Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
“America’s disarray is China’s opportunity,” read the title of a Financial Times article on Monday, which pointed out China’s economy grows healthily while the US suffers from a deep political crisis. The article also mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s relations with India and Australia, the Hong Kong question and other issues, asserting that “while China may not be much loved overseas, it looks relatively confident and stable compared with the US.”
The article’s title is ironic because it is measuring other people’s corn by its own bushel. As the most powerful country in the world, the US has been gaining benefits for itself by stirring up chaos in other countries. The US launched multiple wars after WWII. After the end of the Cold War, the most messed-up areas of the world were often areas where the US was heavily involved. Washington has also manipulated color revolutions. In this series of chaos, the US gained the most. By constantly creating chaos in the world, the US has gained its so-called strategic opportunities.
But China’s achievements in the past decades have never been realized by harming other countries’ interests. China has always focused on its own development and doing its own things well. Both reform and opening-up and the process of socialist modernization show that China has seized on its own development opportunities. China disdains to loot a burning house while the US is in chaos.
During China’s rapid development over the past decades, the US and Western society have also largely enjoyed stability and development. Domestic divisions of the US and lately the pandemic have become the country’s stubborn problems. But they are not caused by China.
China’s period of strategic opportunity has not only enabled itself to develop, but also given the world a big opportunity, allowing other countries to take a ride on China’s development.
However, the US not only refused to cherish the opportunity to cooperate with China, but dragged itself to a dilemma. And now, some Western elites are calling the dilemma “China’s opportunity.”
This is a very narrow-minded perspective. During the four years of the Trump administration, the US initiated a trade war with China and started ideological suppression against China, including the Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang questions. All these have brought great challenges to China. However, China has successfully withstood the pressure and has not been crushed. But some Western people seem to deliberately ignore the fact, as well as Chinese people’s self-reliance, as if China’s development largely depends on conditions in the US.
China’s development brings opportunities to other countries. However, some Westerners now believe “America’s disarray is China’s opportunity.” The contrast is obvious. While the US is still obsessed to contain China and mired in stagnation, China is completely focused on its own development.
The US should be responsible for its own chaotic situation, but some Western elites are still wondering whether the chaos is an opportunity for China. This is not only full of a Cold War mentality, but will also delay the development of the Western world led by the US.