Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Which Interest Will Prevail? by Erick San Juan

Which Interest Will Prevail? by Erick San Juan

The U.S. regards itself as the leader of the world, which clearly reveals its mentality of hegemony. It also holds that hegemony and contributes to stability, but this is not the fact.

A good example is the Iraq war, launched by the U.S. more than ten years ago and caused unprecedented turmoil. The reason why the U.S. was repeatedly set back is it seeks to shape an unfair global order in which it tends to monopolize benefits. (Source: Zhang Yuan (People's Daily Online), August 27, 2015)

This statement only proves that countries like China and Russia will always seek ways to change this US tendency to be the dominant superpower and divert to multi-polar world. And according to Zhang Yuan, “Sino-Russian" relations are closer than they have been at any time in the past fifty years, giving them the chance to reshape the global order to their liking.

Indeed China and Russia intend to improve the global order instead of ruining it. Both will carry forward good things from the current order. Moreover, U.S. dominance has damaged the development and security of international community, so any U.S. wishful actions to overthrow other countries’ regime must be thwarted.

China proposes to join the U.S. to build a new type of major power relationship, which is different from the order dominated by Washington: never seek confrontation and conflicts. The U.S. should change its mentality to work with China to build a mutually beneficial new type of relationship.”

But despite the rhetorics, China and then USSR had been in conflict for so long. According to Agence France Presses 9/1/15 beneath the Sino-Russian warmth, there is still a border fear and betrayal. It reportedly started during China's cultural revolution where anyone who had contact with foreigners was held liable to be branded a spy. Despite China and Russian current closeness and shared communist past, the neighbors were once bitter rivals, their enmity reaching the brink of war during the time of Chairman Mao Zedong.

This is the reason why the meeting of the G2 (US and China) leaders this September is crucial as we mentioned in our last article on the events to look out for this month. Although – "Assessing US national security adviser Susan Rice’s weekend consultations in Beijing, the Global Times acknowledged that tensions have been building up in the relations and the root problem is that China’s rise is 'causing a sense of crisis' in the US thinking, which manifests as China-bashing. Whereas China’s past attitude has been to ignore the 'hawkish noises at critical times of China-US ties,' it has not yielded positive results and, therefore, Chinese authorities could consider some systemic adjustment in order to enhance the effectiveness of their responses, and resources home and abroad need to be mobilized.” (BY M.K. Bhadrakumar on Asia Times online)

Remember that the visit to Beijing by US National Security Advisor Susan Rice last August 28-29 prior to President Xi Jinping’s US visit was also met with opposition: “On the eve of Rice’s arrival in Beijing, Chinese navy conducted a live fire drill in the East China Sea. According to Xinhua, the “exercise involved more than 100 warships, dozens of aircraft and several missile launch battalions. Nearly 100 missiles and several hundred shells and bombs were fired during the exercise.”

A commentary featured by People’s Daily on the eve of Rice’s arrival in Beijing asserted that China cannot accept the global order that is “shaped to the US liking” as it “jeopardized China’s legitimate interests.” It said the US’ “mentality of hegemony … seeks to shape an unfair global order in which it tends to monopolize benefits” and this adversely impacts stability and security. The commentary asserted that China and Russia “intend to improve the global order” without disrupting it and will “thwart” the US’ agenda of regime change.

Equally, an article last week in the National Interest magazine penned by the Chinese ambassador in Washington, Cui Tiankai, in the run-up to Xi’s visit to the US was noticeably lacking in effusiveness. Somber in tone, it urged the US to foster “good habits of cooperation,” which Cui explained in these lines – “never lose focus, stick to shared goals and interests, accommodate each others legitimate concerns, benefit from each others wisdom, overcome obstacles that hold us back – and most importantly – prevent our differences from dominating the agenda of the bilateral relationship.”

Although China’s Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington was met by opposition even from US presidentiables, it will be an event that will alter the geopolitical stage.

In spite of the propaganda and counter propaganda coming from different camps, the best interest will surely prevail.

Assessments coming from some experts in geopolitics see this meeting of Obama and Xi as an effort to somehow ease the tension in the Pacific region. But for whatever its worth, let us give peace a chance so that development of countries in the region can be realized.

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