Vice President Xi Jinping of China visited the United States in Feb 2012. In advance of his visit, the Chinese government invited The Washington Post to submit written questions to the vice president. Following is his written answer regarding the Asia-Pacific region:
ON THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION
China and the United States have more converging interests in the Asia-Pacific region than in anywhere else. In recent years, our two countries have coordinated closely under the framework of APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] and ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Regional Forum, and enhanced communication and cooperation on regional economic integration, counterterrorism, nonproliferation, combating transnational crimes, disaster preparedness and reduction, poverty alleviation and relevant regional hotspot issues, thus giving a strong boost to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
What the Asia-Pacific countries care most is to maintain economic prosperity and build on the momentum of economic growth and regional cooperation. At a time when people long for peace, stability and development, to deliberately give prominence to the military security agenda, scale up military deployment and strengthen military alliances is not really what most countries in the region hope to see.
The vast Pacific Ocean has ample space for China and the United States. We welcome a constructive role by the United States in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region. We also hope that the United States will fully respect and accommodate the major interests and legitimate concerns of Asia-Pacific countries.(source: Washington Post)
Vice President Xi Jinping sounded very presidential in this statement—or perhaps he was practicing being President. Well, his time will come very soon.
He stood up in accusing the United States of building up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region after the APEC summit in Hawaii, November 2011—President Obama declared a permanent military base in Darwin (Australia), a location with direct path to the South China Sea where China has been bullying Vietnam and Philippines in claiming it as China’s own territory. This new base in addition to existing bases in Philippines, Japan, and South Korea form a “ring around China”.
The vast Pacific Ocean has ample space for China and the United States. Has Xi forgotten about South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia? Was he ignorant? Or was he arrogant in implying that those “small” countries don’t count anymore?
History has proven peace will not exist if a country’s territory is not respected. China can’t continue his bully way. History has also proven peace can be built on the strength of military—perhaps, Obama agreed to this when he announced that permanent military base in Australia.
More than ever, this year’s election is so important. China has become a threat with its growth in economy and military buildup. We need a president with commitments to grow our economy, to balance the budget—we can’t expect China to buy our bonds and plays fair in the world community at the same time—and we need to balance our trade with China.
We will wait and see what Republicans have to offer for presidential candidate.