Recently, there have been frequent complaints from Washington about China’s “neglect” of the US and a “lack of interest” in engaging with them. One is that China has refused to reschedule US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China, and another is that the Chinese Ministry of Defense has declined request for call from the US Department of Defense, and the defense ministers of China and the US have not spoken for nearly five months.
At the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan, Blinken called out to China on Tuesday, stating that China must make clear its intentions to keep engaging with the US and that “countries around the world expect us to manage the relationship with China responsibly.” The day before, an undersecretary of US Department of Defense even speculated that China “refuses to talk during crises in bid to spook US into fleeing” from the Western Pacific. To borrow a term used by Chinese netizens, doesn’t the US have any sense of self-awareness?
Blinken’s planned visit to China in February was unilaterally postponed by the US due to the sudden hype around the “balloon incident” before his departure. This to some extent, it has reflected the US’ reckless and irresponsible attitude towards Blinken’s visit to China. It refused to come then, but now insists on coming. How can everything be up to the US, and everyone else has to cooperate with it? China is a big country and will not indulge such problem. China’s diplomacy is very busy and cannot adjust at any time according to the US’ schedule, especially no time to receive insincere or even people with malicious intentions.
As for the reason why the defense ministers of China and the US have not spoken on the phone, the US side knows well. Putting aside other issues, the US has not yet lifted the illegal sanctions on China’s new Defense Minister Li Shangfu, which has created a lack of basic atmosphere for military dialogue between China and the US. If the US truly wants to maintain contact and communication with China, then they should not act in this way. The Americans have also seen that in the past month, many leaders of countries, including US allies, and heads of international organizations have visited China, achieving very good communication results. So why is there a problem when it comes to the US?
A common saying in Chinese diplomacy is “listen to their words and observe their actions,” but with today’s US, “listen to their words” is a waste of time because the US has played the game of saying one thing and doing another to the extreme, and its “words” have lost credibility in China and the international community. According to reports from US media, Washington is about to implement “unprecedented rules” limiting American investment in China, and US’ interference in the Taiwan question is getting worse. The US’ comprehensive containment and suppression of China has not shown any signs of easing.
The feeling of Chinese people is that the various actions taken by the US are almost the opposite of its promises to China. How can we believe it? Dialogue and engagement can boost cooperation, add value to bilateral relations for one thing, or to prevent crises and conflicts to minimize the damage to the relationship for another. But what Washington wants is neither the first nor the second, it wants the political gains that come with “engaging with China” posture. This fully explains why the US has been shouting about “setting up guardrails” in recent years, while the pit in China-US relations is getting deeper and deeper due to Washington’s actions.
China has always approached and developed China-US relations with great goodwill and patience, which is China’s sense of responsibility as a major country. But Washington should not have any illusions, it can never speak to China while riding on its head. China supports communication and exchange based on mutual respect, committed to peaceful coexistence, win-win cooperation, in order to promoting the improvement of China-US relations. However, the “engagement with China” emphasized by the US is often just a show, to appease its allies and other countries concerned about the deterioration of China-US relations and also to shift the blame onto China. Additionally, Washington attempts to impose pressure on China with the so-called engagement. Almost every time its high-ranking officials come, they bring a long list of so-called demands.
While the US continues to take hostile actions towards China, it also wants to use “engagement” to stabilize China and control risks while taking advantage of the opportunity to pressure and unilaterally demand from China, with even the idea that “communication” is all for “convenience for me to better attack you.” Can’t China just don’t deal with the US, which is so calculative? With such insincerity and even malice from the US, why should we cooperate with Washington politicians’ performances?
In conclusion, temporarily cold-shouldering Washington is not a bad idea. China’s door is always open, and when the US shows sincerity and take practical actions, communication and exchange between China and the US in various fields will come naturally, which is also what the international community expects to see.