Appeasing the US will never work — RT World News

Finally tired of displaying unreciprocated goodwill, Beijing breaks off the multiple forms of dialogue with the United States

By Timur Fomenkopolitical analyst

China’s announcement to suspend eight channels of cooperation and dialogue with the United States following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei appears to mark a break with the government’s previously overly lenient approach. country in the face of the whims of Washington. The reaction of the Americans, meanwhile, was as predictable as it was revealing.

Unsurprisingly, Washington condemned the severing of ties and insisted it had done nothing wrong in greenlighting Pelosi’s visit.

Such a reaction might tell us a few things about US President Joe Biden’s China policy as a whole. In short, it can be described as “having your cake and eating it”. The US thinks it can get away with treating China as an enemy in most areas, while selectively seeking cooperation in pursuing US interests in others. This stems from the unilateralist nature of US foreign policy, which strives to maximize its own advantages at all costs and never offers concessions in negotiations with adversaries.

But in the end, the United States went too far and China made it clear that it had now had enough. Cooperation can now only be conditional on respect for China’s fundamental interests. Some say it was long overdue.

Why is that? Because for a long time, China may have been far too patient with the United States. While Washington consistently showed malevolence, Beijing still believed the relationship could be saved, repaired, or rekindled, and continued to show Americans a goodwill they didn’t deserve.

China believed that engagement was the answer. It is a product of the country’s post-Deng Xiaoping foreign policy doctrine, which emphasizes stability and calculated risk-taking above all else. China believed that its development and rise would be compromised if it confronted the hegemony that sought to contain it.

This idea was great in the 1980s and 1990s, when China was not a threat to the United States and Americans thought it was destined to liberalize. But this “end of history” world no longer exists.

And China has been slow to react to this – meaning its foreign policy assumptions have recently caused it to make strategic missteps again and again. In the first year of the Trump administration, Beijing decided to engage with Trump and give him what it wanted on the North Korea issue, rolling out the red carpet for him in the Forbidden City, believing that it would temper the dreaded anti-China turn. his administration had previously promised.

It did not work. Once Trump got what he wanted from Xi on North Korea sanctions, he started his anti-China foreign policy the following year in 2018. He started the trade war, he put Huawei on blacklist and dozens of other Chinese companies, while his administration rolled out Xinjiang. narrative to taint China’s engagement with the West.

Slow march to war: what happens after Pelosi's visit to Taiwan

But China has always kept its commitment, focusing on negotiating a trade deal with Trump. It seemed to work in January 2020. Then Covid-19 arrived, hitting the United States hard, and the Trump administration’s hostility to China went off the beaten path. The opportunity was seized to permanently tip US foreign policy into an adversarial Cold War mode.

What did Beijing do? Seeing an election on the horizon, he waited. Trump after all, the Chinese reasoned, was just bad luck, erratic and destabilizing, and the United States would surely become sane once he was gone. They decided to wait it out and pursue an all-out effort to hire Biden instead, again hoping to rekindle the relationship.

It was once again wrong. The Biden administration not only immediately embraced Trump’s entire foreign policy, but actually expanded it. China tried to engage, but nothing changed and the displays of relentless hostility continued. Each meeting the Biden administration has pursued with China has been accompanied by an announcement of new sanctions before and after it.

The American portrayal of China as a new Cold War-style adversary was now an enduring consensus and a feature of American foreign policy that goes well beyond one man. Worse still, Washington has begun to “multilateralize” this approach and co-opt allies to join.

Pelosi's possible Taiwan visit won't lead to war - yet

China, of course, knew this, but was naïve or overly optimistic in believing that reality could be avoided. It wasn’t until late 2021 that he began to “wake up” to this new normal. Still, it took Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan for China to find the strength to come out with “We can no longer act as if nothing has happened” but even then some people still think the Chinese are bluffing, prompting an online meme described as “China’s Final Warning” which was a form of ridicule the Soviet Union used against China for issuing “final warnings” that it never acted on.

Yet, there is nonetheless a sense that this time things are different. China’s military drills have been relentless, with claims they will become “the new normal”. Indeed, even though China has been duly lenient with the United States in the past, it now sees Washington as taking the liberty of trampling on commitments it had made to normalize relations with Beijing.

If China is forced to retreat from its lines in the sand, it becomes a huge loss of face and political prestige. While the economy has also been a primary consideration of China’s foreign policy, the pendulum is now swinging toward the realization that the United States must be confronted, rather than merely lived. He does not respect China’s interests, only his own.

So how can dialogue and commitment be unconditional? So far, this bilateral relationship has only worked on the principle of “Hi China, we hate you, we’re going to accuse you of genocide, we’re going to blacklist your companies, we’re going to build military alliances against you, break our commitments on Taiwan…oh please, help us on climate change…nothing in return. And China’s patience is apparently at an end.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


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