By Zhong Sheng
The China-U.S. ties are facing serious challenges as this year’s U.S. presidential election heats up.
International observers said China has always been made a key issue between the U.S. Democrats and Republicans in the elections for the U.S. President every four years over more than 40 years, and many commentators touted themselves as “experts” in Chinese studies.
Especially since the end of the Cold War, presidential candidates of both parties have hyped up the “China threat” to build a tough image of safeguarding American interests, which has almost become a fixture of the U.S. general elections.
Still, some Americans said they don’t want to see regrettable “sequelae” of the general elections on China-U.S. relations.
The U.S. can neither achieve lasting unity by “making” foreign enemies at the expense of America’s own interests nor deceive the public for a long time by playing a dangerous game of misleading the world about its relationship with China, as truth will come to light sooner or later.
It should be noted that the extreme words and deeds of the U.S. for grabbing attention and gaining private profits will harm the country’s future.
Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, showed his keen insights on a pattern of America’s participation in several major wars since 1945: a broad domestic and bipartisan support for entering them, and growing disillusionment as the wars dragged on, which then shaded into an intense search for an exit strategy.
A former U.S. President rode to power in part due to his tough stance toward China, only to have the first part of his presidency consumed with shoveling-up the mess, pointed out David Lampton, a senior researcher with Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center under Stanford University, who is also an expert in Chinese politics, based on his in-depth analysis of past cases.
“With the currently colliding crises of global pandemic, worldwide economic distress, and racial and social injustice at home and abroad, China is not America’s biggest problem… The only question in this U.S. political season is, ‘Who will have the guts to blurt out this truth?’” he said frankly.
Certain U.S. officials have shockingly expressed their desire for conflict. Their political shows to deflect attention and shift the blame to other countries are not conducive to solving the increasingly serious systemic crises inside the U.S. Instead, such practices have caused damage to international relations that should not be overlooked.
Some American politicians might have completely forgotten the declarations made by early leaders of the U.S., such as “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations”, “peaceful policies conforming to our interests” and “rejecting the ambition of taking a share of profits in other continents.”
The general election of the U.S. is its internal affair and China has never interfered in it and has no interest to do that.
As an independent country, China has the right to safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests, and will not give up its own principles to respond to the U.S. elections.
Some American politicians should immediately stop the trick of dragging China into their domestic politics.
It is often internal factors that lead to the collapse of a fortress. Analysts in both China and the U.S. pointed out that only internal crises rather than external forces can disintegrate major countries like China and the U.S. The problems that the U.S. is facing now cannot be resolved by diverting public attention. Its biggest rival is itself.
The healthy development of China-U.S. ties meets the shared aspiration of Chinese and Americans while decoupling or even conflict between the two countries goes against the shared interests of the people of the two countries and the whole world.
The U.S. making an issue out of China in its presidential race will not change the fact that history follows its own logic, and short-sighted political calculations are doomed to do more harm than good to the U.S.
At last, China and the U.S. will pursue coexistence and common development, said Susan Ashton Thornton, former acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the U.S., expecting that the two countries will work together for long-term coexistence and common development.
Ultimately, the fate of China is in the hands of the Chinese people, and America has no choice but come to some kind of way to live peacefully with China, said a recent article on the U.S. edition of the weekly magazine The Week.
To grow China-U.S. relations, the two countries should take history as a mirror, take a high and long-term perspective, respect and trust each other, and achieve mutual benefit. This is also one of the valuable inspirations from the exchanges between China and the U.S. Only cooperation, not confrontation, meets the interests of the two peoples and the rest of the world.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)