Munich report shows inherent US insecurities

By Li Haidong

The Munich Security Conference released its latest Munich Security Report 2021 on Wednesday and the corresponding appendix, Munich Security Index 2021. The latter is replete with additional survey results and analyses.
The report, which makes an “overall risk heatmap” that includes risks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather and forest fires, rising inequality, called China “an unperturbed country.” It noted that “overall, the level at which risks are perceived is lower in China than in the rest of the world – possibly a sign of the confidence of the Chinese people in the strength of their country.”
It also mentioned that compared with most other nations, Chinese respondents view the risk of a future pandemic with confidence. The report has made a relatively objective assessment of China. The COVID-19 has raged worldwide, but China’s control of the epidemic has always been firm and effective.
Being “an unperturbed country” also shows that the Chinese people and government are of one heart and one mind. Some US elites have tried to split the Chinese people from the Chinese government, driving a wedge between members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and non-CPC members. Yet the results of the report reflect the inseparable connection between the Chinese government and people.
The biggest risk regarded by the Chinese people is the “United States,” according to the report. Washington has taken the lead to sensationalize the so-called China threat theory, and the report shows that many Chinese people have truly felt the US threat. It is the US itself that has caused such a situation.
Over the past few years, Washington has opposed almost every move taken by China, confronting China on almost all issues. Therefore, both Western and Chinese public opinions can see that Washington has been finding fault on China-related issues. This has objectively led Chinese people to believe the US is the biggest source of risk. The US has spared no effort to create conflicts and disputes against China, ignoring the mutual benefits between China and the US. Thus, many Chinese people have sensed the US threat.
In all of this, many Chinese netizens were surprised that the report said Japan, not the US, holds the worst perceptions of China. Japan is also the nation that sees China as the biggest risk, according to the report.
There are two main reasons behind this. On the one hand, some Japanese political elites have coordinated closely with the US in their understanding of China. They are blindly catering to Washington’s political moves on China-related issues. On the other hand, Beijing and Tokyo have territorial and historical disputes. And Japanese media have exaggerated the Diaoyu Islands issue with the US fanning the flames.
These baseless hypes and accusations have caused a relatively negative atmosphere toward China in Japanese public opinion. This has impacted Japanese people’s view of China. But the reality is that Chinese and Japanese economies are still closely integrated.
Moreover, the report defines the US as a country with “risks from without and within.” The results further show that there are three key risks regarded by Americans – but they have nothing to do with the pandemic or the inequality. Instead, the top three risks are “cyberattacks on your country,” “China” and “political polarization.” The focus of the US society has been greatly deviated. To a certain extent, it has gone beyond the understanding of observers outside the US.
More than 30 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, with more than 600,000 deaths. But in this context, Washington has not regarded COVID-19 as an issue of core concern. American people should have paid more attention to the COVID-19 pandemic and the widening gap between rich and poor. However, cyberattacks, China and political polarization are all issues US political elites are obsessed with. The results in the report show that the US public opinion has been greatly influenced by media hype and political manipulation.
Facing “risks from without and within,” Washington is still trying to pull up a so-called united front against Beijing. However, it remains a question whether or not such a front can succeed. After all, US political elites are somewhat divorced from the realistic issues that normal people care about. The results of the report show that different countries, including US allies, have different opinions about how to view China. While Washington tries to pull a so-called united front against China, it may end up in chaos. Basically, Washington’s morbid mood toward Beijing will only shoot itself in the foot.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item