Washington’s Dangerous New Consensus on China


Don’t Start Another Cold War

By Bernie Sanders

June 17, 2021

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2021-06-17/washingtons-dangerous-new-consensus-china

The unprecedented global challenges that the United States faces today—climate change, pandemics, nuclear proliferation, massive economic inequality, terrorism, corruption, authoritarianism—are shared global challenges. They cannot be solved by any one country acting alone. They require increased international cooperation—including with China, the most populous country on earth.

It is distressing and dangerous, therefore, that a fast-growing consensus is emerging in Washington that views the U.S.-Chinese relationship as a zero-sum economic and military struggle. The prevalence of this view will create a political environment in which the cooperation that the world desperately needs will be increasingly difficult to achieve.

It is quite remarkable how quickly conventional wisdom on this issue has changed. Just over two decades ago, in September 2000, corporate America and the leadership of both political parties strongly supported granting China “permanent normal trade relations” status, or PNTR. At that time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the corporate media, and virtually every establishment foreign policy pundit in Washington insisted that PNTR was necessary to keep U.S. companies competitive by giving them access to China’s growing market, and that the liberalization of China’s economy would be accompanied by the liberalization of China’s government with regard to democracy and human rights.

This position was seen as obviously and unassailably correct. Granting PNTR, the economist Nicholas Lardy of the centrist Brookings Institution argued in the spring of 2000, would “provide an important boost to China’s leadership, that is taking significant economic and political risks in order to meet the demands of the international community for substantial additional economic reforms.” The denial of PNTR, on the other hand, “would mean that U.S. companies would not benefit from the most important commitments China has made to become a member” of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Writing around the same time, the political scientist Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute put it more bluntly. “American trade with China is a good thing, for America and for the expansion of freedom in China,” he asserted. “That seems, or should seem, obvious.”

Well, it wasn’t obvious to me, which is why I helped lead the opposition to that disastrous trade agreement. What I knew then, and what many working people knew, was that allowing American companies to move to China and hire workers there at starvation wages would spur a race to the bottom, resulting in the loss of good-paying union jobs in the United States and lower wages for American workers. And that’s exactly what happened. In the roughly two decades that followed, around two million American jobs were lost, more than 40,000 factories shut down, and American workers experienced wage stagnation—even while corporations made billions and executives were richly rewarded. In 2016, Donald Trump won the presidential election in part by campaigning against U.S. trade policies, tapping into the real economic struggles of many voters with his phony and divisive populism.

Meanwhile, needless to say, freedom, democracy, and human rights in China have not expanded. They have been severely curtailed as China has moved in a more authoritarian direction, and China has become increasingly aggressive on the global stage. The pendulum of conventional wisdom in Washington has now swung from being far too optimistic about the opportunities presented by unfettered trade with China to being far too hawkish about the threats posed by the richer, stronger, more authoritarian China that has been one result of that increased trade.

In February 2020, the Brookings analyst Bruce Jones wrote that “China’s rise—to the position of the world’s second-largest economy, its largest energy consumer, and its number two defense spender—has unsettled global affairs” and that mobilizing “to confront the new realities of great power rivalry is the challenge for American statecraft in the period ahead.” A few months ago, my conservative colleague Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, compared the threat from China to the one posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War: “Once again, America confronts a powerful totalitarian adversary that seeks to dominate Eurasia and remake the world order,” he argued. And just as Washington reorganized the U.S. national security architecture after World War II to prepare for conflict with Moscow, Cotton wrote, “today, America’s long-term economic, industrial, and technological efforts need to be updated to reflect the growing threat posed by Communist China.” And just last month, Kurt Campbell, the U.S. National Security Council’s top Asia policy official, said that “the period that was broadly described as engagement [with China] has come to an end” and that going forward, “the dominant paradigm is going to be competition.”

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE

Twenty years ago, the American economic and political establishment was wrong about China. Today, the consensus view has changed, but it is once again wrong. Now, instead of extolling the virtues of free trade and openness toward China, the establishment beats the drums for a new Cold War, casting China as an existential threat to the United States. We are already hearing politicians and representatives of the military-industrial complex using this as the latest pretext for larger and larger defense budgets.

I believe it is important to challenge this new consensus—just as it was important to challenge the old one. The Chinese government is surely guilty of many policies and practices that I oppose and that all Americans should oppose: the theft of technology, the suppression of workers’ rights and the press, the repression taking place in Tibet and Hong Kong, Beijing’s threatening behavior toward Taiwan, and the Chinese government’s atrocious policies toward the Uyghur people. The United States should also be concerned about China’s aggressive global ambitions. The United States should continue to press these issues in bilateral talks with the Chinese government and in multilateral institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council. That approach would be far more credible and effective if the United States upholds a consistent position on human rights toward its own allies and partners.

Americans must resist the temptation to try to forge national unity through hostility and fear.

Organizing our foreign policy around a zero-sum global confrontation with China, however, will fail to produce better Chinese behavior and be politically dangerous and strategically counterproductive. The rush to confront China has a very recent precedent: the global “war on terror.” In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the American political establishment quickly concluded that antiterrorism had to become the overriding focus of U.S. foreign policy. Almost two decades and $6 trillion later, it’s become clear that national unity was exploited to launch a series of endless wars that proved enormously costly in human, economic, and strategic terms and that gave rise to xenophobia and bigotry in U.S. politics—the brunt of it borne by American Muslim and Arab communities. It is no surprise that today, in a climate of relentless fearmongering about China, the country is experiencing an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. Right now, the United States is more divided than it has been in recent history. But the experience of the last two decades should have shown us that Americans must resist the temptation to try to forge national unity through hostility and fear.

A BETTER WAY FORWARD

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has rightly recognized the rise of authoritarianism as a major threat to democracy. The primary conflict between democracy and authoritarianism, however, is taking place not between countries but within them—including in the United States. And if democracy is going to win out, it will do so not on a traditional battlefield but by demonstrating that democracy can actually deliver a better quality of life for people than authoritarianism can. That is why we must revitalize American democracy, restoring people’s faith in government by addressing the long-neglected needs of working families. We must create millions of good-paying jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and combating climate change. We must address the crises we face in health care, housing, education, criminal justice, immigration, and so many other areas. We must do this not only because it will make us more competitive with China or any other country but because it will better serve the needs of the American people.

Although the primary concern of the U.S. government is the security and prosperity of the American people, we should also recognize that in our deeply interconnected world, our security and prosperity are connected to people everywhere. To that end, it is in our interest to work with other wealthy nations to raise living standards around the world and diminish the grotesque economic inequality that authoritarian forces everywhere exploit to build their own political power and undermine democracy.

The Biden administration has pushed for a global minimum corporate tax. This is a good step toward ending the race to the bottom. But we must think even bigger: a global minimum wage, which would strengthen the rights of workers around the world, providing millions more with the chance for a decent, dignified life and diminishing the ability of multinational corporations to exploit the world’s neediest populations. To help poor countries raise their living standards as they integrate into the global economy, the United States and other rich countries should significantly increase their investments in sustainable development.

For the American people to thrive, others around the world need to believe that the United States is their ally and that their successes are our successes. Biden is doing exactly the right thing by providing $4 billion in support for the global vaccine initiative known as COVAX, by sharing 500 million vaccine doses with the world, and by backing a WTO intellectual property waiver that would enable poorer countries to produce vaccines themselves. China deserves acknowledgment for the steps it has taken to provide vaccines, but the United States can do even more. When people around the world see the American flag, it should be attached to packages of lifesaving aid, not drones and bombs.

Creating true security and prosperity for working people in the United States and China alike demands building a more equitable global system that prioritizes human needs over corporate greed and militarism. In the United States, handing billions more in taxpayer dollars to corporations and the Pentagon while inflaming bigotry will not serve these goals.

Americans must not be naive about China’s repression, disregard for human rights, and global ambitions. I strongly believe that the American people have an interest in strengthening global norms that respect the rights and dignity of all people—in the United States, in China, and around the world. I fear, however, that the growing bipartisan push for a confrontation with China will set back those goals and risks empowering authoritarian, ultranationalistic forces in both countries. It will also deflect attention from the shared common interests the two countries have in combating truly existential threats such as climate change, pandemics, and the destruction that a nuclear war would bring.

Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with China will not be easy. But we can do better than a new Cold War.

Source: Foreign Affairs “Washington’s Dangerous New Consensus on China”

Note: This is Foreign Affairs’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China condemns G7 statement censuring Beijing, supporting Taiwan


David Kirton May 6, 2021 7:02 PM HKT

China condemned on Thursday a joint statement by G7 foreign ministers that expressed support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan and cast Beijing as a bully, saying it was a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.

G7 foreign ministers said in a communique after a London summit that China was guilty of human rights abuses and of using “coercive economic policies”, which the G7 would use collective efforts to stop.

In an unusual step, the G7 also said they supported Taiwan’s participation in World Health Organization forums and the World Health Assembly – and expressed concern about “any unilateral actions that could escalate tensions” in the Taiwan Strait.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin condemned the statement saying it made “groundless accusations” that were a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.

“This is the wanton destruction of the norms of international relations,” he said.

The G7 as a group should take concrete action to boost the global economic recovery instead of disrupting it, he added.

Wang also attacked G7 countries for hoarding COVID-19 vaccines and having a “wishy-washy” stance towards helping other countries.

“They should not criticise and interfere in other countries with a high-and-mighty attitude, undermining the current top priority of international anti-pandemic cooperation,” he said.

China regards Taiwan as its own territory and opposes any official Taiwan representation on an international level. China has also stepped up military activities near Taiwan in recent months, trying to assert its sovereignty claims.

The G7 statement was warmly received in Taipei, where the government said this was the first time the foreign ministers had mentioned the island in their joint communique.

Taiwan’s Presidential Office thanked the G7 for its support.

“Taiwan will keep deepening the cooperative partnership with G7 member countries, and continue to contribute the greatest positive force to global health and people’s well-being, as well as the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region,” said spokesman Xavier Chang.

Source: Reuters “China condemns G7 statement censuring Beijing, supporting Taiwan”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


US Western Allies Join US Cold War by Words Not Deeds


Reuters’ report “G7 scolds China and Russia over threats, bullying, rights abus” yesterday says “The Group of Seven scolded both China and Russia on Wednesday, casting the Kremlin as malicious and Beijing as a bully, but beyond words there were few concrete steps aside from expressing support for Taiwan and Ukraine.”

The report says. “There was, however, little concrete action mentioned in the communique that would unduly worry either Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin”. Note: it is a communique 12,400 words long that attacks Russia and China only in words but but not in deeds.

Obviously, US allies in Europe only want confrontation with China or Russia in words but not deeds. America will have only Japan and Australia in its Cold War camp against China and Russia.

Poor America!

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/world/g7-scolds-china-russia-over-threats-bullying-rights-abuses-2021-05-05/.


China’s One-in-Three Ensured, US New Cold War Lacks Allies


US to Build a New Cold War Camp against China

China signed a major investment pact with EU at the end of 2020 to implement its One-in-Three strategy as Chinese leaders have the vision to see that US new President Joe Biden wants to launch a new Cold War against China. In such a cold war, the US needs a cold war camp.

China certainly has its camp with lots of Asian countries as its members and Russia as China’s co-leader of the camp. As South Korea is not willing to and India dare no join US Cold War camp, the US will only have Japan alone in its Cold War camp in Asia. US major hope lies in EU.

Failure to have EU Join US Cold War

In early 2021, the US made great diplomatic efforts to have EU join its new Cold War against China but failed. EU members have lots of interests in Chinese market and may have better access to the market due to the investment pact China signed with EU at the end of 2020 in order to win over EU or at least prevent EU from joining US Cold War camp against China. If EU maintains its independence from the US, China and Russia’s Asian bloc will be one in the three powers in the world: EU, China and Russia’s Asia block and the US. In that case China’s Asia block is stronger than the US and Japan’s Cold War camp. However, if EU joins US Cold War camp, US camp will be much stronger than China’s Asia block.

EU certainly does not want to clearly take side with the US in countering China as it does not want to lose the benefits from China’s vast market. Moreover, China’s rise does not constitute any substantial threat but offers it with great opportunity. As a result, US Secretary of State Blinken was frustrated to say that he would not force EU members to take side between the US and China. In fact, he could not as the US lacks the strength to do so.

China-EU Pact May Fail due to China’s Counter Sanctions on EU

The US seems fortunate that in March 2021, EU joined the US, UK and Canada in imposing sanctions on China for alleged human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang. China retaliated with counter sanctions that upset EU. It may cause its investment deal with EU to be ratified by the European parliament.

Reinhard Buetikofer, the chair of the parliament’s China delegation, said, “The fate of this deal is very much in question,”

However as the deal is vital for the success of Xi Jinping’s one-in-three strategy, on April 7, 2021 Xi had a phone call with German leader Merkel to win Germany over as he knows Germany’s great influence in EU.

Boycott Xinjiang Cotton and Counter Boycott

Due to the sanctions, EU boycotted Xinjiang cotton. Chinese people responded fiercely. They boycotted foreign well-known fashion brands in response of EU companies’ boycott of Xinjiang cotton. That will greatly facilitate the development of China’s national fashion brands on China’s vast domestic market. China is now anxious to develop its own national well-known brands but its negligence for decades of national intellectual property has enabled foreign well-known brands to flood their products on Chinese market. Foreign fashion brands’ boycott of Chinese cotton provides China with a golden opportunity to develop its own national fashion brands.

Chinese companies will use the cotton foreign companies boycotted to produce fashion products to replace the brand of goods boycotted by foreign companies. Lack of foreign brands will greatly facilitate the development of China’s national brands. Chinese people’s boycott may hurt some EU countries’ fashion industry.

One-in-Three Efforts

Chinese President Xi Jinping took the opportunity to talk with German Chancellor Merkel on the phone. He gave her the advice that Germany had to maintain its independence from the influence of others. Xi was certainly trying to persuade Germany not to follow the US in fighting a Cold War against China. He got Merkel’s words that Germany, the most influential country in EU, will maintain its independence. As a matter fact, Xi has thus got Merkel’s words that Germany would not join US Cold War against China. After all China is Germany’s major trade partners and has signed a trade deal with EU to allow EU even better access to Chinese market.

Xi’s efforts will be followed up by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s virtual conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas to further improve China-EU ties.

Obviously, Germany also wants closer relations with China to benefit from China’s vast market. Right before the conference German Prime Minister Heiko Maas warned EU not to cut ties with China.

He said that EU needed to engage with China despite many differences instead of opting for a more isolationist approach.

He was quoted by media as saying, “In the EU, we have been describing China as a partner, competitor and systemic rival at the same time”. “In all these three dimensions we need strong, sustainable communication channels with Beijing. De-coupling is the wrong way to go.”

In the virtual conference between China’s Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi and German Foreign Minister Maas on April 21, 2021, Wang Yi said that as major world economies, China and Germany shall jointly resist the so-called “de-coupling” adverse trend and jointly safeguard the smooth operation and stability of global industrial and supply chains.

Wang Yi pointed out that China did not approve of any re-drawing of ideological lines or engaging in new group confrontation and is even more opposed to engaging in “small cliques”, advocating “New Cold War” and even arbitrarily imposing unilateral sanctions based on false information

Wang said that China-Germany and China-EU cooperation is mutual beneficial and win-win in essence. It may realize mutual supplementation of advantages. He hoped that the German side would also maintain its opening-up to China, reduce its restriction to export of high-tech products to China and provide Chinese enterprises in Europe with fair, open and nondiscriminatory investment environment.

Maas is quoted by media as saying that de-coupling is not commensurate with any party’s interests. Germany is willing to maintain close coordination and communications on multilateral and international affairs to jointly deal with global issues and challenges.

Obviously Germany wants better relations with China independent from the US. With Germany’s weighty influence in the EU and with the benefits provided by the investment pact between EU and China, the US is unable to have EU join its new Cold War camp against China.

US Cold War lacks allies, but China’s one-in-three will prevail as it advocates win-win cooperation instead of confrontation whether within or out of China’s Asia block. China will be benefited by its closer cooperation with EU, especially in developing high technology.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


EU Gives Lip Support for US, Seeks Economic Gains in Asia-Pacific


Reuters’ report “EU sets out Indo-Pacific plan, says it’s not ‘anti-China’” tries to make readers believe that the statement of EU foreign ministers meeting on April 19, 2021 supports the US Cold War against China. The report quotes the statement as saying, EU “considers that the EU should reinforce its strategic focus, presence and actions in the Indo-Pacific… based on the promotion of democracy, rule of law, human rights and international law.”

However, the statement obviously shows EU is unwilling to take side with the US in countering China. Therefore the statement only gives the above lip support for US with respect to democracy, rule of law, human rights and international law without any specifics. On the contrary, EU insists its strategy is not against China.

In fact EU’s plan is to pursue economic gains in Indo-Pacific as it sees the great potential in Indo-Pacific. The statement says that EU seeks free trade deals with Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.

In addition, the report says, “German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has warned of the EU missing out, after China and other Asia-Pacific economies signed what could become the world’s largest free trade agreement from 2022.”

As China is the largest market with greatest growth potential in Asia-Pacific, EU certainly do not want to lose its opportunity there so that the statement says the bloc wanted to sign an investment treaty with China that both sides agreed in principle late in 2020.

That is why EU may not join US Cold War against China.

Sad for the US, only Japan joins its Cold War against China. As EU pursues independence from the US for its own interests, there will be no two Cold War camps but three powers in the world: the US, EU and the Asian bloc with China and Russia as its centers.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/world/china/eu-sets-out-indo-pacific-plan-says-its-not-anti-china-2021-04-19/


Japan Joins US Cold War against China


Fortunately for US President Biden that Japanese Prime Minister Suga has ensured Biden that Japan joins US Cold War camp against China so that though India has joined the Quad but not joined the Cold War camp in denouncing China openly, the US at least has one Cold War ally in Asia. Japan’s close ties with the US is what Reuters describes in its report “Biden and Japan’s Suga project unity against China’s assertiveness” on April 17, 2021.

That certainly upsets China according to the report, Chinese embassy in the US responds by stressing that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang are China’s internal affairs and criticizing that US President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Suga’s remarks after their summit in the US have “completely gone beyond the scope of the normal development of bilateral relations”, harming the interests of third parties as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.

However, that is but normal diplomatic response. China will not counter with the setup of a similar Cold War camp against the US. It will only continue its efforts in carrying out its one-in-three strategy to prevent EU from joining US Cold War Camp. If EU is independent from the US and China gets most of Asian countries on its side except Japan, the US will be isolated though it has Japan as its Cold War ally.

Moreover, as Japan has great interests in the Chinese market and as the US is Japan’s major competitor there, the US-Japan alliance cannot be very firm.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuter’s report, full text may be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/world/china/biden-welcome-japans-suga-first-guest-key-ally-china-strategy-2021-04-16/.


China, Russia Frustrate US Cold War with Diplomacy


US Busy in Organizing Its Cold War Camp without Success

The US regards itself as world leader and believe it can compete with both China and Russia, but its efforts to establish its Quad to contain China failed as India does not dare to upset China openly. On the contrary, India has reached agreement with China to withdraw along with China its troops from the line of contact. The two countries have actually done so to ease their border tensions. In addition, Indian Prime Minister Modi wrote to Pakistan to seek reduction of tentions with Pakistan.

Russia’s Contribution in Making Quad Fail

Certainly, Russia has played important role in mediating between India, and China and Pakistan.

India, however, is afraid of Chinese invation as China has geographycal advantages. In a war between the two, even if India wins, it will gain some barren areas at high altitude hard for people from low altitude to live. China’s rich areas lie far away from its border with India. But if China wins, Chinese troops may soon occupy India’s rich plain areas while Pakistan may seize the opportunity to invade India from the west.

I believe Russia has made India realize its disadvantages in fighting for Quad to contain China. In fact, the attempt to use Quad to have India contain China is a stupid plan in the first place as it is naive to believe Indian leader is so stupid as to be easily duped to fight hard wars for other’s gains.

He knows that the border disputes between India and China are insignificant though Western and Indian media have tried hard to make the disputes sensational. China has no intention to fight a war as it has to focus on realizing its China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Seeing its mediation succeeded in making India and China ease tensions on their borders and Indian Prime Minister send a letter seeking peaceful relations with Pakistan. Russia grabbed the opportunity to send its Foreign Minister Lavrov to visit India and Pakistan in a row in early April 2021, not long after the Quad summit convened by US President Joe Biden. Lavrov mediated India and Pakistan in person and promised to provide both India and Pakistan with advanced weapons much cheaper than US ones. It is able to do so as its weapon production costs less and it has rich China’s financial support. The US, however, is hard up and will have difficulties raise funds from Congress for overhaul of its poor old roads and bridges.

To maintain its hegemony, the US raises the ghost of China to scare others so that it may make them purchase its expensive weapons and rely on US expensive protection. For exapmle, South Korea has to pay the US more than US$1 billion for the protecton of 28,500 US troopers in it. The cost is really excessive as South Korea has to pay $35,000 to keep one trooper there.

However, the US fails to make most of its allies and partners to join its Cold War camp against China in spite of its intimidation of them with China’s image of hegemon created by the US.

Xi Jinping Got German Leader Merkel’s Words on Independence from the US

What about Europe, US competitor in China’s vast and growing market. US Secretary of State Blinken visited EU in order to take it into US camp of Cold War against China, but EU has no warries about China’s rise. Biden’s predecessor former US President Trump’s hegemonic pressures on EU remains fresh in EU’s memory. Anyway US loss of its world number one position to China will not hurt EU much. But if a Republican like Trump wins the next predidential election, EU will suffer from US hegemonic pressures and even persecution again. As a result, EU is unwilling to join US Cold War camp against China. Blinken could not but say in Europe that the US would not force EU members to take side between the US and China.

However, in order not to upset the US, EU has to join the US in imposing sanctions on China for the so-called “use of forced labor in cotton production in Xinjiang”. It believes it is no big problem as the sanction concerns only local production of a specific commodity. It does not expect the strong response from Chinese netizens.

Chinese people’s boycott of the foreign well-known brands in response of their boycott of Xinjiang cotton will greatly facilitate the development of China’s national brands on China’s vast domestic market. China is now anxious to develop its own national well-known brands but its negligence for decades of national intellectual property has enabled foreign well-known brands to flood their products on Chinese market. Foreign fashion brands’ boycott of Chiese cotton provides China with a golden opportunity to develop its own national fashion brands.

Chinese companies will use the cotton foreign companies boycotted to produce fashion products to replace the brand of goods boycotted by foreign companies. Lack of foreign brands will greatly facilitate the development of China’s national brands. Chinese people’s boycott really hurts and may hurt some EU countries’ fashion industry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping took the opportunity to talk with German Chancellor Merkel on the phone. He gave her the advice that Germany had to maintain its independence from the influence of others. Xi was certainly trying to persuade Germany not to follow the US in fighting a Cold War against China. He got Merkel’s words that Germany, the most influential country in EU, will maintain its independence. As a matter fact, Xi has thus got Merkel’s words that Germany would not join US Cold War against China. After all China is Germany’s major trade partners and has signed a trade deal with EU to allow EU even better access to Chinese market.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


New Paradigm of Neighborship Will End US Hegemony in Europe


China’s One-in-Three now Differs from That in Three Kingdoms Period

It is quite clear that China is adopting the strategy of one-in-three with the wisdom learned from the history of Zhuge Liang’s in Three Kingdoms. However the situation now is quite different from that in the Three Kingdoms period. Zhuge established the Empire of Shuhan in order to use it as the base to conquer both Cao Cao and Sun Quan in order to reunite China.

Now, however, China has no ambition to conquer either the US or EU. It only want to have a group to counter US hegemony. In doing so, China shall unite with EU to exploit EU’s strength. The US suspects that China has the ambition to replace it as the only world leader. However the term “world leader” means world hegemon in US dictionary. To maintain such hegemony, the US started a real Cold War against China.

US Started Real Cold War against China

I said in my preceding article that China has switched from Cold War to one-in-three strategy as it found if it had really launched a Cold War against US, EU would have joined US Cold War camp to the disadvantages of China and Russia’s camp.

However, EU and the US have quite a few conflicts of interest in their economies. EU has been founded for the precise purpose of countering US economic hegemony, especially the dominance of US dollar. The development of a united currency Euro aims to counter the dominance of US dollar but fails to entirely remove the dominance. China may help EU in countering US economic hegemony.

It is better for China and Russia to exploit the conflicts between EU and the US to win over EU as an ally or at least turn EU neutral in their confrontation with the US. That will be the strategy of one-in-three that China has switched to.

It is possible as after all there are close and potentially increasingly closer economic relations between EU and Russia. Russia is EU’s major supplier of natural gas. It has pipeline to do so through Ukraine. Now due to transit problems through Ukraine, Russia has been building Nord Stream 2 pipeline for direct connection with Germany. The US has imposed sanctions on the pipeline to facilitate the competition of its LNG with Russian natural gas in Europe. Energy supply is a great financial and security issue. US sanctions upsets Germany and other countries concerned and are denounced by them as intervention in their internal affairs.

That provides China and Russia with one more opportunity to drive a wedge between EU and the US.

The only factor that hinders China-EU alliance is EU’s need of US military protection against Russia, the successor of the Soviet Union. However, US former President Donald Trump’s “America first” policy has already triggered EU’s tendency on independent self-defense. What China shall do about that is to ease the tension between EU and Russia.

Traditional Neighborship

Usually people grow up among their friends in their neighborhood. It is common that some of their friends in their neighborhood become their iron brothers that take care of one another throughout their lives. However, that is not such usual neighborship among neighboring countries. Its common that a country invades its neighbor to annex the whole or a part of its neighbor. The country that has suffered the invasion would make great efforts to grow strong. When it has really grown strong, it would fight back to recover independence or the land it has lost to its neighbor. As a result, there are always changes in world map. Frequent wars among neighbors may make a country disapear permanently or temperately to reemerge later. The wars often caused borderlines to be redrawn. That becomes the traditional model of neighborship in human history.

Based on such a traditional model, the US pressures both China and Russia and push each of them into the other’s arms. It is not afraid that by so doing, it will cause the two countries to become strong allies to counter their common enemy the US as it believes that China and Russia cannot overcome their historical enmity and conflicts of interest to become real allies.

New Paradigm of Neighborship

China and Russia have now established a new paradigm of neighborship between neighboring countries. The fight for land between neighbor countries is now obsolete while the economic complement, the facilitating of connection and mutual military protection have become the norms, which constitute the basis for mutual trust. Such trust enables both side to withdraw hundreds of thousands of their border troops and thus greatly reduce their border defense costs.

This is also the paradigm of neighborship within the European Union, in which members do not incur the cost of defense of their neighboring borders.

That is why EU members’ defense budgets are so low. It enables them to spend more on their people’s welfare. In the past EU members rely on the US for their defense against the Soviet Union but now they only need the defense against Russia. Russia is much weaker than the Soviet Union and does not pursue communism, let alone the spreading of communism outside Russia. Since there is no more threat of communism, why does EU still regard Russia as a threat to their survival? Some people may argue that EU members are all democracies while Russia is an autocracy; therefore, Russia constitutes a threat to EU’s democracy. However, Russia is indeed a democracy with its leader elected by universal suffrage. There are some defects in that democracy, but it is now a work in progress of democracy to be improved in the course of its development. If EU democracy proves itself much better than Russia’s, Russian people will improve their democracy in accordance with the paradigm set up by EU.

In fact, the neighborship paradigm established by EU, China and Russia can be extended to Russia-EU relations. As a result, there will be better economic complement as Russia will supply oil and gas indispensable for EU and EU, products of technology Russia needs. EU’s defense expenditures will be greatly reduced. There will be no more mutual encirclement and Russia may even become an EU member as after all, Russia is a European country.

If there is no EU encirclement of Russia, Russia will not make efforts to recover the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union for its security. When the mutual encirclement mindsets have been removed, there will be no need for the existence of NATO, which was set up for defense against the Soviet Union instead of Russia. Then US will not be unable to impose its will on EU from its position as EU’s protector. There will be no US hegemony in Europe.

Article by Chan Kai Yee


From Cold War to One-in-Three


China and Russia’s Cold War with the US Began Long Ago

I believe that China and Russia’s new Cold War began when Russia Presiden Putin visited China in June 2012.

Not long before the visit, the then US Defense Secretary Panetta had reiterated that the US attached great importance to its relations with China and its plan to increase navy presence in the Pacific did not direct at Beijing.

Beijing said it welcomed US return to Asia-Pacific region but actually had stepped up its military buildup as soon as the US announced its new strategy. In a hurry, it began test of its aircraft carrier, completed construction of two more 20,000-ton landing platform docks, put its own GPS system into operation and tested the second prototype of its fifth-generation aircraft J-20. Obviously, before Putin’s visit China already began its arms race with the US unknown to the US.

The US held a large-scale military drill with its allies in the Pacific allegedly not directed at China.

China in turn held a large-scale navy drill with Russian in the Pacific allegedly not directed at the US.

China had lots of interests in Libya, but did not hinder Western military intervention there. China had to withdraw 50,000 citizens from Libya and suffer great economic losses. However, it did not complain until the US announced its new strategy of its pivot to Asia to contain the rise of China..

Since then, China has reversed its position and began to support Russia in blocking Western military intervention with Syria though China has little interest there.

Russia was so pleased that it wanted closer partnership with China.

In June 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China for much closer partnership with China in economy, trade, energy, culture and technology. In his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, they signed a joint declaration for further development of the two countries’ strategic partnership. The two presidents also pledged to intensify military exchanges, strengthen co-ordination in Asia-Pacific and co-operate in investments.

After their meeting the two presidents attended the signing of 11 cooperation documents, including cooperation between the two countries in building Nos. 3 and 4 generation sets in Jiangsu’s Sutian Bey nuclear power plant and the establishment of a US$4 billion joint investment fund.

Putin brought with him lots of Russian ministers and most major business executives For the two countries to carry out intensive discussion for a long time to enhance cooperation. This seems to be a second honeymoon between the two countries after their first honeymoon when China pleased Stalin by sending troops into Korea to fight the US in the 1950s.

With China and Russia as the centers, the six-country Shanghai Cooperative Organization (SCO) would adopt its first comprehensive plan to expand the bloc from focusing on security co-operations to being an economic and geopolitical alliance. Moreover, it planned to enlarge the alliance. SCO had already taken in Iran and other three as observer states and planned at that time to take in Afghanistan and turkey respectively as observer state and dialogue partner at that summit meeting.

Before leaving for China, Putin published an article on China’s People’s Daily, stressing that Sino-Russian cooperation was not directed at any third Party, but pointing out that without Chinese and Russian involvement, no international issue can be discussed or enacted.

Putin announced his ambitious plan to build a powerful navy while China is vigorously building up its navy silently. Both of them were conducting their arms race with the US but the US did not believe that they were able to compete with it so that it has been wasting its funds in developing much-troubled Littoral Combat Ships and Zumwalt destroyers it cannot afford to build or supply munitions.

The arms race had already begun and the mutual blocking is actively underway! The US remained unaware until China’s military has grown so strong that worried the US.

The US could not do what it wanted in Syria without Chinese and Russian involvement while China could not smoothly settle its South China Sea disputes due to US support to the other claimants.

The arms race and mutual blocking indicated that a new Cold War had already begun, but it was one-sided Cold War as for a long time the US was unaware of the Cold War China and Russia were conducting against it and failed to respond accordingly.

Switch from Cold War to One-in-Three

Soon after Xi Jinping has replaced Hu Jintao as China’s leader in late 2012, he continued his predecessor’s Hu Jintao policy of allying Russia to conduct a new Cold War with the US. However, he changed China’s strategy from Cold War to one-in-three as in the Cold War EU will be in US camp. With EU as its ally, US camp will be too strong for China and Russia’s camp to deal with. In fact, like the situation in China’s Three Kingdoms period. There will be three powers, US, EU and China-Russia alliance. To counter US hegemony, EU had better to be China’s ally or at least to keep neutral.

Though EU supported Philippine arbitration on the South China Sea and wanted China to accept the arbitration decision, Xi was not upset by EU’s infringement of China’s rights and interests and still believe he could win over EU or at least turn it neutral. After all EU and US do not have common economic interests. On the contrary they are competitors in world market. EU is close to the US merely in order to get its protection against the Soviet Union and its successor Russia.

To avoid upset EU, China has not supported Russia openly on Ukraine crisis and maintains good relations with Ukraine.

In conducting its Road and Belt initiative in central and eastern Europe, China stresses the benefits of the infrastructures it builds for their economy while belittle the geopolitical influence of its BRI projects.

When China rendered concessions under US trade war attacks, it makes the concessions benefit all other countries including EU instead of the US alone.

When it is obvious that US new President Biden is winning over EU to counter China by abolishing his predecessor Trump’s unfavorable policies toward EU, China immediately make concessions to EU to conclude an important trade deal with EU. EU will thus enjoy better treatment in Chinese market than the US as the concessions are given to EU alone.

That is why when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Europe to make EU counter China along with the US, but many EU members would not do so. Blinken was forced to say that the United States would not force any NATO ally to choose sides between Washington and Beijing.

When EU sanctions some Xinjiang officials and firm due to China’s alleged violation of human rights in Xinjiang, China immediately retaliated with counter sanctions. Some people said that China might fail to get ratified its trade deal with EU. China simply does not care. The trade deal may make EU substantially benefited in Chinese market. Failure to ratify it will hurt EU instead of China great. After all, interest is the driving force of diplomacy.

Some well-known Western brands refused to purchase Xinjiang cotton due to EU sanctions. It has caused Chinese to boycott those brands. I wonder whether those brands are ignorant that they have entered and enjoyed dominance in China when China neglected the development of its national brands. Now, China is anxious to develop its own brands. The boycott will facilitate China’s development of its own well-known national brand. Are Nike and Adidas willing to give way to China’s major national brand Lining?

Obviously people outside China do not know what China’s Xi Jinping Thought means? They had better read the first series of this book. It begins with the phrase “Xi Jinping Thought, Declaration of ‘China Can Say No’”

Article by Chan Kai Yee


At the UN, China’s Xi showed he understands the system better than Trump


The US is ceding leverage, which is giving China the influence it craves.

By Jen Kirbyjen.kirby@vox.com Sep 22, 2020, 4:00pm EDT

President Donald Trump spent most of his United Nations speech blasting China — for its handling of the coronavirus, for its contributions to pollution, for its trade policy.

China’s President Xi Jinping, who spoke shortly afterward, did not mention the United States directly. Instead, he talked about Beijing’s commitment to global cooperation and the humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both speeches misrepresented the realities of their countries, and the world, right now. But 75 years after the United Nations was founded, China, not the United States, has shown it knows how to work the multilateral system to its advantage.

Trump’s dismissiveness of international cooperation has been a theme of his presidency, culminating in his fourth (and maybe final) United Nations speech, where he once again revisited the greatest hits of “America First.” Or as Trump put it in his short, prerecorded address: “But only when you take care of your own citizens will you find a true basis for cooperation. As president, I have rejected the failed approaches of the past, and I am proudly putting America first, just as you should be putting your countries first.”

Even if expected, Trump’s tone was at odds with the UN’s 75th anniversary, which is all about member states renewing their commitment to multilateralism. His attacks on China were in sharp contrast to the warnings from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who warned earlier Tuesday morning against the start of a “new Cold War” and a world where “the two largest economies split the globe in a great fracture.”

We must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China,” Trump said, referring to the coronavirus. “In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China — and infect the world.”

He accused the World Health Organization, which the Trump administration announced this summer it was withdrawing from, of being too greatly influenced by China. He demanded the “United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.”

A representative for China, speaking to introduce his leader Xi, rejected the US’s characterizations, but in contrast to Trump’s adversarial tone, China tried to paint a picture where they were the good guys just trying to defeat the pandemic responsibly. “We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the leading role of the World Health Organization, and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic,” Xi said in his address, through an interpreter. “Any attempt of politicizing the issue of stigmatization must be rejected.”

Of course, China silenced whistleblowers who spoke out in the early days of the pandemic, it delayed reporting the outbreak, and there are still questions about China’s level of cooperation with the WHO investigation into the origins of the virus. China has also deployed propaganda to try to blame the US for the coronavirus, too.

We will never seek hegemonic expansion or sphere of influence,” Xi said in his speech, clearly a nod to Trump’s accusations. “We have no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country. We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.”

Xi is framing China as a sort of responsible global partner and humble participant in the global order; he didn’t try to go tit-for-tat with the US. Instead, the leader of a country that is interning 1 million of its Uighur Muslim minority population, and has stifled democracy in Hong Kong, talked about the need “to join hands to uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom shared by all of us.”

The Trump administration isn’t wrong to call out China its misdeeds. (Trump did not mention Hong Kong or the Uighurs directly, though he warned against “religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.”) But the US also failed to offer an alternative vision of global leadership other than everyone looking out for themselves.

In rejecting global institutions, Trump then wants these global institutions to change — a proposition that seems doomed to fail. At least for the United States.

China’s influence in multilateral institutions is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy

The UN and its agencies like the WHO are really the sum of their parts, which is a collective of member states. That makeup is also reflective of the geopolitical realities of the world: The richest and most powerful states tend to have the most leverage. That is, still, the United States, even as it doesn’t always claim to have that role.

The United States, for example, is far and away the largest donor to the UN. While China’s contributions are increasing, in fiscal year 2019, the US’s commitments to the UN’s regular budget were nearly double China’s. (China is the biggest donor to UN peacekeeping missions.) As for the World Health Organization, in 2018 and 2019, the US’s contributions dwarfed China’s in both assessed and voluntary contributions.

There’s no doubt China’s influence is growing, but it is slightly overblown. But when the United States walks away from cooperative bodies — from the Paris climate accord to the WHO — it leaves behind a vacuum. China has hastened to fill it, and that, more than anything, is bolstering Beijing’s rise and influence. It gives China a chance to be a good guy — say, pledging $30 million to the WHO when the US threatened to withdraw, a fraction of the money the US provides annually. The Trump administration, in abandoning institutions for being too China-centric, is allowing them to become just that. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Again, this is not to say the US doesn’t have legitimate criticisms of the WHO, or China. But by refusing to work within the system, it is actively ceding leverage and losing credibility. Last week, in a discussion with reporters about the implications of the US leaving the WHO, Elizabeth Cousens, the president and CEO of the UN Foundation, said that even as the US is trying to push the WHO to reform, it’s “losing influence in that conversation because they’ve stepped off the field.”

The US can’t officially withdraw from the WHO until July 2021 because it must fulfill certain financial commitments through then. But that undermines trust in the United States as a reliable partner. China is happy to try to fill that gap.

And Trump’s anger at some of these multilateral institutions is somewhat misplaced. For all his “America is the best” rhetoric, he’s suggesting the United Nation has powers that it just doesn’t have, in part because powerful member states don’t want it to. It’s not as though the US likes supranational bodies getting involved in its affairs.

The UN system is far from perfect. But as Stewart Patrick, an expert on global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me before Trump’s speech, past presidents used to criticize the United Nations “more in sorrow than in anger” — in other words, this body is imperfect and needs to be reformed. But Trump’s wholesale rejection doesn’t achieve those ends. If America wants UN bodies to work for its interests, then it has to work within them, rally support, defend, and make the case for them. That’s what China tried to do on Tuesday.

China might not succeed in this because global cooperation is as much a means to an end, in this case to build up China as a great power.

Take the quest for an effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine. In Trump’s speech, he said: “We will distribute a vaccine. We will defeat the virus. We will end the pandemic. And we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation, and peace.” What he notably didn’t mention were any specific commitments to the rest of the world.

Alternatively, Xi claimed China had a “safe and effective vaccine,” then added that “there is a particular need in terms of leadership for the leaders of this movement to cooperate and collaborate with the most vulnerable countries.” He also pledged $50 million to help the UN’s Covid-19 humanitarian response.

But here’s the thing: Neither the United States nor China is among the 156 countries participating in a WHO-linked initiative to invest in Covid-19 treatments and vaccines and distribute them equitably around the world. You might understand that from Trump’s speech, but not necessarily China’s.

And that’s the point: Actions matter. If the US wanted to make the case that China isn’t a good global partner, putting its weight behind a vaccine project would show China isn’t the responsible actor it claims to be. It would also be using multilateral institutions in the US’s interests. But the Trump administration has not done so — and it’s not stopping China from doing it, either.

Source: vox.com “At the UN, China’s Xi showed he understands the system better than Trump”