On August 4, Xinhua organized a meeting of “thinkers,” inviting a number of experts on international affairs to discuss the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region. Below are excerpts from the discussion.
Zhu Chenghu, Retired Army Major General and Director of African Studies at the Center of the National Defense University: The issue of “THAAD” is an important part of the United States’ Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy, an important part of the U.S. policy to contain China, an important component of the U.S. Army’s fight for a bigger military budget, and an important step in kidnapping Japan and South Korea. Therefore, “THAAD” is definitely not simply a military issue; it is a political issue. It is a strategic issue.
Wang Yizhou, Associate Dean of the International Relations Institute at Peking University: China’s rise is the most dynamic energy in today’s international relations, and is also the biggest variable. China is no longer a small player; nor is the original country outside of the international system. On the contrary, China has become the world’s second largest economy and the second largest country in military spending. In this context, some of the traditional leaders, particularly in the United States, have begun to feel uncomfortable.
If China were not so strong, the United States would not take China as a serious opponent. Now, the United States actually takes China as a major global challenger. The competition between China and the U.S. has increased significantly.
Wang Fan, Vice President of China Foreign Affairs University: The relative power of the U.S. and its influence are on the decline. This is an indisputable fact. America’s ability to create a crisis is going up, but its ability to solve problems is declining.
Amid its declining influence, America must maintain its own hegemony; what to do then? The only way is to conduct selective intervention, use an offshore balancing strategy, and use smart power. While avoiding head-on collisions with the regional powers, [the U.S.] can also effectively restrict its opponents, letting the countries within the region have mutual restraint and mutual checks and balances, while leading opponents to deepen conflicts with neighboring countries, [thus] allowing the United States to act as an arbiter.
At present, strategic mutual doubt between China and U.S. is on the rise, but there is no fundamental strategic misjudgment. The overall stability of Sino-U.S. relations has not changed. The vigilance that the United States maintains toward China is based entirely on prevention; it has not yet grown to the extent of a strategic showdown. For the United States and China, the restoration and protection of strategic stability between the two countries is particularly important.
Source: Xinhua, August 5, 2016