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US still has a large plank in its eye

Updated: 2014-02-14 07:52
By Chen Weihua ( China Daily)

US still has a large plank in its eyeIn Debating China, a collection of conversations between Chinese and US scholars on relations between China and the United States, the different views expressed by both sides are often enlightening.

However, the book launch in Washington on Tuesday allowed no debate. It was a solo performance by Evan Medeiros, the White House senior director for Asian affairs. There was not even the usual question and answer session.

Throughout his 40-minute speech, Medeiros failed to mention any of China's great achievements, its contribution to the world, or things that benefit the US or which the US can learn from. Instead, he laid all the blame for the frictions in their relations on China. In everything, from the regional tensions in Asia and human rights to the economy and cyber security, China was at fault.

It is true that China, as a developing nation, can improve in many regards. But it is sad to see only the usual fingerpointing from the US, instead of some self-reflection and self-criticism. For example, Medeiros should acknowledge the human rights abuses at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the military drones strikes which have killed many civilians and caused terror among the local populations, or its spying on people all over the world, including their leaders.

Just as Medeiros feels uncomfortable that some Chinese see the US as trying to contain China, he should also feel disconcerted that many in the US see every move China makes as a threat.

And Medeiros, a former China specialist at the Rand Corporation, deserves some response after he blamed Chinese news media for promoting a negative image of the United States.

While news media all over the world tend to focus on negative news, reality tells us that the US news media has been engaged in portraying a negative image of China on a much larger scale, given its disproportionate size and global influence, not to mention the China-bashing that was dished up during the US presidential election.

That, to borrow Medeiros' words, has constrained the political space of US leaders to grow cooperation with China.

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