Confronting America Requires Wisdom and Stamina – Not Warships (Huanqui, People’s Republic of China)
With Leon Panetta on a tour of Asia to explain America’s military shift of attention away from Europe toward the Asia Pacific, perceived by most informed people who watch these events as an attempt to contain China’s influence, how should Beijing react? This editorial from China’s state-controlled Huanqui counsels Beijing leaders to remain calm, cool and confident, and not react ‘in kind’ to Washington’s decision to deploy additional warships and troops to the region.
The Huanqui editorial says in small part:
With the rise of China, any country in the position of the United States would be expected to take the same measures. … Objectively speaking, the U.S.-China competition is among the most civilized in history between a rising and a hegemonic power.
As far as China is concerned, we need to counter America’s new Asia deployment, but should not allow that to overwhelm bilateral relations. The U.S. may deploy additional military forces to the Asia Pacific, but then what? In the long run, as many Americans have stated, China will gain influence over areas offshore and its deterrence of U.S. aircraft carriers will only increase.
China will be disadvantaged vis-à-vis the United States for many years to come, and China’s capacity to create alliances will remain greatly inferior America’s. Every step forward China takes will bring added pressure from the United States. If we are left gasping for air by Washington’s “petty maneuverings,” then we may as well begin following its dictates right now.
There is no need to challenge the United States head on, or for war between the two powers to be inevitable. Reacting in kind to America’s military deployment would be the least desirable way of dealing with it. China should choose the approach that best facilitates its economic growth. The trend of Sino-U.S. relations is that “you need me, I need you,” and things are moving in favor of the weaker party.
China must patiently and meticulously explore methods of preventing U.S. intervention, thereby boosting the geopolitical and geo-economic costs America has to pay, and giving U.S. policy-makers pause about getting their fingers burned.
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