense in the past two years.
However, as China opens up wider and implements a market economy, China-US relations are actually forming a more complicated pattern than was the case with the US and the former Soviet Union. In our opinion, this trend reflects the magnanimity and wisdom of the Chinese nation.