Since 2018, the U.S. has issued several strategic reports, painting China as its biggest strategic rival. In practice, some American politicians have been unscrupulously suppressing China on many fronts and provoking the latter on its core interests. China-U.S. relationship is faced with the most severe challenge since the establishment of diplomatic ties.
However, the U.S. might fail to figure out who is its biggest rival.
The U.S. has been plagued by serious problems in the past decade. Economically, the gap between the rich and the poor has continued to expand. Due to the lack of internal driving forces for growth, it has sought temporary relief regardless of the consequences through excessive fiscal and financial stimulus policies.
Politically, democracy has become a tool of ferocious partisan struggles and a profit-making tool for interest groups.
The country is hitting a bottleneck in its development, with shrinking advantages and rising anxiety.
How did the U.S. get here? The reason lies in the problems of the design and operation of its political and economic systems. It’s also the inevitable result of the shortsighted pursuit of profits.
The U.S. cannot make it great again by suppressing China. The U.S. instigated trade frictions, but it didn’t see its trade deficit be significantly reduced and failed to bring the manufacturing sector back home. In contrast, Americans paid an additional $50 billion in tariffs in 2019 alone.
Scapegoating China for the COVID-19 pandemic by the U.S. can’t change its disastrous failure to curb the spread of the virus in the country. The pandemic leads to the biggest economic decline in the U.S. since World War II, with soaring national debts, and the dollar is losing ground as the world’s reserve currency.
While fostering an ideological struggle and provoking confrontation between the Chinese and American people, some U.S. politicians didn’t change the reality of their country’s ineffective governance and intensified social conflicts. And the waves of protest continued over the death of U.S. citizen George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Some U.S. politicians are unwilling to see others’ better performance. Regardless of freedom and fairness, the U.S.’ groundless and unjust suppression or even looting of Chinese enterprises will not only threaten the sources of profits of American companies, but also find little support from other countries. Decoupling from China also means decoupling from the world.
The U.S. shall be aware that its biggest rival is itself, and its move to turn China into an adversary is strategic miscalculation and will digging itself into a hole in the international arena while the country has to solve its own increasingly serious issues at home. It means that the U.S. is funneling its strategic resources in the wrong area, and resolving one while neglecting the other, thus making the situation more complex.
The development of China-U.S. relations has clearly shown that both sides stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. After the normalization of bilateral relations, bilateral cooperation has brought tangible benefits to the U.S. and made tremendous contributions to the country’s stability and development.
China-US business ties support 2.6 million American jobs, and trade with China helps each American family save $850 every year.
The wheels of history keep rolling on. While China-U.S. relations cannot return to its past, it doesn’t mean that the two countries must descend into confrontation. Both are countries with global influence, China and the U.S. can, in a constructive and creative manner, respect each other, seek common ground while resolving our differences, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation to elevate bilateral relations.