But what attitude should be taken to the TPP? Understanding that a policy is aimed against China does not automatically determine the appropriate response – if policy making were as easy as putting a minus wherever another country puts a plus every idiot could be a master economic strategist! The attitude to the TPP has to be judged against the fundamental tendencies at work.
Naturally the interests of those living outside the US, China and India are not determined by these three economic giants. China and India will become larger economies than the US during the 21st century not because of hostility towards the United States, a desire to replace the US as 'number 1', but simply to achieve their populations' highest possible living standards. Other countries have the same motivation, which is why they have common interests with China and India.
China's approach, to seek 'win-win' solutions, is correct because economic development is not a zero sum game but a mutually beneficial one. China's economic growth not only raises its own population's living standards but those in other countries as it creates gigantic markets for their products. The rest of the world therefore has an interest in peaceful economic cooperation with China - and the same applies to India.
A danger facing humanity is that US neo-con circles are attempting to stop these international economic processes unfolding during the 21st century by non-economic, that is political or even military, means – this is the real meaning of 'contain China' policies. Given that, as we have seen, the content of such a policy is an attempt to force China, and in the future India, to accept living standards less than one quarter that of the US. Such an attempt will fail but is destabilizing for the world. The danger of conflicts, and wars, which would have a wider effect than on simply the US, China and India would be real if such a policy is pursued. Instead of such a course the objective interests of China, India and the overwhelming majority of the world's population are to ensure that the fundamental economic processes taking place unfold in a peaceful and 'tranquil' fashion.
China's government indicated that it will support measures expanding Pacific trade and economic cooperation, but it is naturally not bound to accept rules which it had no part in negotiating. Despite what most analysts know to be the anti-China intention of the TPP China's government made clear it will proceed objectively.
The course China outlined offers economic development benefitting both its own people and other countries. The neo-cons propose increased tension, policies against the best interests of other economies, and the threat or reality of wars.
It is evident which of these approaches is in the best interests of the rest of the world.
The author is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit: http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/johnross.htm
Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.