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Op-ed: Fair cooperation is only right choice for China, U.S.
2019/05/27

A Western historian once said that it is often because of stupidity that people fall into irreversible disasters, and those American politicians who have entered the 21st century physically but still stick to the Cold War and zero-sum mentalities are contributing new evidence to the thesis.

For a long time, some politicians of the U.S. have blustered such things as “defeating China in space competition” and “China has stolen U.S. intellectual property". Moreover, they have teamed up with Steve Bannon, a has-been U.S. politician, to fabricate such rhetoric as China is planning to become an “economic hegemony”, acting as if doomsday was approaching the U.S.

At present, zero-sum Mentality is rampant among U.S. policymakers. The U.S. arbitrarily imposes additional tariffs on the products of its trading partners once it sees a trade deficit, and slanders other countries for theft of intellectual property once it sees technological and innovative progress made by the latter.

It has even made rumors about Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), claiming the strategy is a “debt trap” as the BRI is gaining increasing global influence.

These U.S. politicians resorted to political, economic, and even military resources, and made threats, sanctions and even warfare, in an attempt to gain more private interests and destroy the others.

However, they hardly realize that such shortsighted practices will never “make America great again”, but severely consume their country.

According to statistics released by the Brookings Institution, from 1982 to 1984, the U.S. lost 60,000 automobile manufacturing jobs after it implemented trade sanctions on Japanese automobile industry, which led to a peak in the unemployment rate during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

A report released by Peterson Institute for International Economics showed that during the periods of 1945-1969, 1970-1989, and 1990-2000, the success rates of the U.S. sanctions were 50 percent, 31 percent, and 29 percent respectively. The figure suggested that the U.S. sanctions were losing effects as the Uncle Sam increased the frequency. Some American scholars even gave a 5-percent success rate on these sanctions.

Going too far on zero-sum game, the U.S. has constantly fallen into strategic dilemmas, and been broadly criticized by the international community, as well as the U.S. society.

Trade expert William Reinsch with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) of the U.S. pointed out that today’s international trade is win-win cooperation among countries, rather than zero-sum game.

The current trade policies of the U.S. are more like an extension of the mercantilism policies it adopted in the 17th and 18th centuries, which do not accord with the reality of economic globalization in the 21st century, Reinsch said.

According to economics professor Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University, the U.S. with its current turn toward nationalism and extreme policy of “America first” , as well as its violation of international rules, will probably become a rogue state in the 21st century from a post-war leading country.

Responding to the unilateral trade policies adopted by the U.S., an official from the European Commission told the media that trade policy “is not a zero-sum game, and is not about winners and losers. We here in the European Union believe that trade can and should be win-win.”

Fair competition and win-win cooperation are supposed to be a fundamental reality of the international community. Unfortunately, some U.S. politicians are always obsessed with defeating others.

Peter Navarro, head of the National Trade Council at the White House, has incited Americans to boycott Chinese products, and smeared the China-U.S. ties with a fictional and even horror fiction-like tone.

But Navarro’s view is not just simplistic, it is wrong and dangerous, the New Yorker pointed out sharply in a commentary.

For China and the U.S., two big countries in the world, cooperation is the only right choice, because it is not only beneficial to the two states and their peoples, but also has great influence over peace and prosperity of the world. Any wrong thinking and strategic misjudgment in this regard is possible to trigger chain reactions in the world.

“Growing trade tensions drive uncertainty, thus business investment is hit and global growth is stifled,” the remarks of OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurríadeserve attention.

In human history, there have been some people who were addicted to hegemony and monopoly. They have waged hot and cold wars in the world, causing the whole human race to suffer extremely serious disasters.

It is exactly because mankind has experienced too much agony and too many hardships, we know we should cherish win-win cooperation, seek common well-being, and promote progress of the world as a whole.

In today’s world, countries are closely connected to each other and dependent on each other, and are increasingly becoming a community with a shared destiny and common joys and sorrows. It’s not the time for some people to fight against some people, but the moment when everyone needs everyone.

The development of a country is a natural historical trend that will never be stifled and suppressed by any power.

China’s development has been always aimed at a creating better life for Chinese people and people around the world, rather than playing a zero-sum game with anyone. The great course of the development of China, representing historical justice and global trend, is impossible to be stopped.

Historical experience has proven to us repeatedly that handling international affairs with zero-sum and cold war mentality will only lead to self-destructive results. The obstinate behavior of some U.S. politicians will only drag the U.S. into the “strategic trap” set by them.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy)

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