Source: Global Times Published: 2018-10-7
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit China on Monday, following US Vice President Mike Pence's speech which highlighted a more aggressive approach toward China on Thursday.
China and the US are unlikely to engage in a Cold War because the two and the rest of the world still rely on China-US cooperation to address global challenges, including the Korean Peninsula issue. But due to frayed bilateral ties, the disagreements between the two will increase, Chinese experts said on Sunday.
When some US politicians realize that the aggressive policy on China is not effective, they will return and seek cooperation, the experts said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement on Wednesday that China and the US will exchange views on bilateral ties and also on regional and international issues of common concern during Pompeo's visit.
Before his China trip, Pompeo visited Pyongyang on Sunday for the fourth time this year, where he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The US and North Korea have agreed to hold a second summit between their leaders at the earliest possible date, Pompeo said on Sunday during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the presidential complex in Seoul, after visiting Pyongyang earlier in the day, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.
Pompeo said his visit to Pyongyang was very good and he had productive talks, noting that the two countries walked another step forward though there are lots of things left to do, Xinhua reported.
When asked whether increasing tensions with China would hamper his efforts after Pence on Thursday signaled a tougher approach to China, Pompeo said China had consistently made clear it wanted to see North Korean denuclearization, Reuters reported on Saturday.
Da Wei, director of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations' Institute of American Studies in Beijing, said Pompeo will seek China's support on the peninsula issue which the Donald Trump administration extremely cares about, rather than fix overall bilateral ties.
Pompeo told Reuters, "We know that China is going to be part of the solution [of the peninsula issue], when we get to the end," and "If we do this well we will have signed a peace treaty that ends the armistice that China will be a part of."
Although China and the US agreed on denuclearizing the peninsula, concerning the deteriorating China-US ties, disagreements on the measures would likely increase, Da said. "For instance, the US wants China to keep up the pressure on North Korea, but aside from implementing UN Security Council resolutions, China is also urging the other Security Council members to reduce sanctions on North Korea to encourage Pyongyang to do more on denuclearization."
Some observers compare Pence's speech to Winston Churchill's March 1946 "Sinews of Peace" address in Fulton, Missouri, also known as the "Iron Curtain Speech." They believe that Pence's speech marks the beginning of a new Cold War between China and the US.
However, some Chinese experts remain optimistic. Jin Canrong, associate dean of Renmin University of China's School of International Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday that the US does not have the capability to launch a new Cold War.
"Compared to Churchill's speech, Pence's speech is just a 'Silk Curtain', very soft," Jin said. Although coming off as tough, the US has no capability to start a Cold War the way it did with the former Soviet Union due to the economic interdependence of China and the US and the global challenges that require China-US cooperation.
Additionally, the US is a country controlled by the financial elite, and they won't give up the Chinese market. So if the US government blocks them from profiting in China, "they will deal with the government," Jin noted. "And US allies like Europe and Japan have largely been silent. A Cold War needs two major blocs against each other, but US allies are not forming a bloc with it against China."
China needs to remain steady, and if China makes no mistakes, the US won't gain from the confrontation. And since US politicians are capricious, they will return and eventually seek cooperation, Jin said.
Jin Canrong is associate dean of School of International Studies at Renmin University of China.