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On Sino-U.S. Relations

USCC’s annual report irks China.

Below is an excerpt of a commentary on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s (USCC’s) 2005 Annual Report to Congress. It was originally from Nanfang Daily and then republished November 13, 2005, on the website of the Xinhua News Agency under the section "Xinhua Comments," with a title of "Why Does the U.S. Think Tank Like to Incite the Cold Wind [bad-mouth China]?"

 "On November 9, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) under the United States Congress submitted its 2005 Annual Report to Congress.

Although the USCC mainly focuses on U.S.-China economic and trade relations, it tends to analyze U.S. security interests from a negative perspective and exaggerates the theory of a China threat. This year is no exception. The Report believes that the United States and China will not become opponents and China has shown ‘some encouraging changes.’ However, the Report concludes that the current situation of China-U.S. relations will have a negative impact on the long-term economic and security interests of the United States. Therefore, in the fields of trade and the appreciation of Renminbi [Chinese currency], non-proliferation and Taiwan issues, the United States must put pressure on China through various means. The Report suggests that on the issues of trade and security the United States and the European Union as well as Japan coordinate to put pressure on China, and that the U.S. forces in the West Pacific be strengthened to counter the continuous increase of Chinese military power. It is not difficult to tell that, while compared to each annual report since 2002 released by the USCC, although the wording of the Report has eased to a certain extent, it continues to play the old tune of exaggerating ‘the theory of a China threat.’

"Led by Chairman D’Amato the USCC visited China toward the end of last summer. I once had a face-to-face exchange with them. These people did not bear anti-China sentiments. They basically are experts and social activists in related fields. When we had the exchanges, although there were differences between two sides, the atmosphere was harmonious. There must be some reasons that the USCC published such a report with ‘the cold war thinking’ again.

"First of all, as two big countries, China and the United States not only have common interests, but indeed also differences and conflicts. This is a fact. The United States is the only super power today while China is a rising developing country. With different national interests and different perspectives, it is not accidental that some frictions happen. What we can emphasize is we hope that both sides push for a healthy bilateral relationship out of consideration of the overall China-U.S. relations. But one cannot impose its own understanding on to the other party.
"Next, ideology affects U.S. understanding of China in every perspective. China and the United States have different values, different political systems, and different cultures and traditions. Moreover, it is very difficult to have fundamental changes in a short period of time. Americans believe that their system is the best. Such prejudice in ideology and the sense of superiority make it hard for most Americans to identify with the Chinese political system. Similarly, it is also very difficult for 12 members of the USCC not to be limited by such ideology.

"Third, the views of this Report reflect public opinion in the United States. The public in the United States differ on the China issue but has been very negative in general about China. We cannot ignore the influence of anti-China forces. Although in recent years China-U.S. relations have become better, the voices warning of a China threat have been on the rise, poisoning the public’s objective understanding of China. The U.S. domestic politics inevitably affects the USCC. Of course, their Report in turn will promote the China threat theory in the U.S. Congress and then in the entire United States.

"Finally, it is the institutional interest that causes the trouble. The mission of the USCC is to monitor and investigate the impact of China-U.S. economic and trade relations on U. S. national security. The USCC naturally puts a lot of efforts in making the Congress and the Administration take the USCC seriously and in attracting media and public attention to promote its own influence. Think about it, if they claim China-U.S. relations are all good, why should the U.S. Congress allocate funds to set up such a commission? The USCC must demonstrate that it is not wasting taxpayers’ money."