Language : English 简体 繁體

U.S. Pointlessly Plays Security Card

Mar 11, 2021
  • Ma Shikun

    Senior Journalist, the People’s Daily

On Feb. 26, 2021, the Washington Post posted a commentary online about U.S. “over securitization,” from which the U.S. has suffered. The article is about the domestic situation in the United States, but in fact the same is true when the United States deals with international affairs and relations with other countries, and it can only be worse than that.

In the case of relations with China, for example, Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo always exaggerated China’s threat to U.S. security without any basis. They were suspicious of China, trying to contain or suppress it one way or the other. Such U.S. behavior hurts both countries by undermining relations.

The U.S. is the world’s greatest military power already, yet it continues to expand, one of its claims being that it is responding to “China’s military threat.” This is far from convincing.

China’s overall military strength has increased significantly over the years, but it is small compared with that of the United States. Take military spending for example. In 2020, the United States’ spent $732 billion, whereas China’s spent $178.2 billion, less than a quarter of the United States.

Take important military equipment as another example. The United States has 10 100,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, whereas China only has two 60,000-ton conventional-powered aircraft carriers. According to figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden, the United States has 5,800 nuclear bombs, and China has about 290, or 5 percent of the United States figure.

The U.S. spends more on its military each year than the combined military expenditures of the 10 countries behind it. No country is willing to compete with the U.S. militarily, and so there is no way to talk about military threats to the United States.

Because so much money and research is focused on military strength and so little on infrastructure, the United States, a superpower, is unable to withstand major natural disasters. Not long ago, a heavy snowfall caused almost the entire state of Texas to lose power, leaving millions of people without water or electricity for many days, and dozens of people even froze to death.

The Washington Post pointedly noted that the U.S. government is now like a dinosaur: It is large, slow, far from ordinary people and slow to respond to the real challenges facing the country. The U.S. trade deficit with China has a long history and has been increasing in recent years. In 2019, U.S. imports from China were $452.2 billion, while exports to China were $106.6 billion, leaving a deficit of $345.6 billion. It is not normal to have a large long-term trade deficit between the two countries, from which Trump concluded that China had taken advantage of the United States.

In fact, it is not the China’s fault that this situation, and it is not Chinese who want to use their hard work and valuable resources to manufacture products in exchange for dollars, and then put them in the United States.

It is not difficult to solve the trade deficit problem. It can be solved simply by having the United States import less from China and export more to China. But the United States does not want to do so. Chinese goods are good and cheap, can help the American people save money and can reduce inflation. Chinese imports are attractive to the United States. Trump's attempt to crack the trade deficit problem by fighting a trade war which ended in failure. In 2020 U.S. imports from China rose rather than fell, and the trade deficit was still above $340 billion.

As the world's largest country by GDP, the U.S. supposedly has enough goods to balance trade with China, but Trump and others feared that selling U.S. products to China would improve China's technological capabilities, so they blocked products with even slightly technical content from export to China. In fact, many of the products that were banned from being sold to China can already be manufactured in China and are available on the international market. It is this so-called over securitization that has tied the hands of the United States, with exports to China hovering at a low level for a long time and its trade deficit with China difficult to reverse.

In the culture arena, the Trump administration took many extreme steps that will harm both China and the U.S. in the immediate and long-term future. Since June 1 last year, some Chinese students and scholars have been banned from entering the U.S., and thousands of others have been affected. Great numbers of Chinese students will be discouraged from studying in the U.S., and American. officials made it clear that they are afraid that Chinese students may learn skills that will help China develop which will threaten U.S. security.

Harvard, Yale and many other U.S. universities oppose this foolishness by the government. There are currently about 360,000 Chinese students studying in the U.S., contributing about $14 billion a year to the country and becoming one of the major financial resources for many universities.

Also, a significant percentage of Chinese students stay in the U.S. to work after graduation, as technological force to be reckoned with. Reports say that there are many Chinese working as engineers in companies in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the U.S. technology industry.

Denying Chinese science and technology students the ability to study in the United States is obviously not good for the long-term development of the United States, but other problems have emerged. For example, since last May, the Department of Homeland Security has compressed the length of stay of Chinese journalists in the United States to 90 days. This means that Chinese journalists must reapply to the U.S. for visa extensions every three months, and visa officials have been slow to act and deliberately made things difficult so that some journalists have been forced to leave the U.S.

Since last year, 15 Chinese media outlets have been classified as foreign agents and are required to report personal information, travel plans and personnel changes to the U.S. Department of State under the Foreign Missions Act. But these outlets are not entitled to diplomatic mission status.

Chinese journalists in the U.S. work hard to objectively report on American events and public sentiment, and they serve as a bridge and guide for the Chinese people to understand the real America. The fact that they are treated so unfairly in the U.S. and even labeled called spies has caused incalculable damage to the feelings of both peoples.

President Joe Biden has said that the U.S.-China relationship should be both competitive and cooperative. Such a relationship would be in the interest of the two countries and both peoples. It is widely believed that Biden should rectify the misguided policies of the Trump administration toward China as soon as possible, so the relationship can return to as normal track.

You might also like
Back to Top