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Those who wish China ill will only hurt themselves

Updated: 2016-01-08 07:51
By Chen Weihua (China Daily)

Next Tuesday, US President Barack Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address. In a bid to push the US Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Obama will likely again resort to scaremongering about China, repeating his line that "we can't let countries like China write the rules of the global economy; we should write those rules".

Such rhetoric is highly toxic to the bilateral relations between the two nations struggling to overcome their deep rooted geopolitical distrust.

Apart from the TPP, the Obama administration has also been using its rebalancing towards Asia strategy to curtail the growing influence of China. The rhetoric in the US seems to be that if anything goes wrong in the region, it must be China's fault.

Such US rhetoric and the strategies that it accompanies have greatly dampened the potential for the two countries to work together, including on the urgent issue of nonproliferation in the Korean Peninsula despite some progress.

There is no doubt in the minds of some Chinese that the US is engaging in a Cold War type of geopolitical game in trying to encircle China with its allies and partners.

Several officials in the Obama administration have in the past year publicly talked about China being a major challenge and threat to the US.

The US needs to change this mindset, a good start would be for Obama to refrain from using inflammatory language against China in his address next Tuesday to show that he actually understands Summers' wisdom.

The author is deputy editor of China Daily USA. chenweihua@chinadailyusa.com

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