Those who forget America’s history of blockading China look past the reality that America is controlling China, and ignore the fact that in the future America will continue to control China and will have to pay the price. With regards to facing America’s controlling policies, the only way China will keep itself from failing is by using preparation and prevention, appropriate response and neutralization.
On February 17, Mr. Tao Wenzhao of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences United States Research Institute wrote an article published in Social Sciences in China entitled “1+1=? China-U.S. Relations Have Entered a New Decade.” In the article, he made an argument, or rather, an inference. He said, “America’s policies are not intended to control China’s rise,” and “Even though some people want to control China, they are not able to do it.” Is this really true? Mr. Tao’s opinion is worth discussing.
America’s policies “are not intended to control China’s rise?” Yeah, right!
From the creation of the People’s Republic of China until China’s rise, America has never stopped controlling China. The strategy and policies have merely been changed and modified during different periods. So how did Mr. Tao reach the conclusion that America’s policies are not intended to control China’s rise? Mr. Tao uses two pieces of evidence in his essay. The first piece is as follows: Mr. Tao believes President Barack Obama has repeatedly promised that America will not control China, especially during President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to the United States. At that time, Obama and Hu issued a joint statement. Obama said, “The United States welcomes China’s rise as a strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations.” (http://www.clipsandcomment.com/2011/01/19/transcript-president-obama-and-chinese-president-hu-jintao-welcoming-ceremony-white-house-january-19-2011/) In other words, American policy is not intended to control China’s rise. The second piece is Mr. Tao’s confidence that, “in truth, even though many people in the world today want to control China, they are not able to do it.” However, I believe that these two arguments, even if they were stronger and larger, are not enough to support Mr. Tao’s conclusion.
First of all, from the moment the new China was created until the reform and opening up when China rose to become a great power, the United States has been doing everything possible to keep China in check. There are two fundamental reasons for that. The first is that America’s political system and ideology is diametrically opposed to and irreconcilable with China’s system and ideology. America’s strategy and policy objectives not only control China, but also aim to wage a hot war and a cold war to defeat China. The second reason is that the U.S. sees China’s rise as a threat to its hegemony and its status as a world leader; therefore, it is necessary for the United States to keep China in check. America’s political, military and economic scholars undeniably advocate controlling policies on China, and the media is wantonly exaggerating China’s threat, publishing content about “China threat theory” and “Sinophobia.” It is plain to see.
America’s interests require it to control China
Second, Mr. Tao Wenzhao seems to put too much emphasis on Obama’s and the U.S. government’s words. They say they will not control China, but it is an empty promise. History has already shown many examples where American presidents and other government officials make declarations but do not stand by them.
Furthermore, these kinds of declarations are not legally binding in international law; of course, they will not be bound to their word. Even though the U.S. government signed the “Sino-U.S. Joint Communique” (August 17 Communique), which is legally binding under international law, the U.S. government has never respected this solemn and serious promise. In the communique, it states, “[the United States] does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and that it intends to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan.” (http://www.nti.org/db/china/engdocs/commk82.htm)
Even now, America’s sale of weapons to Taiwan is becoming even more intensified. How can America be like this, losing the trust of China and the world? The logic is simple: America’s credibility is not as important as other national interests. America continues to sell weapons to Taiwan to keep Taiwan and China separated and control the national interests of China. Therefore, one can plainly see that these declarations to welcome China’s rise do not constitute a valid argument.
Third, America expressed anxiety and fear toward China’s speedy rise to become the world’s second largest economy and potentially the world’s second largest military. It then implemented a policy called “Return to Asia,” a new strategy which expanded and strengthened the controls on China. Not only did it strengthen ties between the U.S. and Japan as well as the U.S. and South Korea, but it also plans to create an alliance between the U.S., Japan and Korea. The U.S. has also strengthened its strategic cooperation with India and is looking to create a close alliance with India. At the same time, it has strengthened strategic cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where it provoked ASEAN to oppose China on the South China Sea issue. This all shows that the United States is trying to put together an Asian version of NATO that will oppose China’s rise.
The strategy to control China is gradually being reinforced. Ever since early fall 2010, there have been joint military exercises with South Korea, with Japan, with Vietnam, with India and with Thailand, all one after the other. The intent is quite clear: some will directly clash and some will indirectly clash with China. For this reason, America has moved its core military affairs to China, and has begun military containment activities to blockade the first chain and the second chain of islands. Could it be possible that after America has done all this, it is not trying to control China? Could it be possible, after all this, that America is not capable of containing China?
With regards to whether or not America can successfully control China in the Asia-Pacific region, if her wishes come true, then that’s another matter. I noticed that Mr. Tao has grouped all of the U.S. control policies as “precautions.” Actually, in the U.S. government’s vocabulary and in its policy, “precautions” and “control” have the same meaning. “Precautions” is just the euphemistic term.
The key is for China to neutralize America’s control
Fourth, Mr. Tao claims that, “Even though some people want to control China, they are not able to do it.” The underlying message is that America wants to control China but it is unable to do so. For this reason, Mr. Tao says, “America’s policies are not intended to control China’s rise.” I strongly disagree with his opinion. In the first place, I have already explained that America has implemented a policy to control China ever since modern China was established. Granted, America’s policy to limit China’s growth has failed, but that does not mean that America will stop implementing policies to check China’s rise. In reality, America is stepping up its implementation of policies to control China. Just because America’s policies to check China’s rise might ultimately fail doesn’t mean that America is going to abandon its policies to check China. This is only one aspect of the problem.
The other aspect of the problem is as follows: America’s ability to successfully check China’s rise does not completely depend on policy and strength. It also depends on whether China’s response to America’s control is appropriate or not. It depends on China’s policy toward Asia, especially its relationship toward its neighboring countries. It depends on whether China gives America an opportunity to exploit and unite all of China’s neighbors to create disputes and chaos, in order to achieve its strategic objective to control China. Of course, it also depends on whether China’s world strategy can appropriately deal with and neutralize America’s strategy to enter into alliances with the Americas, Europe, Australia and other worldwide alliances to control China.
It follows that while the success of America’s control of China partially depends on America, it depends much more on China. With respect to the present and the future, China could become intoxicated with its own success and not take its rise seriously, thinking that it could never become weak or lose to America, and therefore can afford to disregard America’s control of China. If it does so, then how would China be able to appropriately respond to and neutralize America’s control? It is quite clear that that would be extremely dangerous. Today, one can say that the country exerting the most control on China is not America, but China itself. If China fails because of this, it will not suffer a defeat at America’s hand, but suffer defeat by slipping and falling.
Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong