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Politics-driven elites threaten mutually favorable Sino-US attitudes (2)

By Clifford A. Kiracofe (Global Times)

08:32, July 18, 2012

It is hard to argue that the world does not reflect this emerging multipolar process today. India and Brazil can also be added as relevant factors, as indicated by the BRICS concept.

It was just this vision of an eventual multipolar strategic environment that led then US president Richard Nixon to wisely undertake a rapprochement with China in 1972.

In a multipolar system, states are not automatic enemies. Rather, they are realistically speaking, competitors. This is quite a different matter. Through appropriate diplomatic engagement and dialogue, competitors can adjust their differences and smooth out frictions. War can be avoided through adroit diplomacy, shared perspectives, and a common vision.

This is just the sort of diplomacy which Nixon and Henry Kissinger undertook at a critical time in world history. For them, neither the Soviet Union nor China was active enemies.

The danger today in the US lies in dominant leadership elites with an extreme perspective. This perspective combines a Cold War mentality with anachronistic geopolitical thinking.

These circles recklessly and naively have a notion to "contain" Eurasia, meaning Russia and China, in the manner of the 19th century British imperial strategist Halford Mackinder. Some want to enlist NATO into this project.

What is clear is that unnecessary provocative actions can make enemies and can even lead to war. Thus, ramping up of security in the Pacific region desired by some circles in the US, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific can lead to tensions which could transform into war in the future.

Realistically speaking, China is a rising power and the US is a power which is attempting to maintain its status in a rapidly changing world.

The US is faced with severe internal challenges such as shifting demographics, massive debt at the federal and state levels, bloated defense budget, unnecessary wars, education system challenges, disintegrated manufacturing base, and unemployment.

The US and China are not enemies today. There is a window between now and say 2025 for the two powers to adjust to each other in a peaceful and purposeful manner. During this period, modalities of peaceful competition and cooperation must be established.

A common vision of a just and harmonious world as well as constructive dialogue and diplomacy is essential.

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