President Xi Jinping holds a grand ceremony to welcome US President Donald Trump at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]
Editor’s Note: US President Donald Trump’s China policy has been inconsistent and unstable. So how do we evaluate Sino-US ties, especially after the US National Security Strategy report called China a "strategic competitor", instead of a competitor and partner, in December?
Uncalled-for haste the bane of Trump
The US administration has always needed a "rival power" to put all the blames on, and win the support of the people and Congress at home, and its allies overseas. After the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, successive US administrations have targeted China. But they also said China and the US are vital competitors and partners, and both sides chose to focus more on cooperation and common benefits. But Trump is not one to play by the rules. He has used his National Security Strategy report to label China a "competitor ", because he wants closer vigilance on a rising China.
Trump’s security strategy report, however, may not be as effective in practice, because some of his strategic decisions and goals are distorted and almost impossible to implement.
When the Trump-led US turned its back on its international obligations and commitments by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the 2015 Paris climate agreement, it actually compromised its global leadership role and created an atmosphere for other world powers to work for the betterment of the world. China took up that role, expanding its global engagement and playing a more important part in helping improve global governance. Therefore, Trump’s fickle policies and instinctive decisions are to blame for weakening the US’ relations not only with China, but also with its European allies.
But the sooner Trump realizes that the US cannot avoid cooperating with China if it wants to strengthen the US economy the better.
Tao Duanfang, a researcher at the Center for China and Globalization(CCG).
From China Daily，2018-1-22