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Kerry's visit to China: Where’s the sincerity?

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

01-29-2016 15:51 BJT

By Zhang Wenzong, associate researcher of the United States Institute of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations  

This month, when the world's media were summarizing big events of 2015, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) (North Korea) had carried out its 4th nuclear test, while Taiwan was electing a new leader. Apparently, East Asia has always endured some tensions.

Currently, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of State John Kerry have visited China, which shows the hot issues are  common interests of both Washington and Beijing.

This is the last year for US President Barack Obama’s administration. He’s promoting a rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific region to forge a diplomatic "heritage."

Nevertheless, Washington appears to be losing control of the situation. Accordingly, high-level American officials are visiting China to enact countermeasures.

Obama is refusing to admit that there was a "nuclear test" in the DPRK, because that proves the nullity of the so-called "strategic endurance" policy.

He realizes that the Republican Party can blow out the Democratic Party, because his administration is perceived as weak on foreign affairs. Washington seems to be losing its bearings over the DPRK nuclear issue.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party won the Taiwan leadership election in 2016, which may alter current stable relations across the Taiwan Straits.

Washington and Beijing want to maintain stability in the Asia-Pacific region and support good Sino-US relations. They do have some common interests.

They are the ballasts of regional peace and stability.  Nonetheless, Washington and Beijing have adopted different countermeasures to deal with problems.

Beijing has proposed a packaged solution to the DPRK nuclear issue, stressing to find the root cause of the trouble, while Washington seeks to sanction the DPRK. Washington's measures try to resolve both the DPRK nuclear issue and "DPRK problem," which cannot be accepted by Beijing.

In a bid to put more pressures on the DPRK, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken implied that Washington may sanction DPRK's trade partners. Well, that totally ignores the complexity of DPRK nuclear issues.

The deep-rooted cause hindering Sino-American cooperation is Washington's suspicion towards Beijing.

Kerry visited Laos and incited the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to challenge Beijing on the South China Sea issue. The US has strengthened its alliances with Japan and South Korea to implement containment and intimidation tactics on China.

Washington announced a new round of arms sale to Taiwan just before the election and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State visited Taiwan after the election, which leads Beijing to cast grave doubts on the future relations between the US and Taiwan.

In the 1980s, East Asia was still in the framework of the Cold War. Since Sino-American relations had entered a "honeymoon period," these issues seemed "quiet." It’s unrealistic to reduce tension on these hot issues, since Washington has moved its strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region and challenges China as its main rival.

The trees may prefer calm but the wind will not subside. As two major responsible countries, the US and China should be honest to negotiate from the perspective of constructing a new type of major country relationship.

The sooner they both realize the importance of sincerity, the better bilateral relations and the security of Asia-Pacific region would develop.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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