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Op-Ed: America under Trump should seek strength through cooperation and not competition

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    13:06, January 31, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. In it, according to a transcript released by the White House, Trump mentioned the word “China” a total of three times. On America’s strength abroad, he called China a “rival” and said that “unmatched [hard] power” is the surest means of security.

“Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense,” Trump said.

It should go without saying that further enhancing America’s military might is a recipe for disaster. A bigger, stronger military force does indeed increase America’s strength, but it also has the unintended consequence of heating up competition, because the best defense for other countries is to dramatically increase their military power in response to the military buildup.

In this new era, there is no need for competition to be the biggest and strongest actor on the world stage. The United States should abandon its zero-sum mentality and use its great strength to help foster an international environment that encourages dialogue rather than confrontation and partnerships rather than alliances.

Rather than promote malicious rivalry, the United States should join hands with China in building a new model of major-country relations, featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation.

Trump paid a successful state visit to China last year, strengthening the relationship between the two countries. Although the United States and China do not see eye to eye about everything, the common interests far outweigh the differences. If Trump Administration really wants to “restore America’s strength and standing abroad,” then Washington should join efforts with the global community to build a world of lasting peace and common security together.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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