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News Analysis: No need to pit China against US

By Chen Jipeng (Xinhua)

10:38, June 02, 2013

SINGAPORE, June 1 (Xinhua) -- It's obvious that there is no need to pit a rising China against the United States -- even as a Pacific power.

Well, maybe not so obvious. At least not so to a South Korean participant at the ongoing Shangri-La Dialogue who posed the question "Do you have more trust in the United States versus China " to keynote speaker Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Friday evening.

Some of the distinguished scholars are saying that while China should fully expect suspicion over its peaceful rise and trouble in its neighborhood over the coming decades, both China and the United States understand that they have common interests in peaceful and reliable bilateral relations.

"I think it is not enough for China and the United States to know this, the message should be conveyed to other countries and regions in the Asia Pacific, too, where both the United States and China have an influence," said Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute, the National University of Singapore.

This will be in the interest of not only China and the United States, but other players in the region as well.

Chinese leaders have called for a new type of bilateral relations between the world's two biggest economies.

While China is pursuing a strategy of peaceful rise, it is by no means in the interest of the United States, either, to be involved in any conflict in the world of today.

It cannot be denied that the two countries have certain doubts over each other's strategic intentions, with Washington fearing its global status overtaken while Beijing always wondering about the true purpose of Obama's so-called "Asia Pivot" and " rebalancing."

To reduce suspicion and build trust, it is vital to have channels for dialogues, including those like the multilateral Shangri-La Dialogue, which gathers defense ministers and senior military commanders from some 30 countries and regions, mainly those in the Asia Pacific.

Kishore Mahbubani, a former Singaporean diplomat and dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said the different countries in the world are now living in many "different cabins on the same boat," unlike in the past when they live in different boats.

He called for major powers, especially the United States, to push for respect for rules in global governance.

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