Debunking the China threat

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Is the Obama administration's "pivot to Asia" a well-thought out approach? Or are we creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of the China threat?

Vairon: Seen from the U.S. perspective, it's probably a wise policy. Asia will be the most important place to be in the 21st century. However, viewed from the China side, the policy is clearly a containment threat. It's all very much a matter of angle.

A pivot to Asia might well serve to escalate existing tensions in the area, with the United States trying to maintain its global grip, while China attempts to consolidate its regional dominance.

Of course, China's rise could seem threatening, especially by neighboring countries with which it has a history of conflict. Building regional trust is therefore essential.

[Former Chinese President] Hu Jintao's 2005 concept of a harmonious international society was interesting in terms of international relations, but who really understands it? We Europeans originate from a culture of conflict. For Americans too, conflict produces progress and improvement. We need conflict, though this is not the case in China. A harmonious society can improve the world. Foreign diplomats don't understand this. It has to be explained in a different way, and even translated differently. I strongly recommend improving communication across the board.

We have seen some new ideas emerging from the new Chinese Government and its new president Xi Jinping. Corruption is already less than before and is a top priority. We are in a new era politically, which includes domestic reform.


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