US-UK relationship not as ‘special’ as it used to be

16:34, April 26, 2010      

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The relations between the United States and the United Kingdom, which have long been labeled as "special," are now undergoing a profound transformation.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons recently released a controversial report, which said that "the United Kingdom has an extremely close and valuable relationship with the United States, but the term 'special relationship' is potentially misleading, and we recommend that its use be avoided." The report also stressed that "the United Kingdom needs to be less deferential and more willing to say 'no' to the United States on issues where the two countries' interests and values diverge."

The term "special relationship" was first used by Winston Churchill during his Iron Curtain speech in March 1946. The U.K.-U.S. "special relationship" was formed during World War II and the Cold War, but their military cooperation has become less necessary since the fall of the Nazi regime and the Soviet Union.

Although British and American political values are still closely linked, their relationship is becoming more and more complex in the 21st century. For example, the British people expressed strong dissatisfaction over the government's blind support for the U.S. war against Iraq, while the United States disagreed with Britain's colonial attitude displayed in its territorial dispute with Argentina.

The "geographical and blood ties" have contributed much to the formation of the U.K.-U.S. "special relationship." After the Second World War, the two countries allied to contain Germany, the Soviet Union, and other forces in Europe. Britain did not have the capability to develop its own independent nuclear deterrents, and had to depend on U.S. nuclear weapons and strategic strike platforms.

The two allies with unequal powers are predestined to be equal partners. After World War II, the United Kingdom participated in many wars started by the United States in other countries. These actions guaranteed Britain's national security, but also cost the country a great deal. After the Cold War, Britain once again assisted the United States in the War against Iraq.

Currently, there is doubt about whether this special unequal partnership will still strengthen the national security of the two countries. Facing a changing international situation and new international conflicts that keep emerging, the U.S. government believes that its relationships with emerging great powers are its most important diplomatic relationships. The United Kingdom believes that although its relationship with the United States is still the most important diplomatic relationship, Britain's diplomacy should root in Europe and they should also greatly develop its relationships with emerging powers.

The common view of those within the U.K. government is that the U.K.-U.S. relationship is a rapidly-changing partnership in the 21st century, and although the United Kingdom cherishes and still carefully maintains cooperation between itself and the United States, it has become impossible and unnecessary for Britain to always follow the United States in every action.

The British people have already rationally realized that in this rapidly-changing world, the United States needs more partners, as does Britain. From recent opinion exchanges between the U.K. Parliament and administrative departments, we can see a new trend: Britain not only will continue to maintain its relationship with the United States, but will also protect its own rights and interests on core issues. Britain can also say "no" to the United States with respect.

However, although the relationship between the two countries is changing, the long-term "special relationship" between the two countries will not end soon. The United Kingdom and the United States still have common interests and will have the same stance regarding many important international issues. The trust and cooperation between the two countries will still last for a period of time.

祂倠潥汰??慄汩?湏楬敮 ??с?(五?

(Editor:张洪宇)

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