PLA Navy Spokesperson’s Commentary on U.S. – China Tensions

PLA Navy Spokesperson

中国海军首位女发言人邢广梅 PLA Navy first female spokesperson Senior Captain Xing Guangmei

Must War Break Out Between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea?   PLA Navy Female Spokesperson Xing Guangmei Gives the Inside Story

My translation –

http://mil.news.sina.com.cn/china/2015-12-18/doc-ifxmttme5758528.shtml

Commentary on the Global Times net from a PLA Navy spokesperson Xing Guangmei “first female spokesperson of the PLA Navy” on whether war can be avoided in the South China Sea.

There is a lot of talk in international society these days about how the “argument between the US and China about rules”. US President Obama ‘s recent comment on the Trans Pacific Partnership, that “we don’t want to let China write the economic rules for the world”. These made discussions on this point even more intense. In this writer’s view, this argument about rules is superficial. This talk about rules is really just an excuse and is very deceptive.

Although there is a “struggle” these days between the U.S. and China, we need to understand that what the US struggles for and what China struggles for are very different. China’s struggle is for the survival of the state and for its right to development. The key point is the expansion of opportunities for China’s development in the world and the rise of China’s influence. The US struggle, however, is to maintain world hegemonism and its place as the #1 hegemon. The US believes that China’s rise threatens its fundamental nation interests. Therefore, its “struggle” is to contain the increase in China’s international influence. This will must lead to a bumping of heads between the US and China and indeed created the collision we see today between the US and China.

Over the short term, the US will strive even harder to achieve its so-called strategic objectives. One of the way it is doing this is, through various means, to strengthen its presence in the region. One example is directly stationing military forces or increasing the frequency of patrols; another is selling weapons and equipment to its allies or partners as well as by holding joint military exercises with countries in the region. By increasing its presence, the US aims to counter-balance China’s building up of military capacity in the South China Sea. Many people are concerned that, as this trend continues, that the South China Sea could become a “tinderbox that ignites” or even that “war is certain”. The most important way to avoid that possibility is for the United States to give up its strategy of world hegemony and its Cold War thinking, accept the fact of the rise of China. However, for now it appears that the US is not doing that. Therefore, China still needs to endure facts of that the US is not willing to accept the development of China and that it is doing its utmost to contain China.

The “US struggle”, which is the US containment of China, is both strong and methodical. Its strength refers is the power it has built up over the past century, its absorptive capacity, and its multifarious soft power. Methods refers to the military alliance system that the US has been running for the past half-century and the pragmatic spirit embodied in it. The “Chinese struggle” face many difficulties and constraints. A new round of big changes for China — new technologies such as the Internet are creating comprehensive changes in society, big changes in the structure of the Chinese economy; big changes in the Chinese military that are underway; and how institutions in the areas of politics, culture, and the law are being improved and made more comprehensive.  When we come to the many obstacles that China faces in its development, this refers to the constraints and provocations that China gets from the U.S. and its allies.

Overall, there is more cooperation than opposition and competition in the US – China relationship. However, the tone of US – China relationship these days is becoming the shrill one of opposition and competition, and that trend is becoming steadily stronger. The danger point is at sea, and particularly in the South China Sea. The U.S. and China do have procedures in place to manage crises and clearly both sides are committed to preventing a crisis from breaking out. Fundamentally, this is about the strategic choices the US makes. The choices the U.S. makes in the Pacific region will directly affect the peace and stability of the not only the region but of the entire world. Easing tensions is not just China’s responsibility. Easing of tensions is a big challenge to the U.S. as well.  (The author Xing Guangmei is the first female spokesperson for the Chinese Navy.)

 

新浪军事> 中国军情>  正文

中美南海是否必有一战 海军女发言人解读内情

2015年12月18日 15:03 环球网 微博

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国际社会一直流行有关“中美规则之争”的讨论。美国总统奥巴马不久前在谈到TPP时明确表示“不能让中国书写全球经济规则”,这使相关讨论变得更加热闹。但在笔者看来,规则之争只是一种表象,美国拿“规则”说事,实际上是想把它当成一个借口,极具欺骗性。

尽管中美之“争”确实存在,但“美国之争”与“中国之争”内涵并不相同:中国争的是国家的生存和发展权,关键点是中国国际发展空间的拓展和国际影响力的提升;美国争的则是维系全球霸权和美元霸主地位。美国认为中国崛起威胁到其根本利益,因此它的“争”就是要遏制住中国国际影响力的增长。而这必然导致其与中国迎头相撞,造成今天中美冲突的现实。

短期来看,美国还将为实现所谓的战略目的做出更多努力。其中一个方向就是通过各种方式加大在亚太地区的存在,比如通过直接兵力部署或加大巡航频度;再如出售武器装备给盟国或其他伙伴,并与相关国家举行联合军演。通过加强自身存在,美国谋求平衡中国在南海的军事能力建设。很多人都担心,随着形势进一步发展,南海可能出现“擦枪走火”甚至“必有一战”。避免这种可能性的主要办法就是美国放弃全球霸权战略和冷战思维,接受中国崛起的现实,但目前来看美国还做不到这一点。因此,中国还得承受美国不接受中国发展并竭力遏制中国的现实。

“美国之争”,即美国对中国的遏制,强大而有手段。说强大,是指美国近百年霸权的实力积累以及兼收并蓄、包容万千的软实力;说有手段,是指美国经营半个多世纪的军事同盟体制和实用主义的灵活运用。“中国之争”艰难而阻力重重。说艰难,是指中国正在经历新一轮巨大变革:互联网等新技术带给社会的全方位变革,中国经济结构的转型,中国新军事变革的推进以及政法、文化等领域的机制改良和完善等;说阻力重重,是指中国的发展时时遭受来自美国及其盟友的牵制和挑衅。

总体而言,中美之间的合作大于对抗竞争,只是当前中美关系的高音变成了竞争和对抗,而且烈度有上升的趋势。其中最危险的接触点无疑是在海上,尤其是在南海方向。当前,中美之间虽有危机管控机制,双方管控危机的意愿也很明确,但要真正防范冲突的爆发,根本上还是取决于美国对既往战略的调整。美国在亚太地区做何选择,将直接影响该地区甚至整个世界的和平与稳定。就此而言,缓解中美之争不仅仅是中国的责任,更是摆在美国面前的一个现实而紧迫的挑战。(作者:邢广梅  系中国海军首位女发言人)

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