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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-19 08:01

With great power comes great responsibility

The Washington Post has recently published an opinion article "Strategic reassurance" that isn't by Robert Kagan and Dan Blumenthal. In short, the authors assert that the Barack Obama administration will make US allies (Japan, Republic of Korea and India) nervous by accommodating the rise of China as a global power.

In their analysis, behind China's accession to the World Trade Organization was the Clinton administration's strengthened military ties with Japan. And after Clinton, what was behind the George W. Bush administration's reconciliation with China were better US relations with India, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.

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The authors view the British accommodation of the US' rise in the late 19th century as based on ideological kinship which cannot be forged between China and the US. Obviously, the checks-and-balances political ideology is in the minds of the American neo-cons.

The article also quotes the opinions of key US military figures. Admiral Robert Willard, new head of the US Pacific Command, said "in the past decade or so, China has exceeded most of our intelligence estimates of their military capability They've grown at an unprecedented rate". In similar fashion, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was quoted as saying that China's military modernization program could undermine US military power in the Pacific.

The authors even denounce Obama's July speech at the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, asserting that China's competition with the US in East Asia will remain to be much a zero-sum game.

In the same line of argument, various media outside cover China's recent diplomatic and economic efforts in the Mekong River Region as rivalry with the US for regional influence.

Though the article, published prior to Obama's visit to China, reveals the alternative views in the US toward China, I am still sure that China as a rising power will do what Uncle Ben told Spider Man: "Remember, with great power comes great responsibility". Time will show that China will be a power with great responsibility.

Ken Hui

via e-mail

(China Daily 11/19/2009 page8)