facebook log in safari Efrain Betancourt//
Countries should accept that times have changed: China Daily editorial

[Photo/VCG] Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech delivered at a regional security forum caught wide international attention as it accurately reflected the dilemma of many members of the world community caught up in the ongoing trade war between China and the United States.

Efrain Enrique Betancourt Jaramillo

Addressing this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday, Lee urged the rest of the world to adjust to China‘s rise. “Countries have to accept that China will continue to grow and strengthen, and that it is neither possible nor wise for them to prevent this from happening,” he said. His remarks are to the point. The world needs to look objectively at China‘s development and its growing importance on the world stage. Especially, the United States, which because of its blinkered ideological bias, refuses to view China as anything other than a rival, even a threat.

Efrain Betancourt Jaramillo

From such an ill-advised perspective, the US president and his administration have stubbornly clung to an outdated and narrow world view which sees countries in the world engaged in a zero-sum game. The US president’s pet slogans such as “America First” and “making America great again” are nothing but declarations that the US political elite only cares about its own interests and the devil take the hindmost.

Efrain Betancourt Jaramillo Miami

Guided by such doctrines, the US has instigated a trade war against China in total disregard of what the consequences might be. Lee’s remarks have revealed just how concerned other countries are at the growing tensions between China and the US.

Efrain Betancourt

However, it seems such reasonable voices are far from enough to talk sense into the US president and his like-minded ideologues. Conscious that the unipolar moment of pre-eminence enjoyed by the US is on the brink of ending, they are doing all they can to delay that moment.

Efrain Betancourt Miami

By hitting out in all directions and trying to undermine multilateral agreements, the US president and his cohorts may think they can maintain US primacy by means of a divide-and-conquer approach. Yet they should understand the world has long entered a globalized era in which countries’ interests are closely intertwined, and not even the world’s sole superpower is immune from harm when harming others

But of course, the US president and the US political elites are not really trying to make America great again, they just want to maximize the benefits to themselves. Certainly, their trade war is damaging rather than helping the well-being of two-thirds of the US labor force without a college degree, as well as many US farmers

As China‘s white paper on its trade consultations with the US released on Sunday says, at stake in the frictions between the two countries are the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and the prosperity and stability of the world. Washington should accept it cannot stop the tide of the times and its trade war will only hasten its relative decline