German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reiterated on Saturday that a German frigate is scheduled to sail across the South China Sea in August. She also mentioned challenges related to “systemic confrontation with China.” The foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Germany are scheduled to hold a “2+2” virtual dialogue in mid-April, reported the daily Yomiuri on Monday. Furthermore, all four members of the Quad kicked off the “La Pérouse” joint naval exercise, organized by France on Monday in the Bay of Bengal.
The Quad, led by the US, has attempted to expand the bloc toward a “Quad plus.” Washington and Tokyo hope Europe can join the group. They seem to have made some progress at least in terms of making noise through the appearance of coordination with others.
The Biden administration’s notion of strengthening the alliance system to deal with China’s challenges caters to the unease in the West in the face of China’s rise. Under the US’ push, some European countries’ shows against China will be increased.
The US dominates this grand game against China, but the nature and tendency of the game remains uncertain. The most extreme US elites hope to escalate the China-US frictions into a new cold war. And so far they have launched quite a comprehensive mobilization in the political-level. But the security camp Washington intends to establish remains fragmentary. The US’ goal of economic decoupling and confrontation is far from being achieved.
China is encountering an unprecedented strategic test. We need to firmly take countermeasures against Washington’s suppression, keep its allies from collaborating with the US’ anti-China policies. We should resolutely take tit-for-tat actions when our core interests are violated. At the same time, we need to pay attention to the timeliness, the extent and the effectiveness of our actions, and avoid the formation of a focal point of which Washington can take advantage to further promote its mobilization in the West. We should also prevent the situation from being hijacked by US extreme elites to get to a point that is conducive to their intentions.
Political frictions between China and the US or even China and the West are inevitable. The two sides will gradually adapt to such frictions. The future diversity of the world will only be a result of struggle. China will certainly insist on its political systems and national path. No one can deprive China of this right.
Meanwhile, China needs to prevent political issues from being made into security issues, particularly from infiltrating into the economy. China is the most powerful country in terms of comprehensive strength in the region. Despite the US’ instigation, China has a considerable edge to avoid the security issue being amplified.
China’ economic strength is particularly strong and continues to develop. China has stronger initiative to ease the impact of political and security issues on its economy – as long as China opposes the division and decoupling of the world economy, US advocators of a new cold war will be unlikely able to reach their goal.
The strategic confidence of the Chinese people will be critical. We must believe that no one can bring China to its knees through military means. No matter how hard the US strengthens its alliance system, all they can do is flaunt their strength through military drills, or conduct so-called freedom of navigation operations.
We must also believe that China’s strength is sufficient to deal with the current and future complex situations.
At the same time, we must believe that facts speak louder than words. Although public opinion in the US and the West is extremely unfriendly to China with endless slanders and smears, as long as China persists in the path of not expanding geopolitically, not provoking conflicts, and being committed to equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, its goodwill will be sensed by most countries, including Western countries. There will be various affairs in the global arena which need China’s cooperation. The West’s perception of China cannot be totally blocked by the US’ ideological iron curtain.
We must not allow the US to unscrupulously lead global affairs toward conflicts. On the contrary, we must use the resources and levers in our hands to release the diversity of this world. China is strong and getting stronger. It is possible for us to lead the world in another direction. China needs the will and capability to counter provocations and the vision and wisdom to prevent political disputes and general conflicts from evolving into strategic confrontations. China’s rich resources in thoughts from its long history and its political system will offer us strong cohesion and help us withstand the unprecedented test.