How should China punish the offensive behavior of the United States?

By Chunyu Jinzhang
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, December 23, 2009
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China should dampen its citizens' enthusiasm in learning American English in response to America's arrogant attitude on the Taiwan issue. The United States recently sold a large batch of weapons to Taiwan and claimed the deal was for security reasons.

Not long ago, president Barack Obama came to China, wearing his charming smile and winning the approval of Chinese people. It was the same smile he wore when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. But he changed his facial expression a few days later and he sold a massive batch of weapons to Taiwan. The scale of the deal is equal to arms dealings between Taiwan and the US in 1992.

China has done little to infringe on the interests of United States since the two countries established diplomatic relations 30 years ago. We cooperated with the U.S. in anti-terrorism movement after 9/11 and helped put pressure on North Korea for the peninsula's denuclearization. But the U.S. never stops intervening in our internal affairs and imposing sanctions on us. They have frequently challenged us on the Taiwan issue. James B. Steinberg, the deputy Secretary of State, even declared selling weapons to Taiwan was America's duty in terms of the island's security. This arrogance is hard for us to tolerate. But are we capable of punishing the US?

History tells us it is useless to merely denounce their actions. A simple denouncement would only show our vulnerability. Therefore, we should carry out some effective punishment. However, as the U.S. is our largest import partner and the biggest creditor nation of China, we can hardly punish them in trading or finance. It is difficult to punish the United States culturally, as Chinese students account for a major percentage of overseas students in the U.S. Besides, we need to learn their advanced sciences and technologies.

As an intelligent nation we are never short of ideas in how to respond to offense caused to us. For example, we can stall the military exchange plans agreed in November, end anti-terrorism cooperation, downgrade diplomatic relations and even sell weapons to the countries that are hostile to America. But those are the options should only be adopted when our patience has run out. It is difficult to find a way to make the United States realize its error without aggravating relations.

Nowadays most of the world's major powers are determined to avoid military conflict. But they struggle when concerned with issues of culture, human rights and ideologies. We should do more work in the cultural area and seize more opportunities to speak out, exploit our soft power and competitiveness to keep the balance of powers and avoid military conflict with the U.S.

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