A new congressional study questions whether China is ready to wear the mantle of world leadership. It smells of yet another attempt to get us worried about “the China threat.”
Despite its rising power and wealth, China may not be willing or ready to play a responsible role in an international system aimed at encouraging peace and stability, a commission set up by the U.S. Congress said in a report released on Monday.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission accused China of failing “to meet the threshold test of international responsibility in the area of non-proliferation” by aiding Iran’s nuclear, missile and chemical programs and refusing to effectively use its leverage to bring North Korea back into nuclear weapons negotiations.
It said China in recent years has allowed the transfer of weapons and technology across its territory from North Korea to Iran and even if Beijing wanted to control such transfers, this would be very difficult.
Beijing’s adherence to World Trade Organization obligations remains “spotty and halting” five years after attaining membership while its hunt for oil and gas holdings overseas could “substantially effect U.S. energy security,” the report added.
This is the fourth annual report of the commission, created by Congress to examine the national security implications of the U.S.-China bilateral trade and economic relationship. The commission has been controversial because of concerns its members tend to be overly critical of China.
Sorry, but I’d be more willing to give credence to reports like this if I had any faith left in the current US government’s ability to tell the truth about anything, anything at all. China is looking out for its own interests, and its success in doing so is the one area where I give Hu a lot of credit.
Honestly, how much credit can we give our own government for playing “a responsible role in an international system aimed at encouraging peace and stability”? Which country has contributed more greatly to today’s state of chaos and insecurity? Physician, heal thyself.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.