China-US confrontation time has not come yet

In recent years, Cyceon has often warned of mounting tensions between China and the United States, pointing out the building of military facilities by China in contested areas and the step-by-step setting up by the US of a large heterogeneous alliance from Vietnam to Japan, perceived as anti-China by Beijing. The two countries, China is second to the US in the world powers index, do compete on many topics and the Asia-Pacific geopolitical area, contrary to business issues, has always been hot waters where the complicated bilateral relations could suddenly and over the long run result in the 21st century major conflict.

However, Cyceon’s data monitoring showed that Chinese official statements shifted their focus more recently to the need for more security in the region instead of stressing on what fueled – or could potentially turn into – greater tensions with neighboring US allies and/or with the US itself. At the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, the Chinese delegation called for “giving up Cold War mentality, upholding mutual understanding and improving mechanism,” with a view to countering accusation of China’s “self-isolation” by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

China is trying to convey the message that seeing her as a potential enemy not only antagonizes with global business interests but also originates from an outdated perspective on behalf of the US. Although Chinese Defense Ministry’s spokesman’s saying that “the United States should get rid of the cold war mentality and stop such outdated practice” of unilaterally pursuing arms embargo against certain countries seems to not contribute to appeasement, China’s joining US warships in west Pacific Ocean for military drill RIMPAC 2016 reflected China’s apparent willingness to ease tensions.

China has much to do while building its economy’s “new normal” and China’s insisting on the pros rather than on the cons of becoming a world power could prove a fruitful strategy. Indeed, a positive message is often better received than a negative one, and this is true for international relations as well.