US unable to leave Cold War mentality: Xinhua commentary

Beijing, Sep 26 (IANS) The US is unable to discard its outdated Cold War mentality, said a commentary in Xinhua news agency, which added that China and the US must not allow the Asia Pacific region to “retrogress into a destructive wrestling ring”.

The Xinhua commentary “Asia-Pacific not China-US wrestling ring” said that as Chinese President Xi Jinping wraps up his first state visit to the US, China-US interaction in the Asia-Pacific region is entering a more predictable and reassuring track.

“A series of signals emanating from the trip…indicate that both of the two giants understand the need and share the desire to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” it said.

The commentary on Saturday said that against the backdrop of tangible worries in “international punditry that the region is turning into a ring for China and the United States to wrestle for influence, their latest agreement to deepen dialogue on Asia-Pacific affairs is encouraging”.

The Asia-Pacific is the main theater of China-US interplay. Having the world’s largest developing and developed countries under its roof, it bears the lion’s share of both their common interests and their differences and frictions.

Xinhua said that the Asia-Pacific is vital to global peace and development. It now carries 40 percent of human population, 48 percent of world trade and 57 percent of global output.

“That is why China-US engagement in the Asia-Pacific is important. Positive, it benefits all; negative, it harms all.”

The commentary went on to say that Washington’s sizeable enlargement of its already formidable military presence in the Asia-Pacific has “emboldened some claimants in the South China Sea territorial disputes to make counterproductively aggressive moves, although the United States pledges not to take sides on the complex rows”.

“At the root of those impediments is Washington’s inability to discard the outdated Cold War mentality.”

It said that the key is to strengthen bilateral contact and communication and cement mutual understanding. On top of that, they need to tighten the intertwinement of interests and deepen their interdependence.

To bridge the trust deficit “the two countries can beef up military-to-military ties, rev up consultations on the Korean Peninsula denuclearization issue, and speed up negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty”.

The Xinhua commentary noted that Beijing’s stance on China-US interaction in the Asia-Pacific is consistent and explicit: “The vast Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both China and the United States, and China welcomes the US to play a constructive role in the region”.

“During the Chinese president’s state visit to the United States, that message has become ever clearer. It is incumbent on the two countries to seize the positive momentum and build the Asia-Pacific into a dancing pool for the benefit of all, instead of allowing it to retrogress into a destructive wrestling ring,” it added.

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