Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Miles Yu’s interview with VOA reflects US government’s chaotic, extreme China policy

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/22 19:37:39

Miles Yu’s interview with VOA reflects US government’s chaotic, extreme China policy

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Miles Yu, the Chinese-born policy adviser to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, gave his summative comments about Trump’s China policy over the past four years during an interview with VOA Chinese, published on November 17. 

Yu’s views raised in the interview exposed the loopholes and double standards in Trump administration’s underlying guidelines and their pride and prejudice in the perception of China and the Chinese people. These, on the whole, determined Trump’s chaotic and extreme policy toward China. 

Yu mentioned that the Trump administration has made it clear “the simple but important concept that the Communist Party of China (CPC) is not the same as the Chinese people.” He added that, the CPC does not represent the Chinese people. This is a prejudiced judgment against China. It’s an obvious attempt to legitimize its hawkish China policy and put itself on a moral high ground. 

It proves that they actually do not understand the history of China and the country’s current situation. The Chinese people’s support for CPC is a result of nearly 100-year history of modern development. 

Surveys show that Chinese people are highly satisfied with their government. Chinese people have always judged the CPC by whether it has done practical things for the people to make them have higher living standards. 

They also weigh whether the national dignity and status has been constantly improving. On both accounts, the CPC has done a good job. China now has more than 90 million CPC members, and almost one in 14 in China are CPC members. It is impossible to separate the CPC from the people.

Yu also said that when it comes to the CPC, the US must “distrust and verify,” because the CPC is “basically dishonest.” It is nothing but arrogance. It’s a basic international norm that sovereign countries should develop equal relations. Without proof, on what grounds can the US distrust China and demand China to verify what it says? If China raised the same demands with the US, would the Americans accept it? The US has become accustomed to treating some states as pawns in a hegemonic manner. But this won’t work if it wants to apply similar tactics with China, which is now a global power that has a larger population and much longer history than the US. 

The Trump administration has long trumpeted that China’s development is a threat to global freedom and democracy. It has accused China of using other countries to serve its own interests. However, the “America First” doctrine that Trump has insisted on prioritizes the US’ own interests when making domestic and foreign policies. Yu defended this by saying that as the US has a great, profound and far-reaching influence on the world, policies that give priority to US interests will not only benefit the US, but also the world. According to Yu’s absurd logic, China’s pursuit for its interests poses a threat to the world, while the US seeking “America First” serves the world. How self-contradictory this argument is. 

In international politics, every country safeguards and enhances its own national interests. This is normal. Why can the US do this but not China? 

The Trump administration accuses China of reaping benefits from other countries with globalization. For instance, Pompeo said during his October visit to Sri Lanka that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a kind of debt-trap diplomacy. When he was uttering these words, was he thinking that all countries that have cooperated with China are fools as he believed who are willing to step into China’s “trap” and sacrifice their own interests to please China? Was he hinting that only cooperating with the US is a smart choice?

In fact, this not only displays the US’ double standards, but also indicates that anti-China hawks such as Yu have fallen into an absurd state of mind as they gaze at China’s development. 

Chaos and extremism have run throughout Trump’s China policy over the past four years. This has not only undermined China-US relations, but also hurt the US’ interests. Unfortunately, the Trump administration mistakenly believes it’s safeguarding the US interests. 

The Trump administration is obviously attempting to shape the shift of the US’ China policy as its biggest diplomatic legacy. It hopes the next government will continue the current policy and will be unable to subvert it even if adjustments have to be made. But if we look back a few decades from now, Trump’s China policy is most likely to be the target of criticism and condemnation. It will never be considered heroic as what the Trump administration is boasting. 

Moreover, a Biden administration will not handle China-US relations with the same mind-set as the Trump administration did. 

As Biden has identified China as a “serious competitor,” this will determine Biden’s China policy, returning it to a relatively normal state of affairs – to a dynamic where disagreements coexist with cooperation. 

The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Wan Lin based on an interview with Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University. [email protected]

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