Source: Xinhua Published: 2018-4-9
Escalating trade tensions across the Pacific are creating an image of the United States as "an anxious superpower in a sense of crisis" among Beijing`s observers.
Experts in U.S. studies in China say that the United States is offended by the development of other countries, a defiant expression of its pursuit of hegemony, politically, economically, ideologically as well as in other fields such as military and technology.
But the superpower`s response to the strength of others is rather old-fashioned in the 21st century, when global development requires rules rather than power.
By almost every metric, from economic strength to international influence, the United States leads the way. But there is no doubt that China is catching up, said Yuan Zheng, a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of American Studies.
"Washington may feel that China is catching up too fast. This throws politicians into a crisis mentality," Yuan said.
The recent tariff policies do not target sectors in which U.S. trade suffers the most, despite Washington kicking off the trouble under the pretext of unbalanced trade.
Washington has clearly targeted the high-tech sectors where China has the biggest potential, said Dong Yan, a research fellow at the CASS Institute of World Economics and Politics.
"The reason behind the action is weak confidence in its own innovative capacity and competitive edge," Dong said.
Similarly, Li Gang, deputy head of the Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, noted that trade is just an excuse to attempt to obstruct the development of science and technology in China.
But China will not concede to pressure or intimidation. After 40 years of reform and opening up, China has the ability and confidence to safeguard its own interests and will work with other countries to defend economic globalization.
Noting that trade disputes are just one way to contain a possible rival, Yuan said that it was not the first time Washington had attempted these kind of policies.
"It reminds us of Japan in the 1980s," he said. "Even though Japan was an ally, the United States still responded strongly."
Beset by domestic problems in both economics and politics, the U.S. administration has not concentrated its efforts or resources on its domestic systems, said Wang Yiwei, a professor with Renmin University of China.
"As usual, it blames an outsider, who had, in fact, followed the rules of globalization which were essentially made and imposed on other countries by the United States," he said. "The world trade system served the United States well in the good old days. Now when someone else benefits, the system is suddenly a trap."
China is not the only one in radar. Washington has long considered high-end manufacturing an exclusive domain, fending off other competitors such as Germany.
Dong stressed that short-term tariff measures would not resolve anything for Washington. Only its own economic restructuring policies could do that.
Admitting that China-U.S. relationship has no precedent to follow, Yuan argued that Washington should first give up the idea of being the undisputed boss of the world.
"In an age of globalization, the keyword is cooperation. There are many issues that are too big for only one country to make the call," he said.
China is stronger now, but it never seeks hegemony or expansion. The country, as well as other emerging economies like India and Russia, just deserve right positions in global governance.
"The United States, still the leading power in the world, can choose to be offended every time a possible rival turns up, or embrace it as an opportunity and adjust itself accordingly," he said. "Time will show the latter is the right choice." Enditem
Wang Yiwei is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.