General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress Tuesday that "China probably poses the greatest threat to our nation by about 2025," during a hearing on his re-appointment for the position. "China is focused on limiting our ability to project power and weakening our alliances in the Pacific," he said.
Meanwhile, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who visited the Chinese mainland this week, attacked China's fast-growing robotics industry on Wednesday in Hong Kong. He has previously warned that the "Made in China 2025" plan is an "attack" on "American genius."
Although the China threat theory is nothing new in Washington, recently the tone has been used by more higher-level US officials in a harsher and more specific way.
China is working in its own way to improve its strength in key areas and at a pace commensurate with economic development. We neither turn our progress into head-on competition with the US nor challenge the US development mode and pace. Thus the logic of the US rebuking China threats often seems strange in Chinese society.
It took a long time for Chinese to basically figure out the US logic, but we still think this unreasonable view of China's development as threatening the US is hardly acceptable.
We feel it unjust that Americans consider their development mode unquestionable and find fault with the Chinese one. Of course Chinese companies differ from American companies. Our two societies operate in different ways.
Chinese always bring up the philosophy of win-win cooperation with which Chinese civilization has endured throughout its long history of cultural convergence.
But this is hardly understandable to Americans, probably because Western civilization always believes in absolute conquest or even the uprooting of the other side.
It's an unstoppable trend that China will catch up with the West in multiple areas. If the US government and its successors spend too much energy impeding China's modernization, then they will find they are heading in a wrongheaded, self-defeating, dismal direction.
The US needs to accept the win-win logic and work jointly with China and other powers to make the world a better place. This looks like abasement to some US elites who believe the US, stronger than other nations, should contain and crush China like it did the Soviet Union. But this approach will beget difficulties because Chinese society has much stronger cohesion than the Soviet Union. The US needs to get down to preparing for peaceful coexistence with China.
The world needs to step forward into seeking win-win results rather than conquest. Otherwise the US will be confounded by every Chinese step forward and waste its time calculating how to contain China's influence throughout the 21st century.
While many ordinary Americans have realized the fundamental changes that globalization has brought to the world, the US elites should take a broader view and lead their country forward.
They need to buy a new compass and try to see the world in three dimensions, not simply shadow every move China makes and declare it a threat.