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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

US using rules to contain China

By Ruan Zongze (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

13:31, February 01, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned China five times in his 2012 State of the Union address on Jan. 24. "I will not stand by when our competitors do not play by the rules. We have brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration," Obama stressed in his speech, indicating that the United States seeks to use the so-called rules to contain China.

In an exclusive interview with Time Magazine on Jan. 18, Obama said that an important principle for maintaining peace, safety, and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region is that everybody plays by the same set of rules and abides by a set of international norms. Whether it is maritime issues or trade issues, China cannot do whatever it thinks is best for it, and must play by the same rules as everybody else. There has been some friction in China-U.S. relations because China still sees itself as a developing or even poor country that should be able to pursue mercantilist policies that are for its benefit and where the rules applying to it should not be the same rules that apply to the United States, Europe, or other major powers.

Obama's remarks have fully shown that the United States is using "rules" as a new tool to contain China and to promote the eastward shift of its strategic center, in order to set the rules of the game for its own benefit and to enjoy "America's Pacific Century."

What are the "rules" mentioned by the United States?

In the maritime safety area, the United States is taking "freedom of navigation" as an excuse and making use of border disputes between China and some other countries to step in the South China Sea issue. The United States requires other countries to obey relevant rules of the International Law of the Sea, but the United States itself has not signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In the economic and trade area, the United States is trying to reconstruct and make use of the current system of the Asia-Pacific region to confirm its dominant status in the region. For example, it has been greatly promoting the Trans -Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) in recent years. It wants to reconstruct the TPP into a high-quality and binding economic and trade framework and a new-generation model of free trade, and if other countries want to join it, they must reach same high standards in areas of the intellectual property rights, labor forces, state-owned enterprise and others. Actually, the United States wants to make new rules and set new standards.

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Leave your comment19 comments

  1. Name

reader at 2012-03-0971.38.26.*
They all seem undereducated. They fail to realize their growth comes from other countries. And the human rights issue they defend are the reason cooperations do business there. They"re cheap. One day that section will fail.
PD User at 2012-02-0624.118.165.*
Wow--how realistic that all of these posted opinions share the same point of view.
PD User at 2012-02-0575.72.239.*
Politically correct to be called "RULES" but to a layman, this kind of rule or behavior is called "EVIL". Double standards is another politically polite term but to a layman, it is called "DEVIL". The nation with most places to worship God is the most Evil one. So, to me, the layman! Why human are such evil!
Card Carrying Realist at 2012-02-05204.94.149.*
The author makes an excellent point in that China"s best move would be to engage and participate in the shaping of geopolitics in Asia Pacific. If unchallenged the US will proceed to impose its will to its full potential. The fight is coming, whether it"s politically, militarily, economically, or informationally oriented the fight for dominance in the fastest growing part of the world (Asia Pacific) is on the horizon. Using international organizations and their rules (UNCLOS) to resolve international disputes have always been toothless/useless and until large numbers of states consider their rules binding they will continue to be nothing but words. China wants to deal with members of ASEAN individually in order to impose its power more effectively; and the US would rather the ASEAN states act in concert agains China. If the US pushes the states of ASEAN too hard they will reject US preferences and deal amicably with China because China is the regional superpower after all and they will have to live with China in greater proximity than that of the US.
lionheart1965 at 2012-02-03122.149.101.*
Rules are made by West. These rules are rejected by two countries viz US and Israel. But they expect rest of the world to follow them. Examples are CTBT, NPT, International tribunal for war crimes, WTO. They killed 1 million in Iraq and murdered babies in Haditha, Iraq...all killers are free and US is preaching human rights to China. Isreal has 400 nukes but no sanction against Israel...rules are for Iran not for Israel

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