Washington probably had a hope that Beijing, like Tokyo, Seoul, or Ottawa, would pray for the United States to waive its steel and aluminum tariffs and accept the harsh conditions proposed by the United States. However, Beijing has proactively announced reciprocal retaliation measures, resolutely firing the "first shot" to resist US trade pressure.
Then Washington was awkward. If it really implements the plan for large-scale taxation of Chinese goods announced in accordance with the 301 survey, there will be no suspense for Beijing to carry out further retaliation, and the trade war will officially begin. But the trade war is not what Washington really wants. The Trump administration hopes to scare China with the stick of the trade war.
Intimidation didn't help, and it signaled that Washington's first goal was missed and it was a bad start. Washington now wants to "make a fortune" to the international community, but it has chosen the wrong object and placed the wrong bet.
Not only the White House today, the American elite as a whole has overestimated US power and action. Some people even think that the United States is omnipotent. This US trade war with China contains the taste of "containment of China". Such an impulse is said to have certain universality among the American political elite.
However, they have overlooked a basic fact that China is already very strong and already another economic center of the world. Its market size and attractiveness are no less than that of the United States today. In addition, China's political and economic resistance to pressure is extraordinary. In order to win China as a "city", the United States needs to fight a "street fight" that is unimaginably brutal.
Even if some American elites prefer to stop China's rise as the primary goal and pay the price of economic and social development, the American people will certainly not follow suit. Because China's rise was achieved in a peaceful and legal manner, and there was no strategic provocation against the United States. For the American people, the benefits of normal cooperation with China far outweigh the benefits of confrontation with China. China is not an expander. It is too risky to coerce a moderate nuclear power and economic power.
In short, the United States cannot reshape the hegemony imagined by the Washington elite. Globalization and the democratization of international relations have eroded the basis of that hegemony. The United States today lacks neither the power required for that hegemony nor the corresponding will and domestic unity. Today the United States has difficulty even subduing Iran and North Korea, and it is even less likely that a big country like China will yield to it.
Washington can no longer rule the world in an empire way, and its imperial roar is often a bluff lacking real determination. The United States can generally make no one in the world dare to provoke it, but it is impossible for all countries to listen to it and let countries put American interests above their own interests.
The United States needs to fully accept the possibility of China's peaceful rise, as long as this rise is premised on acceptance of the existing international rule system. If some elites in the United States are psychologically unwilling to accept China's national policy of infiltrating the United States, they will put the United States in an unprecedented struggle.
Creating a new strategic space for the United States by subduing or destroying China sounds quite logical. In fact, this is fantasizing. Unless the uncomfortable level of peaceful coexistence with China is intolerable, actively colliding with China's strategy will not be a truly happy choice for American society. It's easy to say a few hard words, but in practice, no American president can provide the people with solid and credible reasons.
The United States is a pluralistic society, and Washington's elites should not overestimate their ability to lead their people to make strategic choices that take risks. Nor should they deceive themselves and overestimate their true willingness to bear all the consequences to curb China's rise.
Original title: Social commentary: Levy was pierced by Beijing, Washington should reflect
Original link: http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2018-04/11766841.html