Huanqiu Shibao: The Adequate Adversary

Headlined “Drop your illusions about America! The biggest obstacle for China’s rise is America”, Huanqiu Shibao carries a commentary today, reacting to Washington’s decision to send an aircraft carrier – the George Washington – into the Yellow Sea, China’s “coastal waters” or “inshore/offshore waters” (近海黄海).

Last year, when American Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy gave Huanqiu Shibao an interview, she said that “America doesn’t view China as an enemy”. Now, the pentagon has eaten its words. Sending an aircraft carrier into China’s [see the range of possible translations at the end of the previous paragraph – JR] Yellow Sea, America clearly wants to provoke China, and to make China admit defeat. America is thus openly telling the world that China is its major potential enemy (中国是它潜在的重大敌人).

Since the U.S. has ignored the opposition of the Chinese people, insisting on doing so [conducting military exercises in the Yellow Sea with South Korea], painstakingly avoiding the conflict won’t be as good as a direct response. The pentagon wants to shape China as its strategic adversary, and China has no other choice than to be a qualified adversary: we must let America know that a strategic error comes at a heavy price.

The commentary goes on saying that many members of the Chinese elite had had unrealistic expectations about America, having believed that not challenging America’s hegemony-led world order would make America drop its scheme to contain China (只要我们不主动挑战美国霸权主导的世界秩序,美国就会放弃遏制中国的图谋). But certain people in America, including policymakers, hadn’t stopped looking for a post-cold-war adversary. In the 21rst century, China had early been established as a “biggest potential enemy” on the pentagon’s map, against China’s volition. By naval frictions, supporting separatists in China, and by trade provocations, America had tested China’s strategic bottomline, trying to control China in an American-set framework, trying to cut off the road of China’s advancement (尝试堵截中国前进的道路). This, it was believed, had been the pentagon’s consistent strategy against China (一贯的对华战略), and a growing China could no longer tolerate that.

Now it’s time for the Chinese people to drop such illusions. America wants to establish genuine friendship with China? It wants to help China to become a powerful oriental country? Undoubtedly, there are good American people who can be hoped to be such people, but such hopes have never become America’s national policy, and never will.

We must see clearly that no matter how China on its own initiative improves and promotes Sino-American relations, no matter how much it demonstrates its good intentions, America’s selfish national goals and China’s growth by development won’t be compatible, and they won’t be compatible with China’s national unification and rejuvenation.

However, the commentary explains, genuine war with America was not the solution. The world wouldn’t be able to cope with a war between such two big countries. America itself wouldn’t have the courage for such a war either (美国也未必有这个胆子) – but it was China’s task to teach America the painful lesson that it wouldn’t achieve a unilateral complete victory (美国唯一没有取得过完胜的大国博弈的惨痛教训,就来自于中国). America was good at strategic tricks, and there were many traps in contending with that country. In dealing with the stubborn hawks who cherished the memory of the Cold War who were even thinking of a hot war, China needed to maintain constant vigilance, neither allow American hegemony to intimidate it, nor to infuriate it easily.

The way America had fractured the Soviet Union should be a warning, the commentary says, and the way smaller countries had submitted themselves to America was unacceptable for China. As a big country, China needed to resist big pressure. America would surely plot against China with military, political, cultural, and economic tools.

After making sure about a high degree of unity and fortitude at home (在内部高度团结并坚强), we can say: “make our day”,

writes Huanqiu Shibao.


China Scholars warn of National Arrogance, BBC News, Aug 11, 2010
Hermit and Nightwish: “Make America Collapse”, Febr 14, 2010
Rao Jin: “They want to Balcanize Xinjiang”, July 26, 2009

9 Responses to “Huanqiu Shibao: The Adequate Adversary”

  1. Be so nice and translate the 455 comments on the article, too.


  2. No, I’ve decided to be nice and compassionate today.
    Besides, the Huanqiu Shibao commenters’ slogans usually repeat themselves.



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