Scholars from China, U.S., Asia, and Europe Fiercely Debate Whether It Is Necessary to Contain China
According to ilTempo Daily of the Republic of Italy on June 1: What's going on between China and the United States? In the face of the escalating Sino-U.S. trade frictions, the international academic community is also pondering the background, intricate relationships, and possible trends of the game between China and the United States. A seminar themed on Power Politics in the Indo-Pacific Region: Implications for Liberal International Order was held on May 7th, 2019 at the University of Warsaw, Poland. Distinguished experts and scholars from China, the U.S., Japan, Russia, Germany, India, Belgium, and other countries attended the seminar and conducted extensive exchanges on the above issues.
As the only scholar representing China, Zhang Biwu, Professor of the School of International Relations and Dean of the Institute of the Asia-Pacific International Relations in Xiamen University, delivered his opinion in a speech themed on China and U.S.: Competetive or Cooperative Visions. According to Professor Zhang, “America’s approaches in dealing with international affairs include regarding any country that develops well enough as an opponent. Currently, some people in the U.S. believe that it’s high time to target China.” As for America’s vision in the Asia-Pacific region, Zhang believes that the U.S. is making full use of the temporary difficulties or misunderstandings between China and its neighbors, with an attempt to turn China’s neighbors into pawns against China.
这一观点，与著名国际关系学者、美国芝加哥大学John J. Mearsheimer教授的观点不谋而合。Mearsheimer教授指出，目前国际关系格局已经从单极世界进入多级世界，其中，两个重要行为者是中国与俄罗斯。“俄罗斯是个衰落的大国，中国则更有可能成为美国的抗衡者。但美国不会允许新的抗衡者出现，所以美国竭尽所能遏制中国的崛起。” Mearsheimer教授进一步给出令人惊讶的观点：俄罗斯最终会加入美国阵营，共同对付中国。“美国过去一次次将它的对手打败打垮，这一次轮到了中国。中国也会败在美国的手里。”
This echoes the views of Professor John J. Mearsheimer, a renowned scholar specialized in international relations in the University of Chicago. Professor Mearsheimer pointed out that the pattern of international relations has shifted from a uni-polar world to a multi-polar one, in which two important actors are China and Russia. “Russia is a declining power, and China is more likely to become a counterweight to the U.S., who will not allow a new rival to emerge. Hence, it is trying every means to contain China's rise.” He even made an astounding prediction that Russia will eventually join the U.S. in the latter’s fight against China. “The U.S. has defeated its rivals time and time again in the past. This time it is China's turn. China will also be defeated by the U.S.”, added Professor Mearsheimer.
此次研讨会由华沙大学政治科学和国际研究学院国际关系研究所举办，分设了三个议题，分别是“转型中的大国政治:现实主义与自由主义视角”、“大融合有可能吗：中国和印太地区的国际自由秩序”和“美国和印度在印太地区的主导秩序”。这些都是观察和审视中美两个大国关系的不同视角。为此，研讨会广泛邀请了南亚民主论坛、尼赫鲁大学、马尼帕尔高等教育学院、海德堡大学、厦门大学、国际基督教大学等一批学术研究机构与会，芝加哥大学John J. Mearsheimer教授、圣彼得堡国立大学Konstantin Khudoley教授、尼赫鲁大学Chintamani Mahapatra教授等著名学者参加论坛并发表了主题演讲。
The seminar, organized by the Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw, was composed of three panels, namely, Great Power Politics in Transition: Realist and Liberal Perspectives, Is Great Convergence Possible? China and the International Liberal Order in the Indo-Pacific Region, and American and the Indian led Order in the Indo-pacific Region? The above three topics represent the different perspectives in observing and gaining an insight into the relations between China and the U.S. The seminar invited many institutions of academic research, including South Asia Democratic Forum, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, University of Heidelberg, Xiamen University, and International Christian University (ICU)–Tokyo. Professor John J. Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago, Professor Konstantin Khudoley from the Saint Petersburg State University, Professor Chintamani Mahapatra from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and other distinguished scholars attended the seminar and delivered keynote speech.
Professor Zhang further illustrated the respective approaches of China and the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region, and made a comparison between them. “The US needs to stay involved and attempts to play a dominate role in this region, insists on carrying out freedom of navigation in this region including in the South China Sea, would like to benefit from the prosperity in this region, and doesn’t want to fight a war with China. Based on these facts, China and the U.S. have sound cooperative vision. However, the two countries have different interests and positions on the Taiwan question and disputes around the South China Sea.” Professor Zhang pointed out that Professor Mearsheimer hopes to include India into America’s united front against China. Mearsheimer firmly believes that India will join the U.S. to fight against China in the future. But, a Indian scholar expressed different views. He believes that India is keeping up with China, for example its accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. According to the Indian professor, if India is opposed to China, the U.S won’t support India at a high probability. Therefore, cooperation between India and China is conducive to the development of both countries.
According to Professor Zhang, "Professor Alastair Iain Johnston from the Harvard University proposed the principle of ‘norms and balance of power’, which can justify a country is a status quo state or a revisionist power in the international order by judging whether it is a legitimate actor in the international system.” He added that we can judge “China is a status quo state or a revisionist power” in this way. “In my opinion, there are seven indicators to define a legitimate actor in the international system, namely, respecting other countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, and trying not to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs; loving peace and trying hard to avoid pursuing one’s own national interest by resorting to war; adequately taking other countries’ interest into consideration to develop win-win partnership; respecting other countries’ culture, values, and economic systems, etc; abiding by international laws and norms; focusing more on economic development and on improving people’s living standard, other than pursuing world hegemony; as well as providing more public goods and fulfilling international obligations as much as possible. He used the above seven indicators to evaluate China and concluded that China is not a revisionist power. Furthermore, China’s participation in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, East Asia Summit, as well as other international organizations and summits embodies China’s diplomatic strategy, that is, without seeking hegemony and spheres of influence, carrying out military expansion, and excluding any country. In response to Professor Zhang’s speech, some European scholars put forward different views. A Polish professor offered a starkly different view. He believes that although China is not a revisionist power now, it will become one in the future.
“请拆掉这座墙（“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”）”张苾芜教授引用前美国总统里根在柏林一场演讲中的名言总结道，希望美国朋友摒除对中国的偏见，建立没有冲突，没有对抗，相互尊重，相互合作的新型国际关系，这是中美关系的唯一正确道路，也是世界各国关系的唯一正确道路。这一共识，引起了在场专家学者广泛赞同。
U.S. President Ronald Wilson Reagan had a famous speech in Berlin, and the most well-known sentence is “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Professor Zhang quoted this sentence to make a conclusion, hoping that American friends will abandon their prejudice against China and build a new type of international relations featuring no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, and mutual cooperation. He emphasized that this is the only right path for the United States and China, so do for dealing with relations between countries in the world. This consensus was widely agreed by experts and scholars at present.