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Japan out to rival US

By Wang Yusheng | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-16 07:57

Soon after US President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term, Washington organized several high-level visits by officials to East Asia, including China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Among the US officials who visited the region recently are Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew, Secretary of State John Kerry, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

The US hopes to maintain its dominant position in the Asia-Pacific region by consolidating its military alliance with the Republic of Korea and strengthening Japan's position in territorial disputes with China.

Washington has sent some positive messages for China, though. Kerry has said that the US and the rest of the world have benefited from a stable and prosperous China. During his recent visit to Beijing, Kerry called for a "special relationship" with China and said: "China is a great power with a great ability to affect events in the world. And we need to work together to do that".

Behind the rhetoric, however, is the "Pacific Dream" of the US, as described by Kerry during a speech in Tokyo recently. The dream is reflected in the Barack Obama administration's policy toward Asia-Pacific, which is aimed at maintaining Washington's dominance in security and economic matters in the region.

For US neo-conservatives, establishing a "special relationship" with China is beyond imagination. They believe that the US can have a "special relationship" only with the United Kingdom and Israel. When even Japan does not qualify for such a relationship, how can China? In fact, the neo-conservatives think that the rise of China, which is likely to surpass the US as an economic power in a few years, is an inconceivable nightmare.

For China, the so-called special relationship proposed by the US can be interpreted as building a "new type of great power relationship". In fact, China's dream of rejuvenating the Chinese nation is not contrary to the "Pacific Dream" of the US.

A growing number of people in the US, including some prominent scholars and experts, have realized that China has no intention of forcing the US out of East Asia or the West Pacific. They have also realized that China will never pursue hegemony.

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