The development of China is unlikely to trigger antagonism with the United States, according to an article in the China Economic Times.
John J. Mearsheimer, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, last month predicted the United States is destined to wage an intense and dangerous security competition with a rising China over the next 20 to 50 years.
Such a prediction is flawed in that it does not take into account the unprecedented changes in today's world that lead to cooperation instead of conflict between great powers, the article said.
First, symbolized by computers, electronics and space exploration, the third technological revolution ascended after World War II. And mankind has entered a new era of information technology since the mid 1980s.
The rapid advancement of science and technology has greatly improved productivity, to the point where powers no longer need resort to the traditional colonial expansion to grab interests.
China, as a developing country, thus will not rival the United States in those areas, the article said.
Second, drawing from the lesson of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the global community is now adjusting economic activities through such macro-economic means as financial, interest rate and taxation tools. Their industrial restructuring from labor-intensive to capital- and technology-intensive and to high-tech and high-added-value industries has been largely effective in stemming recession. They do not need to purge economic crises through war or territorial expansion.
Third, Western countries have been making efforts to redistribute social wealth and improve social welfare to reduce social conflicts. Some right-wing groups in Japan, the United States and Western Europe have heavily criticized these efforts, but they are minority voices, the article said.
China is a peace-loving country and the Chinese people long for a peaceful international environment to nurture their domestic economic development. There is no social basis for Sino-US conflict.
Last but not least, economic globalization has enhanced ties among countries. Means of production is flowing freely and major powers are interacting and depending on each other.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which evolved into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have formed an open trade mechanism and a stable monetary system. Together with other mechanisms like the Group of Seven/Group of Eight summit, they have been successful in coordinating the economic conflicts among the major powers.
China and the United States, the biggest developing country and the biggest developed one in the world, enjoy great mutual benefit in economic cooperation and trade.
Sino-US trade surged 30.7 percent year-on-year to hit US$102.48 billion in the first 10 months of 2003. China's imports from the United States reached US$27.56 billion in the January-October period, up 25.7 percent. China is now the fourth largest trading partner of the United States.
Statistics from the US Department of Commerce show that US export to China increased by 18.5 percent during the first three quarters of this year, which exceeded its export growth to other countries. Inexpensive and quality Chinese products have saved US consumers US$20 billion a year.
It is even more disagreeable to say China and the United States will follow the tracks of the Soviet-US Cold War, according to the article.
Both the United States and the former Soviet Union were superpowers and both had military and overall national strength which was greater than the combined strengths of other major countries, while China is still a developing country. Both the United States and the Soviet Union had the ambition to play the hegemonic overlord, while China does not. And the United States and Soviet Union not only were opposed to each other politically and militarily, they also divided into two isolated markets economically, while China has set up its market economy and engaged itself in the international trade system.
As two influential countries in the world, China and the United States should shoulder more responsibility to promote peace and stability, boost global economic growth, combat terrorism and prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the article concluded.
(China Daily December 22, 2003)