The community of shared future for mankind as Beijing often says is not the expansionist and aggressive vision with China as the center as claimed by some (Western) scholars, but is actually a relatively mild slogan. At its core, it emphasizes mutual respect - or at least tolerance - of different governance systems, as well as the search for solutions to global common challenges and priorities.
Similarly, when Chinas leaders talk about global governance reform, they are obviously talking about reform, rather than replacing it with an international system built by China or completely shaped by Chinas model. In fact, Beijing believes that the existing international system is developing in a favorable direction, and only hopes to adjust and update the existing international system so that it can better reflect and represent the world balance of power in the 21st century.
In fact, the competition with China is unprecedented, because Washington has never met a competitor that competes and cooperates in various fields. So whats the best strategy for Washington?
First of all, the United States should fully recognize and recognize that the balance of power in the world has changed. This has changed the relative influence and ability of the United States and China, as well as the chips of the two countries in dealing with each other. This in turn requires Washington to recognize the growing need for trade-offs and reciprocity in its dealings with Beijing.
It also requires the United States to realize that a policy of containment or regime change to China is unrealistic and may backfire.
Finally, Washington needs to recognize that the primacy of the United States is almost certainly no longer viable or sustainable, which is one of the reasons why its allies and partners are reluctant to join the United States in zero sum competition with China or contain China.
The first thing the United States needs to pay attention to is to revitalize and mobilize its economic and technological competitiveness. One belt, one road, Washington, and not always complain about Beijings economic diplomacy, especially the one belt and one road initiative, and need to come up with different plans to compete with China. Unless we are willing to engage extensively with China, there will be no progress in easing tensions with Beijing.
All of this, as most commentators point out, requires the us to do its own business. The current political, social, economic, and public health crises impede the ability of the United States to respond to external challenges. It also fosters a tendency to blame China for many of the problems, which are mainly caused by the Americans themselves. Americans need not be afraid of this contest with China, unless they have lost faith and confidence in their own countrys model.
Interview with Professor Wen Anli of Yale University in the United States: conflict is not the inevitable result of Sino US relations
In an exclusive interview with reporters on Sino US relations recently, Wen Anli, an expert in American East Asian Studies and cold war history and a professor at Yale University, said that there were obvious historical errors in pompeios previous Anti China speeches, which exaggerated the role of ideology in the current Sino US confrontation. He believes that the novel coronavirus pneumonia exacerbates the structural contradictions between China and the US, and that Sino US relations are hard to return to the past, but conflicts are not necessarily the result of big country politics.
In the interview, Wen Anli said that there were obvious historical errors in the recent speech on China by US Secretary of state pompeio. If this speech is taken as a historical paper, pompeio can not get an a or even a B. Wen Anli said that the contact between the United States and China in the 1970s was not due to Nixons intention to change China, but to a greater extent, it was the Chinese leaders wish to change China based on the changes in Sino US relations. After the historic decision of reform and opening up, the good relationship between China and the United States has helped China develop its economy. However, Chinas development is not created by the United States, but comes from Chinas own needs. He stressed that future leaders of the United States need to be aware of a very important issue: Chinas way of action is always based on its own needs and perceptions.
Wen Anli said that Sino US relations as a whole are at a low ebb, possibly at the lowest point since the 1970s. From the perspective of the policy choice of the US leadership, the trump administration will focus on the United States first and emphasize that it should pay more attention to its own interests rather than systemic interests. The pursuit of relatively narrow national interests by the trump government is greater than that of any US government since the Cold War. This is a new factor in international affairs, and the outside world still needs time to evaluate the consequences of this policy u3002
He believes that it is difficult for the us to return to its peak at the end of the cold war, and that China may become a great power with global interests in a generation or so. With the emergence of structural changes in the two countries, Sino US relations can no longer return to the state it was 20 years ago. Competition and tension between the two countries will be the new normal.
Wen Anli said that for the US side, the effect of handling relations with China depends on two aspects: one is the ability of the United States to cooperate with the Chinese leadership; the other is the ability of the United States to influence Chinas policies. He believes that although it will be very difficult in the short term, China and the United States still need to establish a new type of relationship, on the premise that the two countries first ensure that they try their best to avoid any military conflicts in the next decade; secondly, they should try to find areas for cooperation within a limited scope. From a historical point of view, although restricted by domestic politics, big countries in competition can still achieve cooperation.
He analyzed that China and the United States can cooperate in regional affairs, arms control, international trade, global epidemic situation, and carry out scientific and technological cooperation to a certain extent, especially to avoid binary opposition in the field of future technological development.
Wen Anli said that the view that China and the United States are doomed to conflict is a misunderstanding of Sino US relations, which is not the end result of great power politics. But at the same time, from the perspective of historical experience, the idea that conflict is inevitable sometimes becomes self realization prophecy.
Zhu Feng: its time for us and China to abandon our illusions?
Structural factors behind conflicts
The once-in-a-century outbreak of the new epidemic has brought unprecedented challenges to world economic, political and social development. The global economy shrank by nearly 15% in the second quarter of 2020. This is the biggest decline in the global economy since the Great Depression of 1929.
The purpose of these measures is to substantially sever the relationship between large Chinese enterprises and American market and technological innovation, seek de Sinicization of global industrial chain, and greatly weaken the connection between China and American academic institutions. The policy statement made by U.S. Secretary of state pompeio in the Nixon Library on July 23 ignored the basic history of win-win cooperation and common development between China and the United States since President Nixons visit to China in 1972. It aimed at the ruling legitimacy of the Communist Party of China, and rudely abandoned the most important political principle of respecting each others status quo in the development of Sino US relations in the past 50 years. Today, Sino US relations are only one step away from the new cold war.
Sino US relations cannot go back to the past
With the development of Sino US relations, we can not go back to the past. The U.S. factor may be the biggest external environmental factor in the historical process of Chinas rise. The qualitative change of Sino US relations requires us to think and deal with the relationship between China and the world in the process of Chinas development in the future. We have to abandon our illusions about Sino US relations.
Third, the previous U.S. government emphasized the common values of commercial interests, scientific and technological cooperation and people to people exchanges between China and the United States. The growing interdependence in Sino US relations has become an important foundation for the two countries to continue their cooperation and work together for world peace and prosperity. But today, de Chinesization will continue on all fronts in the United States. To suppress Chinas technological innovation and manufacturing industry in the middle and low-end, and prevent Chinas scientific and technological innovation and manufacturing industry from moving towards the middle and high-end will be the core link for the United States to widen the gap in the balance of power with China.
The trump administration has been in power for less than four years, and the concept of China as the number one strategic competitor of the United States has been materialized as never before. The face change of the United States to China is not only the result of the lack of effective power checks and balances of the United States unipolar hegemony, but also reflects the ugliness of power politics in international relations.
Seeking strong cooperation and weak confrontation
In the 21st century, global issues, such as epidemic situation, environmental degradation, terrorism and extremist forces, are still common challenges that human society must cooperate to cope with. Although the so-called Thucydides trap caused by the competition among great powers may be difficult to get rid of, the politics of great powers in the 21st century needs to show the wisdom, confidence and conscience of mankind in the 21st century. The current decline of the trump administration has proved that the protection of the hegemonic interests of ruthlessness and selfishness will not really win lasting support even among the American people. Who can truly represent the common aspiration of the international community for freedom, openness, cooperation and prosperity in the future will be the last laugh in the arena of great power competition.