The Pentagon issued a new defense plan on Thursday. The new strategy reduces defense spending in the next 10 years, ends the policy of maintaining constant strength to fight two wars at once and prepares the US to fight one war while waging a holding operation elsewhere against a second threat.
This is a contractive strategy in general, but gives prominence to the Asia-Pacific region. According to the officials of Pentagon, the changes in strategy are mainly aimed at Iran and China.
In front of such a US strategic adjustment, China should remain sober. Since it has become a firm strategic target of the US, its efforts to improve Sino-US relations have proved incapable of offsetting US worries over its rise. China can only use its strength to gain friendship from the US from now on.
The US and China are carrying out competition unprecedented in history. Under the aegis of globalization, the two are closely linked economically, which makes it impossible for the US to fully contain China. Dealing with the US containment attempts should be one of China's diplomatic strategic goals. China should unite with all possible forces and keep certain strategic initiatives against the US.
The US strategic adjustment highlights Iran's importance to China. Iran's existence and its stance form a strong check against the US. China should not treat Iran following US cultural, social and political values.
The US takes China's anti-access capabilities as another target. China should come up with countermeasures. It should strengthen its long-range strike abilities and put more deterrence on the US. The US must realize that it cannot stop the rise of China and that being friendly to China is in its utmost interests.
Fast economic development has become the biggest advantage that China has when dealing with the US. The US can hardly provoke China in the economic field, unlike its developing military strength which gives excuses for the West to suppress China. The more the two focus on economic competition, the more the situation will tilt China's way.
The growth and decline in economic strength is the starting point for national competition as well as its destination. It reflects national tendencies. But military and politics are often powerful tools to disturb or twist the trend. China should try to avoid a new cold war with the US, but by no means should it give up its peripheral security in exchange for US' ease in Asia.