US Unpopularity Not Caused by China’s PopularityPosted: June 18, 2017
On June 2, Isaac Stone Fish published a quite interesting article on The Atlantic titled “Is China Becoming the World’s Most Likeable Superpower?” that reflects some Americans’ absurd obsession with America’s status of world number one superpower.
Due to such obsession those Americans direct their bitter jealousy at China as it seems to them that a rising China will replace the US as world number one.
America is declining and China is rising but America is not so weak and China is by no means so strong to replace the US as world leader.
In fact, China is not even a superpower at present as its economy is smaller than the US and its per-capita GDP is much lower than the US. China is making great efforts to strengthen its military. That is not because China wants to contend with the US for world hegemony but because the US wants to bully China by depriving its historical rights and interests in the South China Sea as an approach to contain China.
China has grown strong enough to defeat the US near China’s coast and in the South China Sea due to its geographical advantages, but US navy remains the dominant force in the oceans. Compared with US military, China’s military is weaker and have to make long-term efforts to modernize to be able to resist US attack.
Mr. Fish, However, mentioned China’s popularity in its One Belt, One Road initiatives for win-win cooperation with other countries, but seems ignorant that the term win-win means that China itself will also be benefited from the initiative. In fact, China is also making efforts to conduct win-win cooperation with the United States and the US as well as China will be benefited.
Those who are obsessed with world leadership and jealous at China want to have TPP or other similar arrangement to contain China at the expense of US economy. It is really absurd to contain others by hurting oneself.
Mr. Fish then mentions China’s support for globalization when the US advocates protectionism. China’s support does not mean that it has the intention to replace the US as champion of globalization but to keep on being benefited by globalization. In fact, the major factor that contributes to China’s rise in the past three decades has been globalization that enables China to exploit its cheap labor to produce and exports its products all over the world.
Then there was the Paris Accords to prevent global warming. Some Western media believe that China has switched from opposing to upholding global efforts to protect environment in order to be leader in that respect. That is entirely not true. China’s change in attitude is because its serious air pollution makes it realize the importance of environmental protection.
In fact, Mr. Fish wants to criticize Trump for his attempt for win-win cooperation with China and protectionism and withdraw from the Paris Accords. Those are US problems to be considered in the light of US interests. They have nothing to do with China.
It is the US that has changed its policies to become unpopular. China’s popularity in the world origins from its efforts to benefit others while benefiting itself. The popularity depends on whether Chinese policies benefit others. It has nothing to do with US policies.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on The Atlantic’s article, full text of which https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/china-jinping-trump-america-first-keqiang/529014/