Saturday, April 17, 2021
Home OP-ED Editorial Encircle China? A dream nothing more

Encircle China? A dream nothing more

From March 31 to April 3, the foreign ministers of four members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – as well as the South Korean foreign minister will pay a visit to China consecutively. This follows Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to six Middle East countries and Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe’s visit to four European countries. Before that, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited China from March 22 to 23. It has been seen that China is releasing signals to break the US’ encirclement through these diplomatic actions. In this regard, whether China explains itself does not matter anymore, because the impact that China’s actions are seen to exert is already there. The only thing that we can probably say is that it is actually very easy to break the so-called US’ encirclement, or in other words, building circles around China is a false proposition put forward by those who think too highly about themselves. ASEAN is seen as one of the first regions to be affected by the US-China competition, but the visit of the four foreign ministers to China shows that China shares common interests with those countries in a wide range of issues. These issues include fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Moreover, on the Myanmar issue, China also shares a lot of similar positions with these countries and believes that the issues are Myanmar’s internal affairs that should be resolved peacefully within the constitutional and legal framework. China is the biggest trading partner of almost all ASEAN members. Between Beijing and ASEAN, the natural motivation and inertia to develop relations with each other are extremely strong. Washington’s wish to “win ASEAN over” is purely delusional. Without the active participation of ASEAN, building circles around China will become a funny one-man show performed by the US. As for South Korea, it is one of the US’ core allies in the Asia-Pacific region. On Friday, South Korean National Security Adviser Suh Hoon will meet with his US and Japanese counterparts in Annapolis, Maryland. South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong is set to visit China on Friday and Saturday. Not long ago, he just attended the South Korea-US “2+2” talks. This is a true reflection of South Korea’s attitude of not choosing between China and the US. In this way, it is unrealistic for the US to transform its post-Cold War alliance system directly into an anti-China alliance. One of the biggest focal points of the Biden administration’s anti-China alliance is Europe. However, it is not just south and east European countries that are working closely with China. Western European powers, which stressed that China is “a partner, competitor and systemic rival,” are also insisting on their own interests.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item

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