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25 Jun, 2014

Chinese commentary: Is the U.S. really “building a better future for Asia”?

People’s Daily Online – June 24, 2014 – The Asia-Pacific strategy, a heated topic in Washington, is a key focus of U.S. diplomacy.

As doubts grow about the “U.S. Asia-Pacific Re-balance Strategy”, we ponder the problem of the strategy and the way in which Washington will choose to expand its influence in Asia. We believe that only when the United States respects current trends in Asia can it expand its influence. Currently there is a trend towards peace, development, cooperation and win-win outcomes in the world, which also sustains the “Asian Miracle”. In order to strengthen its position in Asia, the United States should play a positive role in building a better future for Asia. The support of the United States is needed in the development of Asia.

As peace is indispensable for Asia, we should build a reliable security system to cement the peace of Asia. There are two possible approaches to consolidating the peace of Asia. Some nations hold that Asian countries should raise the awareness of Asia as a whole, properly resolve historical issues, strengthen mutual trust in the process of expanding cooperation, and gradually build a new Asian security system. Others hold that they can strengthen their existing military alliances by exacerbating existing threats to Asian security, causing problems and diminishing the sense of security of Asian countries. The first approach has a bright future as it respects the current trend and advances with the times, while the second, being the result of an out of date way of thinking, leads to a blind alley. The United States’ Asia-Pacific strategy is a product of the second approach.

The strategies of major nations have a profound impact on international and regional situations. Increasing the power of military blocs will lead to division in Asia. Military blocs cannot co-exist with a security system in which Asian countries participate. This explains why Asian nations including China firmly oppose the idea of maintaining the security of Asia through military alliances. The last thing Asian nations want to see is the emergence of the “Balance of Terror” that Europe experienced during the Cold War.

We can interpret international relations from a realistic or from a historical perspective. The realistic interpretation shows that the law of the jungle plays a role in developing international relations, while the historical interpretation suggests that morality should play the decisive role.

The international community is becoming an integral whole with a common destiny. Every nation should respect the trends of the times and take into consideration the common interests of the community in the process of building its own strategies. The major powers should build strategies to promote the benefits of common development, show their determination to encourage peaceful development, and convey their understanding of how to combine their own interests with those of the rest of the world.

This article is edited and translated from 《顺势而为方有作为(钟声)》,from People’s Daily