Singaporean Scholars On Sino-US Relations: China Has Not Won But Is Winning

- Dec 25, 2020-

Reference News reported that the Portuguese "Public" daily website published an interview with Ma Kaishuo, a scholar from the Institute of Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, entitled "China has no desire to be a world leader, but only hopes to be respected by a big country." ". The full text is excerpted as follows:


A few days ago, Ma Kaishuo accepted a video interview with a reporter from the "Public" Daily to express his views on the conflict between China and the United States.


Ma Kaishuo analyzed the economic, diplomatic and historical trajectories of the two major powers of China and the United States. He believes that if both countries are committed to improving the living conditions of their citizens, then the conflict is unnecessary. Sino-US competition is a series of misunderstandings and the United States' ambitions towards China. Lack of preparation and inability to understand their role as a declining superpower.


The reporter asked: You said the new book "Did China Win?" "One of the goals is to clarify some misunderstandings about Sino-US geopolitical competition. What do you think is the most obvious misunderstanding?


Ma Kaishuo: There are many misunderstandings, and all misunderstandings are related to how Americans view China. They believe that China has the same ambitions as the United States. The United States believes in the concept of global leadership and believes that it must go out to manage the world and can fight for it. The Chinese are confused about this view and goal. They don't understand why the United States spent 5 billion U.S. dollars to fight after the "9.11" incident.


For China, this is strange. China has no desire to be a world leader, but just hopes to be respected by a major country. If the United States leaves the Middle East, China will not rush to take its place. If the United States and China are committed to improving the living conditions of their citizens, there will be no conflicts between the two countries. We can avoid this conflict and prove it is unnecessary.


Question: You said that the United States has never formulated a grand strategy for China. Why?


Answer: Because the United States has become accustomed to winning all external challenges in the past 100 years. This series of victories convinced them that they would never lose. That's why I set the title of the book as "Has China Win?" ", because this question implies another equally related question: Will the United States lose? For Americans, this idea is unacceptable. However, the current dispute is different from all the challenges they have faced.


China is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, its population is four times that of the United States, and it is in a period of vigorous revival. The biggest mistake the United States is making is underestimating China. The Trump administration is wrong to regard this issue as a struggle between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. American democracy has become a rich class democracy, and the CCP has received strong support from the people. This is not a struggle against any Communist Party, but a struggle against the particularly powerful Communist Party that represents the entire civilization.


Question: One of the arguments in the book is that the United States is treating China like the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Is the United States using outdated weapons to launch modern wars?


Answer: Yes. China is not the Soviet Union. It may have the largest number of entrepreneurs in the world. If it is a closed society like the Soviet Union, how can it have such a high level of entrepreneurship and so many start-ups?


Question: So why does the US still treat China like the Soviet Union?


Answer: This is caused by intellectual laziness (do not want to understand the reality of China) and propaganda weapons. China is aware that the world is changing and knows how to adapt. The United States has not yet accepted the view that it must make strategic adjustments to adapt to the new world.


Q: The last question, did China win?


Answer: China is victorious. It has not yet won, but it is winning.