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Asian countries should heed risks of being a cat's paw of Washington: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-05-19 19:39

An American flag flies outside of the US Capitol dome in Washington, US, Jan 15, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

While conflicts have cropped up elsewhere in the world in the past decades, casting long shadows over regional peace and stability, Asia on the whole has maintained peace, stability and economic development.

This is because of Asian countries' recognition of the benefits of regional stability and cooperation, which means they have generally been reluctant to become too involved in the United States' geopolitical games.

True, Japan and India have drawn closer to the US in response to Washington's wooing of them with words of support for their territorial claims in their disputes with China. But even they have not shown any great appetite to turn the Asia-Pacific, or the Indo-Pacific as the US likes to refer to the region, into an arena of confrontation.

Yet given the fanfare surrounding US President Joe Biden's visits to the Republic of Korea and Japan this week, where he is scheduled to hold a summit meeting in Tokyo with the leaders of the Quad countries, Washington has obviously pinned high expectations on him rallying these countries to the US' so-called Indo-Pacific cause.

Although Asia is not the same as Europe, being politically and culturally different, it is widely expected that he will try to use the Ukraine conflict to harvest greater alignment with the US leadership in the region, with speculation rife that he is seeking to expand and remold the Quad into an Asian NATO.

For their own interests, not only Japan and the ROK, but also other US allies and partners in the region, should be careful about swallowing the US' guff, hook, line and sinker.

As China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi pointed out in his telephone conversation with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday, the US administration's actions relating to Taiwan are quite different from its statements that it wants to get relations between the US and China back on the right track, and they are leading to a perilous situation.

Countries in the region, particularly Japan, whose moves on Taiwan and other issues have become increasingly visibly aligned with the US' dangerously destabilizing Indo-Pacific strategy should reflect on the path that has enabled the region to achieve what it has and work with China to consolidate these achievements. Especially given the potential benefits promised by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that came into effect at the beginning of this year.

As Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Japan should bear in mind regional peace and stability, and refrain from acting as a cat's paw of the US. It should take an objective stance as host of the Quad summit.

One only has to look at Europe to see what happens when countries get too caught up in the US' games, which always end in violence.

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