By Shen Yi Source: Global Times
Steve Bannon File photo: Xinhua
On August 13, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai delivered a keynote speech at a webinar at the invitation of President John R. Allen of the Brookings Institution. Cui said that amidst major tasks and severe challenges, China and the US should make the right choice and “build a more forward-looking, stronger and more stable relationship between our two great countries.”
Cui pointed out that some people in the US are obsessed with great-power competition and strategic rivalry, adding that some Americans believe that “driving up” confrontation could slow down and contain China’s development, and maybe even bring about a “regime change.” It’s obvious that he was referring to the initiators of the so-called new cold war. In his speech, Cui warned those individuals who are obviously keen on launching the “new cold war” in unprecedented ways, saying they “must weigh the costs they pay and the consequences for the world. For whom the bell tolls, there will be a day of reckoning.”
Perhaps it is a pure coincidence that his saying has turned into reality. Shortly after Cui made his comments, Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, who was once dubbed the “shadow president,” was arrested on Thursday for financial fraud. Bannon was charged with defrauding donors in an online fundraising scheme called “We Build the Wall,” which was intended to bolster the US President’s initiative along the Mexican border. According to the Wall Street Journal, the fundraising campaign collected more than $300 million, and the money – mainly donated by Trump supporters – was only a sham to deceive people. They actually built a “border fence,” but it has already showed signs of erosion just several months after its completion.
The ironic news reveals that people like Bannon are committed to fraud and seeking benefits by inciting panic, tension and friction between China and the US to garner US public support and attention. It answers a question that has perplexed people for a long time –Why are some Americans so obsessed with damaging China-US relations? It is now obvious such persons are in the “anti-China business.”
Bannon’s arrest has further verified Cui’s claim that China-US relations are going in the wrong direction due to manipulation by some Americans with ulterior motives. If this continues, not only China and the US, but also other countries around the world expecting the world’s two biggest power to jointly fight the pandemic and recover world economy, will be harmed. The only group that will benefit is a slim number of swindlers and madmen.
The Chinese side has recently sent a series of clear signals on China-US relations. In a signed article, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, expounded his views on China-US relations from a historical perspective. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also reiterated China’s firm commitment to promote the healthy development of China-US relations in multiple speeches and interviews. As such, the ball is obviously in the US’ court. The US should actively and constructively respond to China’s propositions. Promoting positive China-US relations is the right choice.
The author is professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University. [email protected]