By Li Qingqing Source: Global Times
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
“Not very many countries would like to join basically a coalition against those who have been excluded, chief of whom will be China,” Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during an interview at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum held from Tuesday to Thursday.
Lee also said Joe Biden should look to develop an “overall constructive relationship” with China after he takes office.
Lee’s words represent the views of most countries. The Trump administration has tried hard to draw more countries into its anti-China alliance, but unilateralism, in an era of globalization, will lead to nowhere. Singapore and many other countries know that instead of creating confrontations, reciprocal cooperation is the right choice for today’s world. The US has regarded its relations with Singapore as a so-called quasi-alliance. However, Singapore has made similar statements many times, which shows that the Trump administration’s diplomatic mind-set is unpopular worldwide.
“Lee’s statement is very pragmatic, and also a warning to the US, a country that has forced others to take sides,” Xu Liping, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. “It is very difficult for other countries to separate themselves from China, which is such a large economy. This is unrealistic and not in line with international interests,” Xu said.
But some stubborn US politicians have turned a blind eye to the fact. They have lived wishfully in the Cold War era in their minds. In the 21st century, these politicians do not seem to fit in. Chinese and US politicians of the older generations broke the ice of China-US relations, but the Trump administration has gone against the historical trend. This is unbearable for most countries.
For example, when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday, he discussed the US’ “strong alliance in countering” the Communist Party of China’s “malign activity in Europe and human rights abuses in Xinjiang.” Pompeo will step down soon, and he is acting even more outrageously on smearing China.
However, China and the EU share profound mutual interests, and the two sides are also negotiating an agreement on investment. Some US politicians’ babbling cannot change anything, but only making themselves look ridiculous.
The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the best proof. RCEP is not an exclusive circle, but a reciprocal partnership. This is also why it can become the free trade zone with the largest population and the most diverse membership. No country will choose to join a small exclusive alliance. A US that engages in ideological confrontation and abandons multilateralism will eventually be abandoned.
Dividing camps by ideology and engaging in a zero-sum game is an outdated Cold War mind-set. Win-win development is the theme of the era, and playing geopolitical tricks will be marginalized. With such a mentality, the US can hardly find followers.
The China-proposed community with a shared destiny for mankind is in line with the development trend of the world and the common interests of all countries. It is unwise and impossible to block China’s rise. Many leaders and scholars worldwide are looking forward to a normal China-US relationship. This is the voice of the world, and Washington should not go against the trend anymore.