Navies play crucial role in Sino-US ties

17:03, July 12, 2010      

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Related: US must restrain provocative military actions

The navies of the United States and China will play a critical role in determining whether the two countries can avoid major conflict, said Wang Jisi, a Chinese expert said in a report in the Global Times on Monday. This could be right. The two navies will not contribute to the increase of bilateral trade volume or the number of tourists, but it is easy for them to wreck bilateral ties.

Many Chinese scholars hold the opinions that in the coming years, the western Pacific, a not too wide water area, will become a sensitive belt to test the relationships of China, world's largest rising country, and the United States, the world's largest hegemonic power. Major conflicts will most likely originate in this area. Over the past month or so, news that a U.S. aircraft carrier would enter the Yellow Sea to hold a military drill, which caused uproar in China, proved this.

Bilateral trade vigor and the momentum of learning each other's languages make the two countries sometimes look like allies. And the wisdom of the two governments has downplayed the ideological and institutional differences of between two countries, but there is still strong distrust in military matters, in particular with regard to the navies.

Despite this, neither of the two navies is ready to retreat from their great strategies. The United States wants to maintain its hegemony in the western Pacific while China's navy extends eastward to "blue water." With the extension of psychological territorial seas, following the growth of national power, the two countries are gradually contiguous to each other in the western Pacific. In fact, China has no mind to meet the challenge although Chinese do not like U.S. maritime hegemony. But could the United States understand China?

The United States had confrontations or conflicts at sea with several great rising powers in the history, so it is applying its experience to China. Some think tank reports in the United States show the country's research and judgment on China, which over-exaggerates China's strategy against the United States.

China and the United States must gradually increase strategic mutual trust, so China needs to make the steady progress in its strategy transparent. While the United States, with an absolute advantage in strategy, naturally assumes greater responsibility in enhancing mutual trust. The United States should have a greater breadth of mind to accept the Chinese navy's rights to widen its activity sphere, which is different from a challenge to the U.S. navy. While on China's side, it needs to actively understand the United States and reduce provocation, which is China's wisdom.

Building strategic mutual trust is a slow process. China and the United States need to accelerate the establishment of a mechanism to avoid frictions. In a word, don't let the curse of a, "conflict between a rising power and a hegemonic power," come true.

By People's Daily Online


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