Asia-Pacific: Third Phase Of U.S. Post-Cold War Global Expansion
December 28, 2012
China must and is able to withstand pressure
By Ren Weidong
[S]ince the end of the Cold War, the U.S. global strategy has gone through two major historical stages. In the first 10 years (in the 1990s), the strategic focus was on Eastern Europe. The main strategy was presented by the NATO’s eastward expansion and the European Union’s eastward expansion. In the first 10 years of the new century (2000-2010), the strategic focus is to expand in the Middle East and Central Asia, with launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as its main strategy.
Since the United States adjusted its global strategy to return to the Asia-Pacific region, China-U.S. strategic relations and China’s security environment has undergone significant historical changes.
From a geopolitical perspective, since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. global strategy has gone through two major historical stages. In the first 10 years (in the 1990s), the strategic focus was on Eastern Europe. The main strategy was presented by the NATO’s eastward expansion and the European Union’s eastward expansion. In the first 10 years of the new century (2000-2010), the strategic focus is to expand in the Middle East and Central Asia, with launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as its main strategy.
Around the second 10 years in the new century, the United States has ceased its strategic task in Central Asia and the Middle East for a while. Despite the fact that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not going very smoothly, the United States succeeded in overthrowing the anti-American regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and established pro-American regimes. Therefore, the strategic focus of the United States shifting from Central Asia and the Middle East to East Asia entirely followed its strategic steps as planned.
Since the adjustment of the U.S. strategic focus, a series of its strategic initiatives in East Asia can be summarized as follows: Politically establishing a united front line around China; making military deployments targeted at China; and undermining the economic influence of China.
Out of hegemonic geopolitical need, the United States will not allow the emergence of a unified geopolitical situation that is out of its control on the other side of the Pacific.
In addition, the most developed and prosperous cities are gathered on the coastal region of southeast China, therefore the region is vital for the Chinese economy. As the main transportation mode for China’s foreign trade and energy supply is via the sea route, taking control of the transportation line from the West Pacific Ocean to India via the Strait of Malacca means seizing the lifeline of the Chinese economy. Therefore, it is necessary for the United States to put its strategic focus on Asia, especially East Asia, which is fatal for China.
The strategic focus shifting to the Asia-Pacific region means that the United States has targeted China as the main objective of its global strategy in the current situation, pushing China to the position where it has nowhere to retreat or hide, but only accept the truth.
From the historical experience of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, there must be murder accompanied behind the containment. In Africa, the United States excludes China’s economic interests and political influence; in the Middle East, it controls China’s energy throat; and in the neighboring countries of China, it seeks and supports a force to contain China. It even directly ruins the key to the security and the development of China in East Asia. Together with internal penetration, evolution and division of China, what the U.S. did is not simply containment with a purpose of stopping expansion, but a curb with the purpose of manipulation or even choking.
There are only two ways for China to choose: Either withstanding the external pressure, taking an independent place in the multi-centered world pattern in the future; or following in the steps of the Soviet Union, and experiencing survival ravages. The sharpness of the struggle is self-evident, but with 5,000 years’ cultural heritage and 63 years’ revolution achievements, China will be able to overcome the challenges.