Enemy or Friend ? Critical Analysis of America's Policy toward China

Jiang Weimin
Director, Research Institute of Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC

After World War II, and especially at the dawn of the 21st century, America has become a superpower, dominating the world. To maintain its status, America has made China the number one "imagined enemy". This is because in America, some China experts and scholars have advocated a "China Threat Theory", which both Congress and the mass media made into an even larger controversy. Thus, whether China is an enemy or a friend has become the central public issue. To protect its own interest, America's policy towards China has become both "to contact" explicitly, and "to contain" implicitly. It is a dual-tier policy: "primarily to contact, and secondarily to contain."
The author believes that America must not view China as an "imagined enemy", because Xie Suli, the Deputy Secretary of State said, "Since China now has nuclear deterrence capabilities, I don't think that anybody should interfere with Chinese affairs, because the risk is too high." On the other hand, China should pursue a policy of "primarily to contact, and secondarily to anti-contain". Meanwhile, China should make every effort toward social reconstruction, increasing national strength, and choosing her own path. China should also not imitate America blindly, but avoid becoming a 'slave of America'. In addition, China should gain proper respect from the international community, and be granted her rightful international status.