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Huanqiu: U.S. May Be Forced to “Return” to Europe

Hong Kong Tianda Institute researcher Wu Junfei wrote a commentary article that Huanqiu published about how China should make use of the strategic opportunity of the U.S.-Russian conflict over the Ukraine. Below is an excerpt from the article: 

The rapid evolution of the situation in Ukraine has given a heavy blow to Washington’s foreign policy. Since the Obama administration took office, the U.S. has changed from a strategic expansion to a strategic contraction due to the divisions among international powers and economic reality. Being unable to handle both East Asia and Europe simultaneously, the U.S. has loosened its restraint on Russia and has returned to Asia with major energy to deal with the impact of China’s rise. 
After the Crimea voted to join Russia, although the U.S. and Russia may not directly go to war, Washington will have to revive the U.S. deterrence in Europe and adopt a tough policy on Russia. It will do so in order to rebuild the balance of power and avoid the quick collapse of its superpower status. 
If the United States “returns to Europe” and is forced to institute a tough policy against Russia, China will have the opportunity to gain a brief period for diplomatic strategic opportunities. Facing the restructuring of the world strategy game, China should focus on dissolving Washington’s aggressive "returning to Asia" strategy in order to win more time for its peaceful rise. Therefore, China should, under the grand principle of neutrality, support Russia’s strategic offensive posture in Europe, forcing Washington to reduce its military presence in Asia, thus reducing the strategic pressure China faces in the western Pacific.  

After the Ukraine crisis, China had better stay on the sidelines watching United States and Russia fight against each other. If Washington is busy with other regional conflicts, it is a rare ideal situation for the rise of China. China can actively induce conflict, thus shifting the U.S.’s military delivery and attention on China. At the same time, China may provide a helping hand to Russia for its challenge to U.S. hegemony. This is the internal logic of the quasi-alliance between China and Russia. China’s handling of the Snowden event reflected Chinese decision-makers recognition of this strategy. 

Source: Huanqiu, March 20, 2014