US should face up to reality of China

Updated: 2014-01-24 07:13

By Chen Weihua(China Daily)

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With the false assumption that China is a bad guy and needs to be managed, it is no surprise that containment is embedded in many of the US' policies.

It is not the kind of containment that the US adopted to deal with the Soviet Union, because China and the US have become so interdependent economically that adopting that containment policy would inflict equal calamity on the US itself.

Some in the US have coined the word "congagement" to describe the US' strategy of engaging China economically but containing China through military and political means in a bid to curtail China's growing influence. Some have called it unconventional containment.

Whatever it is called, this kind of thinking was behind the US' rebalancing to Asia strategy four years ago.

At a seminar on the US-Australian alliance held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Wednesday, 37 percent of the audience said the US' rebalancing strategy was well designed but poorly implemented, while 39 percent said it was poorly designed.

What underscores such a strategy is the US wants primacy in both the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world, despite the emergence of an increasingly multipolar world. Many in the US are simply not prepared for a world in which their country will not be No 1 forever.

It is good to see that China and the US are exploring more practical cooperation in a bid to boost mutual trust, as indicated in a joint statement issued after their consultations.

But if Washington stopped seeing China as the bad guy and dropped its outdated thinking that it needs to manage China, it would dramatically reduce the possibility of confrontation and increase the opportunity for a win-win relationship between the two nations.

The author, based in Washington DC, is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

(China Daily 01/24/2014 page8)

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