China patient in the face of U.S. irrationality [People’s Daily]

May 29, 2014

The U.S. is showing increasing signs of irrationality in its relations with China. Regarding cyber security, on the one hand, the U.S. is conducting surveillance over governments and enterprises of many countries, including China, while on the other, it is playing the injured party by indicting Chinese military officers over alleged cyber theft. Concerning maritime issues in the South China Sea and East China Sea, the U.S. has been making things increasingly difficult for China, regardless of the fact that it is some of China’s neighboring countries that are encroaching Chinese islets. The U.S. strategy of “re-balancing” the Asia-Pacific region has caused only chaos and instability.

Such irrational behavior indicates an anxiety that has replaced the confidence that Washington used to have.

The U.S. has led the world in comprehensive strength since the end of World War Two. But its international prestige has declined since the start of the new century due to both its domestic and external policies. Some emerging countries are progressing faster than the U.S., and China is a good example, a fact that the U.S. is finding difficult to accept.

It is never easy to accept such a trend for any country that is used to playing the world leader. Nevertheless, the U.S. has to understand that balanced distribution of world powers is conducive to world stability and peace, something that will eventually serve America’s own interests.

Irrationality on the part of the U.S. will not be a short term phenomenon. The U.S. needs to adjust to the rise of China. China understands American discomfort, and is willing to help the U.S. to make the necessary adjustments. Whether the U.S. will calm down is a decision that it alone can make. Only by adapting to historical trends and maintaining a benign interaction with the peaceful development of China will the U.S. realize a “re-balance” that is beneficial for regional stability.  

The article is edited and translated from美国非理性 中国有耐心; Source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition; Author: Shen Dingli, professor of Fudan University.

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