Who Indeed Is Making Threats, and to Whom?
Li Yang, Consul General of China in Rio de Janeiro
2 January 2021
At the moment, some American politicians are going to great lengths to produce new versions of the ‘China threat’ fallacy with various attempts to portray China as a strategic threat to their country. Yet it is not difficult to find the true answer to the title question.
Does China threaten the territorial integrity and homeland security of the US? No! The Chinese territory is large enough and China has neither interest in nor inordinate ambition for American territory. It is American warships and military aircrafts that swagger on the Chinese doorstep every day and some American politicians that rattle sabres on China from time to time! The US has also stepped up its support and use of separatist forces in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet to split and dismember China. To this end, it has recently moved to elevate relations with Taiwan, wantonly sold advanced weapons to the island and encouraged pro-independence elements to reject reunification by force. Aren’t these actions a threat to China’s territorial integrity and national unification?
Does China threaten America’s political system and ideology? Any claim to this effect is totally groundless! Undoubtedly, the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics has been successful. But China has never wanted to impose its own political system or development path on any other country. Socialism with Chinese characteristics belongs only to China. Even if the US wishes to go down that road, it might not work for it. It is the US that has not given up the desire to westernize China and that has been seeking regime change in China through ideological infiltrations and color revolutions by all means! Aren’t these actions a threat to China’s political security?
Does China threaten the American way of life and values? Isn’t the allegation absurd? People’s ways of life are rooted in their respective cultural traditions and circumstances, not a product of subjective choice. Moreover, China has no need to change the way Americans live. Peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom are pursued by all mankind across races, systems and faiths. They are the intersection of Chinese and American values. The two countries have more in common than differences in values and do not need to force changes on each other through threats. The problem is: the US does not recognize the shared values with an obstinate moral arrogance and repeated vain attempts to attack and put China on trial in values! Aren’t these actions a threat to the values that both Chinese and other peoples in the world hold dear?
Does China threaten America’s national image and international influence? It is just a ‘narrow-minded’ world view of the US! The 2020 has been witnessing superb performances by China in pandemic response, economic recovery, people’s livelihood and provision of public goods to the international community. China has done what it deems good for the world, not out of a desire to tarnish American image or standing in the world. In comparison, the world has seen in the US failed pandemic control, extensive incompetence and poor governance. Instead of focusing on and addressing its own problems, the country can’t tolerate that the others do better than itself, has desperately scapegoated China and thrown dirt on China with wild rumors, leading to wrong, negative opinions on China. Aren’t these actions a threat to China’s international image?
Does China threaten America’s position as the world’s strongest power and hegemon? Well, a classic hegemonic logic is so visible in such a claim! The Chinese people have a strong determination and work hard to build their own country and pursue a better life. No one can stop them from doing so! And no matter how strong China will become in the future, it will never become another hegemon and it will resolutely oppose any other country’s hegemonic policies. The US may well remain strong while giving up hegemonism, but unfortunately it has sought to consolidate its international position with increased hegemony. Obviously, it cannot accept the development and increased strength of China. And its attempts to bully, suppress, block and contain China have been more extensive than ever before. Aren’t these actions a threat to China’s peaceful development and national rejuvenation?
Obviously, some people in the US have again hyped the China threat fallacy to create excuses and pave the way for enhanced containment. It is not China threatening the US but rather the US openly threatening China’s security and development. The real threat to America lies nowhere other than in itself. The country has lost its ability to adjust itself and correct its own mistakes or to provide and drive solutions for human survival and development through solidarity and cooperation. It has become increasingly corrupt, selfish and barbaric. And this, is the greatest threat to the US!