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Steve Bannon (Xinhua file photo)(By Curtis Stone) In Michael Wolff’s controversial new book Fire and Fury, Steven Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former chief political strategist, was quoted as saying that China is on the verge of becoming a new Nazi Germany, stoking the flames of fear with his anti-China agenda.
According to the book, Bannon also claimed that “the real enemy” of the United States is China. In fact, Bannon has long tried to demonize and blame China for America’s decline. His anti-China ideology is based on the assumption that China is competing with the United States for power, and that Washington must do anything under the sun to contain China’s rise. Any perceived challenge to U.S. hegemony should be eliminated, or so this line of thinking goes.
In the sense that China is an extremely powerful nation, China is a superpower. China is set to become the world’s biggest economy in the foreseeable future, and the nation is growing and modernizing at a rapid pace. However, these facts alone say little about China’s intentions.
China’s rise has always been about peace, and China’s leaders have made their intentions clear. According to a Memorandum of Conversation released by the Office of the Historian of the U.S. Department of State, in a conversation dated July 9, 1971, former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai told Henry Kissinger, who served as assistant to former U.S. President Richard Nixon for national security affairs, that Chairman Mao Zedong on many occasions had said that China “would absolutely not become a superpower.” Zhou then added: “What we strive for is that all countries, big or small, be equal. It is not just a question of equality for two countries.”
Fast-forward to today and China remains committed to the goal of working with the United States to promote equality in international relations for the benefit of all countries. On many occasions, China has stressed that it opposes power politics and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, and President Xi Jinping’s concept of a new type of international relations is designed to bring an end to the old way of international relations of gaining power at the expense of others.
China is not “the real enemy” of the United States. The real enemy is the anti-China hysteria and the reckless predictions that war with China is not only imminent but just around the corner. While Bannon remains a marginal player in Washington, the growing anti-China hysteria in Washington is proof that some fear China’s rise not because China poses a threat to world peace, but because China poses a threat to the American dream of hegemony.
Likening China to Nazi Germany is not only reckless, but has dangerous implications for the friendship between China and the United States, as well as world peace. As a major country, Washington should do more to extinguish the flames of its growing anti-China hysteria, and work with China to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.