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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 08:37, July 26, 2004
Why America always picks at China?
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Recently, the US House of Representatives, in defiance of the three Sino-US joint communiqu��s and the overall situation regarding US-China relationship, passed a congressional common resolution on so-called reiterating commitments to the "Taiwan Relations Act", which fabricates the story about China's military threats, preaches arms sales to Taiwan and upgrades US-Taiwan military relations. Such gross interference in China's internal affairs has aroused indignation among the Chinese people and caused people to have serious doubts about the sincerity of the US government policy statement that voices the "one-China policy" and "opposition to Taiwan independence". That's because people have noticed that this is by no means an accidental event.

The Sino-US relations have recently drawn much concern from the people, mainly because the US government is practicing fraud on the Taiwan issue overtly or covertly, and has directed a series of provocative events: First is a White House spokesperson expressed affirmation and appreciation of Chen Shuibian's speech made on May 20. On the same day, the House of Representatives passed the "National Defense Authorization Act 2005", authorizing the Pentagon to dispatch a general-level officer or the deputy assistant defense secretary to visit Taiwan, so as to "enhance Taiwan's ability to defend itself against the Chinese mainland". Shortly afterwards, the American government allowed Annette Lu to swagger through its territory, and arrangements for Chen Shuibian's transit is under planning.

The Pentagon has recently conducted a number of military drills around the Taiwan Straits. In the name of "testing the emergency response plan", America's seven major aircraft carrier strike groups will gather near the West Pacific. The "Annual Report on China's Military Strength 2004" released recently by the US National Defense Department once again exaggerated China's military strength and threats, on the basis of which it browbeat Taiwan into buying US$18 billion worth of US weaponry. People have noticed that the United States is wantonly expanding its bases at Guam in order to increase its deployment of cruise missiles, stealth bombers, nuclear power attack submarines and even an aircraft carrier battle group. An official with the US Defense Department says bluntly that these actions are aimed at dealing with China and enabling US forces to rush to the Taiwan Straits at the fastest possible pace.

Not long ago, America not only supported Taiwan to join the WHO, now it also supports the Island to become a permanent observer in the Organization of America States. America's words and deeds have completely exposed its hypocrisy. Senior American officials have turned ��pursuance of the one-China policy" and "observance of the three US-China joint communiqu��s" completely into slogans and empty talks, they simply have no idea to put America's promises into practice. They just mouth these promises as high-sounding words to dodge the Chinese people. Meanwhile, the US government's connivance and support of "Taiwan independence" forces are manifested in both its words and deeds. From Sen. Bush to Jr. Bush administration, the weapons America sold to Taiwan are getting better and better whether in quantity or in quality, this is especially true of the case today. The Sino-US "817" communiqu�� on limiting arms sales to Taiwan has long been treated as a scrap of paper and thrown into the wastepaper basket in the office of the Pentagon.

The series of unfriendly actions taken by the American government are quite obscure to the Chinese common people, because over the past two decades since the start of reform and opening up, China has been consistently pursuing an active and constructive and friendly cooperative policy toward the United States: China has never done anything offensive to the United States; nor has it posed threats to America's security interest. However, what China has gained in return is US bombing of the innocent Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia, US consistent sea and air reconnaissance in China's offshore areas and US crash of a PLA airplane. The US government not only accuses China of its human right records every year; but also frequently interferes in China's Hong Kong and Tibetan affairs; it repeatedly sends words saying that it would not give up "assistance in defense of Taiwan", and so on and so forth. Therefore, the Chinese people, while feeling indignant, cannot but raise the questions: How has China offended the United States? Why should the United States return evil for good by hurting an innocent China that is willing to get along with it peacefully and friendly. What's the reason for this? Chairman Mao once said: there is no hatred without reason in the world, nor is there love without reason. There must be reason why the United States has done so. Therefore, it is necessary to probe into the basis of America's general foreign policy, especially the base of its outlook on friend and foe. This makes it first necessary to begin with America's national goal, because a country's foreign policy is always directly subordinated to and serves its supreme national goal. Diplomacy is nothing but a tool for the realization of the supreme national goal.

What's America's supreme national goal? The "US National Strategy Report" published in the first year after the Bush administration's assumption of office set up two major goals: 1. The United States is to vigorously promote its values of democracy and freedom to the whole world. 2. to prevent any great power from rising and challenging its global leading position. The former concerns the problem of ideology and social system, while the latter bears on US world domination. A main purpose of the report is that the United States cannot allow any country or individual to pose challenge to it in theses two aspects. In fact, that is the origin of the half-century-long Coal War.

The United States and the Soviet Union were originally anti-fascist allies during WWII, however, soon after the war, the United States turned its back on the Soviet Union and regarded it as a sworn enemy for two reasons: 1. Different ideologies. The Soviet Union instituted a socialist system different from that of the United States; 2. The Truman administration believed that a strong Soviet Union would inevitably constitute a challenge to America's hegemony. Therefore America stirred up the 50-year-long Cold War on the pretext of Soviet threat, unscrupulously placing the whole world under the shadow of mushroom clouds. In March 1947, President Truman, in his State of the Union Message, clearly set "the choice of two kinds of lifestyles": One was the American style of freedom and democracy and the other was the Soviet communist system. He declared "the whole world should adopt the American system. Only when the American system became a world system could it continue to exist." The initiator of containment policy toward the Soviet Union, US diplomat George F.Kennan acknowledged in his article "I think the Soviet Union does not at all constitute military threats of any form to us. Obviously it would take a couple of years for postwar reconstruction alone. Russians have a strong desire for peace." However, because the Soviet Union instituted a socialist system, it became an "evil empire" in the eyes of Americans. Diamond, a senior researcher at Stanford University said in his summary after the Cold War, "Democracy wins the Cold War, the great struggle in ideology." The National Security Strategy of the United States of America' report begins with "The decisive battle between liberty and autocracy in the 20th century ended in a decisive victory for the forces of freedom, and for the sole mode for sustainable national prosperity-the spirit of liberty, democracy and enterprise freedom." It is thus clear that ideology has always served as the most important criterion for America to distinguish enemies from friends.

Although the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have collapsed and the Cold War has ended, it is regrettable the Cold War mentality has not disappeared form the minds of the American decision-makers. They, like Cervantes Don Quixote, look for new enemies in illusions and finally they pick China, which adheres to the socialist road, as their potential rival. Immediately after he took office, President Bush announced openly that US relationship with China was not of "strategic partner" but of "strategic competitor". He claims the United States will "try its best to assist in defending Taiwan". Right after the settlement of the incident of aircraft crash over the South China Sea and prior to the occurrence of the "9.11" terrorist attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Colin Powell as well as Commander of the Pacific War Zone together paid a visit to Australia, where the two countries prepared to set up a security forum comprising the United States, Japan, Australia and the ROK, that was aimed at containing China.

Despite the fact that China has always prudently pursued a policy of peace and friendship toward the United States, which features "increasing trust, reducing trouble, developing cooperation and refraining from confrontation", the United States, however, obstinately sticks to its Cold War mentality, It insists on drawing line of demarcation between enemies and friends on the basis of ideology, continuing to contain friendly China as a potential rival. Why is this? Rumsfeld laid bare the secret in one remark made at a press conference during his visit to Australia. He said that the communist system China institutes is completely different from our two countries' (the United States and Australia) system, where will it head for? Whether or not it will develop as we wish? We are not clear about that, we have to guard against and contain it. From McCarthy's anti-communism hysteria, to Ronald Reagan's viewing communism as dreadful monster, and then to US neo-conservatives' obstinate anti-communism complex, it is not hard for people to see how deeply-rooted US prejudice against the socialist system is! It can be said that so long as China adheres to the socialist road, the American policy of containment and precaution against China will not have big, fundamental change. Because US decision-makers do not want to treat friendly China with their ideology-tinged spectacles taken off.

If difference in ideology and social system is US neo-conservatives' anti-China ideological root, then ensuring that the hegemonic status of the United States as the sole superpower is not subjected to challenge is the actual starting-point of the neo-conservatives' policy toward China. US neo-conservatives have repeatedly declared that a major strategic goal of the United States after the Cold War is to defend the hegemonic status of the United States as the sole superpower and to establish peace under US domination. In the eyes of the Americans, the world can only be one in which only the United States exercises supremacy over all, no individual or country is allowed to stand up to the United States as an equal and constitute a challenge to America's leading position, not even a potential challenge, no matter whether the challenge comes from Russia, Europe, or China. In fact, the Americans' leading complex has long been rooted in religious culture in the early stage of the country's immigration. However, due to limited national strength in the early period of its establishment, America could not make and carry out a grand plan. President Wilson once put forward a 14-point program designed to obtain the position as leader of an alliance after WWI, it's a pity that its ambition was unfulfilled because time was not ripe. By the end of WWII, the United States reaped a fisherman's profit and made a big fortune in the war and finally established its status as the world overlord. It has since been bent on expanding its exclusive hegemony. In the "US National Strategy Report", the Bush administration clearly stated: The United States is to maintain its super-class military strength in its advantaged position, so as to "stop the potential enemies who hope to surpass or rival US strength"; "we will ensure sufficient military force so as to fulfill our obligations and defend freedom. Our armed forces are strong enough to prevent armament expansion carried out by our potential rivals in order to catch up with and overtake our country". In his speech delivered at a military academy, which became world renowned because in which he put forward "the pre-emptive strike" military strategy, President Bush clearly indicated: "the United States possesses and intends to maintain its military power which is 'second to none'", thus the emergence of a "competitor of its equal" is absolutely impermissible.

So-called "competitors" in the mind of the United States is self-evident, they mainly refer to China, Russia, or perhaps the European Union. Although Russia has discarded the communist ideology and has the desire to return to Western civilization; although it has just recovered from its illness, its ability falls short of its wishes, in terms of military strength, however, Russia remains the only big power that can have a trial of strength with the United States, so Washington is always on the alert against Moscow.

China, in America's mind, is another major rival. From the White House's National Security Strategy of the United States of America, to the Pentagon's annual reports on China's military strength, and to Congress' reports of all shapes on the question of China-all deliberately exaggerate the negative effect of China's economic expansion on America and the world at large. Meanwhile, these reports fabricate the story about threats posed by China's military modernization to America and neighboring countries. From the reports, people cannot but come to the following conclusion: America doesn't want to see a strong China, still less wish to see the reunification of China. In the eyes of US neo-conservatives, a strong and unified China is necessarily a powerful competitor who will inevitably constitute a threat to America's superpower status. They think so despite China's repeated declarations that it will not be a superpower even when it becomes strong in the future; it will absolutely not seek world hegemony. Such declarations are not only determined by China's national character featuring peace and self-content and its historical and cultural tradition, but are also determined by New China's foreign policy featuring peace, independence, good-neighborliness and friendship.

Recently, as Asian countries have gradually realized that a prosperous and strong China will bring about opportunity, not threat. The "China Threat Theory" is losing its market in the world. Only America still clings to its ideological bias and hegemonic psyche. It insists on singing the old tune of "China Threat" and refuses to quit the international stage. This is nothing strange because the religious fanatical, bigoted mindset of the neo-conservatives is determined by America's unique historical and cultural traditions and their national character. Perhaps it can be said that the root of the near religion-type outlook on good and evil and on friend and foe as manifested in the US foreign policy, as well as self-glorifying leader complex, can all be found in their traditions. The noted American writer Herman Melville expressed the nation's mission like this: "We Americans are the God's specially chosen people... we steer the Ark of world freedom. The God has predestined that human expectations and great things come from our race: We feel great things in our souls, other countries must quickly follow our footsteps", for more than 300 years, this innate mission and the concept of racial superiority have deeply stamped in the ideology of the American nation. The Americans, like fanatic missionaries, are trying to impose American freedom, democracy and concept of value on the world's "inferior" races and civilizations. This concept of towering above others is inevitably reflected in the American foreign policy.

An American historian once wrote:��To some American leaders, the sense of mission is interpreted as ethical and religious. We are chosen by the God to direct and educate other nations in the aspects of fairness and justice because of our moral conduct. While some other leaders think we are obliged to spread civilization to other regions in the world, or even rule the savage and ignorant nations for their benefit." During WWI, US President Wilson said, "America enjoys limitless privileges in fulfilling its destiny-related tasks and saving the world." Prior to the Gulf War, the then US President George Bush said that among various nations in the world, America is the only nation that has both moral standards and means to maintain world peace and lead the world. The current President Bush once called the anti-terror war "new crusade". This is the voice uttered from the bottom of his heart even though the remark was later withdrawn. From the interpretations of the American cultural tradition, we can understand why America calls the illegitimate war against Iraq an action to "liberate the Iraqi people". Why it imposes the "greater Middle East Reform" plan on the Arab countries. But unfortunately, the result of America's efforts in pushing its "ideals" by force often goes against its wishes and runs into a brick wall. Worse still, it brings misfortunes to the opposite side. "Foreign policy based on moral values, like what Wilson and Dulles had executed, doesn't make the world more moral. On the contrary, it leads to blind alley, or a series of catastrophes," commented Germen scholar Denhorf.

As an important part of US foreign policy, its China policy is certainly examined under the microscope of the decision-makers' world outlook and their concept of friend and foe. The examiners' adhesion to Cold War mentality, and insistence on differentiating enemies from friends on the basis of ideology determine that they inevitably find fault with and unscrupulously blame China. Meanwhile, neo-conservatives who grew up under the influence of America's innate mission-related religious culture are spoiled by the nation's super strength, and have fostered a hegemonic psyche characterized by "self-importance". They don't tolerate emergence of new competitors. So they keep on making a big fuss about human rights, utter irresponsible remarks on the issue of China's Tibet and Hong Kong, and practice fraud overtly or covertly on the Taiwan question, trying to prevent China from its advance toward reunification and mightiness. Probably this is the fundamental reason why China always sends peach and plum to the United States while the latter invariably gives China brambles in return.

By People's Daily Online

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