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Most ordinary Australian people as well as many experts always treat the economic growth of China with mixture of excitement and trepidation. On one hand, we felicitate ourselves on Chinese success on economy. On the other hand, we are so worried about the potential threat from this growing that we can hardly wait to rush into the arms of the United States because from ideological perspective only the US is our real ally. But do we deeply understand both China and the US’s strategic interest? I do not think so. On the contrary, I think we are just misled by the lazy experts.
According to western logic and history, developing must cause external expansion with military force. But it cannot apply to China. Otherwise Hong Kong would not be a British colony. In fact China is an extremely conservative country and Chinese is a modest nation. In their 5000 years history, you couldn’t find any record about invading other nations. Instead they have been the victim of invasion many times. The Great Wall was built to defend them from the invaders. Maybe someone will mention the dispute between China and Japan about the Diaoyu Island recently. But the fact is that Diaoyu Island was Chinese territory until World War II in which it was occupied by the Japanese.
Without doubt China has been making progress in the past 30 years, but China confronts more and more problems at the same time. The economy is booming as the gap between the rich and the poor is becoming wider and wider. The development of the economy is at the cost of the environment and resources. By the driving force of the economic benefit, corruption has been propagated in governments. So objectively Chinese have to concentrate on tackling those internal affairs and it is impossible for them to have spare resources for external expansion.
Why has a great clamour arisen around the potential threats from China? If we have a look the map of the world, we will find China has already been surrounded by US military bases in Japan, South Korean, Australia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is almost impossible for China to find a free way out without the interference of the US navy. When the US Defence Secretary said they would assert freedom of navigation, can we ask if the Chinese navy also has the same freedom of navigation in the Mexican gulf? Moreover, when the US always has naval exercises in the foreyard of China, can we ask who on earth is threading who?
Does the US really have the courage to have a war with China directly? Nobody believes that will happen between two countries which have nuclear missiles. But how can the US implement their containment strategy towards China? Two tricks are played by the US. On one hand, the US is creating conflicts between China and its neighbours. On the other hand, the US is seeking substitutes in a so called ally to launch a proxy war against China.
For Australians, why should we sacrifice ourselves to defend the strategic interests of the US? We have been indulging in the honeyed words of the US so that we forget our own strategy. We are irresistibly attracted by the word – alliance, but we should not forget the fact that Osama bin Laden was the ally of the US before and Saddam Hussein was their ally too.