Exclusive: China-Serbia military cooperation supports Serbia’s defense modernization, empowers defense capabilities: Serbian Defense Minister

Editor's Note:

The brave resistance of China's ironclad friend, Serbia, against NATO during its aggression against former Yugoslavia in 1999, has touched many in China. The legendary achievement of the Serbian Air Force and Air Defense in shooting down a stealth fighter for the first time in human history won the respect of many Chinese people. In April, the news of Belgrade's purchase of FK-3 air defense systems from Beijing sparked discussions in the Western world. Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Milos Vucevic (Vucevic) shared his views on this and other hot button issues in a recent exclusive interview with Global Times reporters Hu Yuwei and Fan Wei (GT).

The defense minister expresses deep gratitude to China for its wholehearted support of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reaffirms its adherence to the one-China principle. He noted that Chinese weapons will help modernize the Serbian armed forces, and looks forward to the further development of bilateral cooperation, especially on the military front.

The senior official said that China, unlike other great powers, does not attach any conditions to its cooperation with Serbia, and has selflessly dedicated its achievements in various fields to attaining its global goals. He expressed optimism about that the tenacity of friendship between the two countries, and regarded China as one of Serbia's most reliable friends.

GT: The Chinese and Serbian people have a long-standing tradition of friendly relations. During the NATO aggression against former Yugoslavia in 1999, the Chinese people stood firmly with the Serbian people to defend Serbia's sovereignty and its right to safeguard its national unity. How do you view the efforts made by the Chinese people to support Serbia's national stability and sovereignty?  

 Overall, Serbia-China relations have been extremely close in recent years and are developing chiefly due to the excellent relations between the two presidents - Aleksandar Vucic and Xi Jinping. The traditional "ironclad friendship" is evidenced by the fact that in two years' time, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries will be marked.

We are deeply grateful for China's wholehearted support for the preservation of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for its ever-consistent and principled position on the Kosovo-Metohija issue. The mutual understanding between Serbia and China regarding sovereignty and territorial integrity suggests that we have an excellent relationship, which, I hope, will never change.

Serbia will never forget the support of the Chinese people who stood firmly with us during the defense against the 1999 NATO aggression that was immoral and unjust, launched without the consent of the United Nations Security Council, trampling on the fundamental principles of international law. Unfortunately, we also witnessed a terrible event in which the Chinese Embassy building in Belgrade was bombed and civilians who were doing their jobs lost their lives. A commemorative plaque was placed at that spot in memory of our deceased Chinese friends who, together with us, went through the ordeal of the bombing.

We are forever grateful to the Chinese people for everything they did for us during that tragic year of 1999, and for everything they continue to do, supporting us in everything so that our people and our country would persevere through challenging times.

GT: The Serbian military has purchased weapons and equipment developed by China, such as anti-aircraft missiles and drones. This is different from the choices made by other European countries, which mostly opt for American- or Russian-made equipment. Why did the Serbian military choose Chinese-made weapons and equipment, and what factors were considered in this decision?

 Being a neutral country, Serbia cooperates with both its Eastern and Western partners, and has been committed to doing so for years. In the past, many assets have been delivered to Serbia, some of the most important ones undoubtedly being the Chinese FK-3 medium-range anti-aircraft missile system and the Chinese CH-95 and CH-92A UAVs.

The delivery of weapons and equipment from China has attracted public attention globally, but what is most important and what should be highlighted is that the Serbian Armed Forces are strengthening significantly thanks to the modern weapons and equipment, and are thus acquiring capabilities that they did not have before.

We will continue to enhance our capabilities, both in human resources and weapons and military equipment, in order to be able to protect our people, wherever they live, and in order to be the guarantor of Serbia's independence.

GT: What changes have Chinese weapons and equipment brought to the Serbian defense forces?

 Equipping our armed forces with modern weapons and military equipment is excellent news for our military personnel, but also for our citizens. All decisions regarding the procurement of equipment for and modernization of our troops are based on thorough analyses and expert assessments carried out by the competent authorities of the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces. We are referring to modern weapons with which we strive to strengthen our defense capabilities and significantly improve our combat readiness. It is certain that the acquisition of the modern FK-3 anti-aircraft system has provided added security to our airspace and our country as a whole.

Furthermore, by acquiring the CH-95 remotely piloted aircraft from our Chinese partners, we have considerably improved our aerial reconnaissance and target engagement capabilities, which many countries in the region and the world do not have.

GT: We have noticed that the weapons and equipment provided by China to Serbia are mostly defensive in nature and primarily used for safeguarding the homeland. However, some Western media sources have taken the opportunity to hype up the claim that China's provision of weapons and equipment to Serbia has altered the regional military balance. What is your take on this view? 

 The Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces are making great efforts to provide new and modernized weapons and military equipment intended for the defense of our country and our airspace.

Those who claim that the delivery of Chinese weapons has altered the regional military balance normally have no comment when it comes to our neighbors arming themselves with aircrafts, artillery-missile systems, armored vehicles, anti-armor systems, or drones whose purpose is the complete opposite of defense.

Serbia will continue to equip its military and enhance its defense capabilities in order to be able to address all security challenges, risks, and threats adequately, and preserve our people and our country.

GT: Some Western countries are now trying to contain China by exploiting the Taiwan question, similar to how they used the Kosovo and Metohija issue to pressure the Serbian government. What's your view on this?

 We are truly grateful for China's wholehearted support for the preservation of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. China's position on the Kosovo-Metohija issue has always been principled and consistent, which is proof of the true friendship between the two countries. 

In the same spirit, as the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vucic, has repeatedly said, Serbia supports the one-China policy and condemns all attempts to threaten its unity. We strongly support the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the People's Republic of China. For us, there is only one government with its seat in Beijing, and we view the island of Taiwan as an integral part of China.

GT: Some Western countries often smeared China as a "warlike" nation. However, in reality, China has always advocated for peaceful dialogue to resolve international disputes, including in its own reunification cause. How do you view China's stance, and do you think China will be an important force in maintaining world peace?

China has experienced major changes in a relatively short period of time. Its achievements have attracted global attention.

Unlike other great powers, China does not attach any conditions to its cooperation with Serbia, and has selflessly dedicated its achievements in various fields to attaining global goals.

We consider China our traditional and long-term friend in these challenging times, but also one of the crucial factors contributing to global peace and stability, which it has been proven countless times with China's peacetime policy and wise political moves.

GT: In the future, in which areas will the Serbian military deepen cooperation with the Chinese military?

 I am glad to see that the last decade has seen an upward trend in military cooperation between Serbia and China. Friendly relations and mutual respect between the two Presidents, Aleksandar Vucic and Xi Jinping, have greatly facilitated and accelerated cooperation in all areas, especially in the field of defense.

Our cooperation in almost all areas of mutual interest has achieved great results. Regarding the bilateral Serbia-China relations, I would single out military to military cooperation, as well as economic cooperation and numerous investments, which are very important for our country.

As for our relations and cooperation in the future, I am extremely optimistic and I have confidence in the tenacity of our friendship. China is our strategic partner and one of Serbia's most reliable friends, so I am convinced that we will continue to develop our overall relations, especially in the fields of military-economic, military-medical, and military-educational cooperation.

WSJ’s hype on espionage threat from China an insult to readers’ intelligence

Some American media outlets are indistinctively portraying Chinese nationals as spies. Yet instead of proving the so-called espionage threat from China, they have only exposed how dumbed down and crude US propaganda tactics are, which is even insulting the intelligence of American readers. 

An article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published on Monday local time alleged that "Chinese nationals, sometimes posing as tourists, have accessed military bases and other sensitive sites in the US as many as 100 times in recent years," sparking espionage concerns.

Liu Pengyu, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy to the US, refuted these claims as malicious fabrications. In fact, anyone with critical thinking skills can easily tell that US' smear is riddled with loopholes in this case. 

For instance, who are the "incursionists"? The WSJ claims these are "people who say they are following Google Maps to direct them to the nearest McDonalds or Burger King, which happens to be on a nearby military base," or Chinese nationals who said "they have a reservation at an on-base hotel." The article said there have been 100 incidents involving Chinese nationals trying to access American military and other installations. Yet at the same time it finds it hard to skirt around the truth - "no cases appear to have resulted in espionage charges." In other words, it means the WSJ knows this is another baseless defamation. 

Given the lengthy description by the WSJ, US military bases are as easily accessible as public libraries. Anyone find it plausible? 

US military bases have the most stringent level on both physical and cyber security measures, and are not places for ordinary people to make incursions in such simplistic ways. Hyping up that Chinese people poses espionage threat via such low-level approaches is an insult to American readers' intelligence, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times. 

Since this year, the US has frequently sensationalized unfounded smears such as the "Chinese spy balloon" saga and that Cuba may host a secret Chinese spy base focusing on the US. As expected, all have been debunked as unfounded slanders in the end. In recent years, many international students, businesspersons, and scientists have been labeled as "spies" and imprisoned by the US security agencies simply because they are of Chinese descent or have had dealings with China, with most cases lacking substantial evidence.

Borrowing a recent buzzword - AIGC (Artificial intelligence generated content), we can say stories in US media obsessed with China's "spy" operations are typically CIAGC, CIA-generated content, which aimed at conducting cognitive infiltration and manipulating public perception, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. 

The WSJ, among other US media, is blatantly seeking to create an atmosphere where China is perceived as a security threat to the US, aligning with overall US policies toward China, in an attempt to legitimize US containment tactics, Lü said.

By shrieking so-called espionage concerns, US media may be laying the ground for more future de-coupling or de-risking in high-tech and defense sectors. 

Ironically, one key goal of US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's recent China visit was promoting commercial ties where they align with US interests, including efforts to foster tourism. The WSJ quoted Raimondo in its reporting on August 27 as saying that if tourism revives to 2019 levels, travel by Chinese visitors would generate about $30 billion in spending, supporting some 50,000 American jobs. 

Yet if walking into a Burger King or McDonalds can be misconstrued as evidence of espionage, guess how many Chinese people will be willing to travel to the US? 

Huawei's comeback in the 5G industry demonstrates China's ability to overcome the US technological blockade. Additionally, a growing number of ethnic Chinese scientists switched their affiliation from American to Chinese institutions, amid chilling anti-Chinese sentiment in the US. 

Ultimately, time will prove that the US' malicious and low-level propaganda war will only backfire.

Hyped media reports of ‘spy’ exacerbate anti-China hate

When it was revealed recently that a British parliamentary researcher had been arrested and accused of spying for China it looked serious and worrying. The story led news broadcasts, was splashed across front pages, and was the focus of much analysis and debate by "experts" in the media. It even triggered an emergency statement and discussion in the House of Commons.

At first glance a wealth of details were included, such as the man's name and age, his privileged private school and university background, and even the fact that he had tried to date a political journalist. Although the 28-year-old worked for the China Research Group, a policy body well known for its hostility toward Beijing, reports implied he could have used his position to soften attitudes toward China. Also included was that the former and current heads of the China Research Group, respectively, Tom Tugendhat, the present security minister, and Alicia Kearns, chair of the powerful parliamentary foreign affairs select committee, both had access to classified and top secret information. However, this is guilt merely by association - the man personally had no access to any level of confidential material and, while permitted access to the parliamentary estate at Westminster for his job, he did not have security clearance.

Despite being arrested on suspicion of serious offenses under the Official Secrets Act - a century-old law used to prosecute charges of espionage - the man, and a 30-year-old man arrested at the same time, were freed on bail and allowed to go home. That was six months ago. They do not have to report back to the police until next month. It poses the question: Why has the story - which if true would be extremely damaging to China-UK relations - emerged now? Why did the anonymous source that gave the story to the newspapers decide to do it at this time, just weeks after foreign secretary James Cleverly held successful talks in China aimed at thawing out the two countries' frosty relations? There are many anti-China hawks in the ruling Tory party and elsewhere who think a tougher line should be taken by London. Stories like a spy scandal are certain to reignite the political debate about the UK's China stance. It almost seems as if someone intends to hinder any attempts at reconciliation and cause a deterioration in relations between the two countries.

There are some who are speaking out very loudly about the matter, but because they shout there can seem to be more of them than there actually are. Even the occasionally animated debate on the issue in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon was attended by only a few dozen of the chamber's 650 Members of Parliament. Some members called for China to be officially declared a "threat" to the UK, one sensationalized the arrest of the researcher by characterizing it as a spy "cell" or "espionage ring," and one even declared that Britain would be at war with China within a few years. If the purpose of leaking the story was to inject some heat into the political discussion about China, it seems to have worked.

Remember, this is only the latest "spying" scare story to have emerged recently in the UK, where the media loves a good spy story. Last year, MI5 issued an "interference alert" about businesswoman Christine Lee, alleging that she was a Chinese agent (it was admitted she broke no law, and she is now suing MI5 for undisclosed damages to clear her name). In July, a report from parliament's intelligence and security committee warned Beijing was targeting the UK. Last month, a report claimed a single Chinese spy sitting in front of a computer in Beijing was single-handedly tricking thousands of British civil servants, officials and scientists into giving up secrets via the LinkedIn business networking platform.

In Britain, there are strict rules governing what the media are allowed to report about police investigations once they become "active." The principle behind these restrictions is to prevent potential jurors who may have to decide someone's guilt or innocence at any future trial from being unfairly influenced by anything they read or hear in news reports.

Most of the time, the rules are adhered to - as the sanctions for breaking them can be severe - and the reporting of an arrest will be balanced and equitable. Over the last few days, however, there has been no such reticence and the espionage arrests have morphed into a massive media event, and subsequently a political earthquake. Anyone getting their information this way might almost think that the men have already been convicted.

In a statement through his lawyers, the man has criticized the "misreporting" and "extravagant news reporting" of his arrest. Will it transpire that hyped media reports have done nothing but feed China hate?

Closing 'greenhouse' won't boost European EV competitiveness: Global Times editorial

To tell the truth, when Chinese new energy vehicles shone brightly at the recent 2023 International Motor Show in Germany, we heard some envious and even jealous remarks. But we didn't expect Europe's response to be so "excessive." On September 13, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced that they are launching an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs). The European Union's decision is regrettable because while it acknowledges its own issues, it has chosen the wrong direction in haste and has not found the right solution to the problem.

The reasons provided by the European Union for initiating this anti-subsidy investigation are unfounded. It claimed that Chinese EVs receive "enormous state subsidies," resulting in artificially reduced prices that disrupt the European market. However, this does not align with facts. Chinese EVs are sold at significantly higher prices in Europe compared to China, whereas certain European EVs are priced lower in the Chinese market than in Europe.

Currently, Chinese EVs do not have a high market share in Europe, but they are gaining momentum. This has nothing to do with subsidies. Chinese EV companies have achieved "high quality and reasonable prices" by leveraging technological advancements and innovation, lowering costs, and improving overall quality, which has won the favor of consumers.

For both European consumers and major European car companies, Chinese EVs are not a "wolf" but a beneficial presence. EVs produced in Europe are often sold at high prices. The entry of Chinese EVs has provided European consumers with more and better cost-effective options, which is a tangible benefit. Any crackdown on Chinese EVs is bound to harm the affordability that European citizens currently enjoy.

A European Union diplomat told the media, "We cannot afford to lose our car industry." This statement unveils the true intention behind EU's actions: protectionism under the guise of "fair competition." The EU claims to "protect" Europe's automotive industry, but adopting policies of trade protectionism has been proven ineffective and costly in the past. The traditional European automotive industry has been strong and lying in its comfort zone for many years, which has led to a lack of drive for innovation in EVs and competitiveness. To change this situation, it is essential to step out of the comfort zone and enhance the competitiveness of their products in a fully competitive market.

If Europe lacks the confidence and courage to win the market through fair competition, it will be impossible to establish competitiveness in the EV industry. Keeping the EV industry in a protective green house will never lead to its growth and strength. Chinese EVs serve as a catalyst and motivation for the European EV industry to strive for innovation. Trade barriers cannot bridge the innovation gap; it will only exacerbate the situation further.

As the Chinese Ministry of Commerce responded, the automotive industries of China and Europe have formed a mutually beneficial relationship, so any harm to one side will also harm the other. The Chinese market is the largest overseas market for many EU car companies, and China provides a favorable business environment for European cars. If you take a look at the roads in Germany, you will see mostly German cars, while in France, you will see mostly French cars. The same goes for Japan and South Korea. However, on Chinese roads, you can find cars from all over the world, which vividly reflects the openness and diversity of the Chinese market. All of this should be cherished and valued by Europe.

In interpersonal relationships, reciprocity is important. China and Europe should create a fair, non-discriminatory, and predictable market environment for the mutual development of the electric car industry. They should jointly oppose trade protectionism and work together to address global climate change and achieve carbon neutrality. Particularly, the EU itself is also a victim of protectionism. The Inflation Reduction Act enacted by the US last year used similar tactics to protect its domestic industries, which caused strong opposition in Europe, with many saying, "The Americans stabbed us in the back." Now, the EU is responding to foreign competitors with the same mind-set, and it should feel ashamed of its decision today.

In her speech on Wednesday, von der Leyen mentioned the example of the solar industry, stating that "we have not forgotten how China's unfair trade practices affected our solar industry." The solar industry is indeed a worthy example to review. In 2013, the EU followed the US in imposing anti-dumping tariffs on imported solar panels from China, citing the same reason of "unfair subsidies." However, the result was that because of lack of competition, the European solar industry languished, and many companies increased costs by importing Chinese products through other channels.

Looking back today, we can draw two lessons from what the solar industry suffered: First, competitiveness cannot be gained through protectionism, and blindly engaging in protectionism often backfires; second, trade disputes and differences ultimately need to be resolved through mutual negotiation. We hope that the EU can extract the correct information from the case of the solar industry, listen more to the voices of the business community, and have fewer politicized interpretations. After all, towering trees cannot grow in a greenhouse, and a steel-winged eagle cannot fly out of a birdcage.

COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 full of absurdities, condenses US’ hegemonic logic

The COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 was signed by President Biden on March 20 of this year. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US has repeatedly hyped the "lab leak" theory, using intelligence instead of scientific evidence to manipulate the virus origin issue and fabricating illogical lies to attack China. This has not only been met with widespread opposition from the international community and the scientific community but it has also fully exposed the absurdity of the underlying logic of American hegemony.

First, the US distorts facts and creates chaos. In the law, members of Congress also included conspiracy theories that were clearly fabricated by Western media, claiming that some Chinese researchers had symptoms before the COVID-19 pandemic and demanding that the US intelligence agencies provide "specific evidence." Virus origin tracing is a serious and complex scientific issue that should be studied and explored by scientists and medical experts. Reliable evidence is necessary to draw conclusions. However, the US apparently believes that as long as it can confuse the public and rely on spreading a large amount of false information, they can condescendingly attack China without considering the scientific basis. In April 2022, former US President Obama openly stated in a speech at Stanford University that "you just have to flood a country's public square with enough raw sewage. You just have to raise enough questions, spread enough dirt, and plant enough conspiracy theorizing that citizens no longer know what to believe." 

This is the consistent cognition and practice of American hegemony, which means that wherever there is chaos, the US will profit from it. If there is no chaos, they will go to great lengths to create chaos. 

Second, the US shifts contradictions and evades responsibility. Shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic, the US began to blame China, maliciously calling the novel coronavirus the "China virus" or "Panda virus," attributing the epidemic to China. Some members of the US Congress even threatened to "seek compensation" from China. However, the US has yet to provide reasonable and convincing explanations for the suspicious Fort Detrick biolab, the University of North Carolina biolab, and military biobases around the world.

Research has already confirmed that the novel coronavirus was present in the US in December 2019, but the US has been evasive and tight-lipped about it. The pandemic reflects and exacerbates the wealth gap and racial conflicts in American society. The US government repeatedly spreads rumors and creates trouble in the COVID-19 origin tracing issue, intending to divert the anger of the grassroots people towards foreign countries in order to cover up its government's mistakes and evade accountability. The US Congress members, who claim to be its representatives, not only fail to supervise and criticize the executive authorities but also collude with them, jointly smearing and attacking China using the virus origin tracing issue.

Thirdly, the US fabricates charges and exerts pressure. The COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 explicitly requires US intelligence agencies to disclose a list of "suspicious" Chinese researchers. Its intentions are more sinister than the previous US attempts to hype up the COVID-19 origin tracing issue, and its objectives are even more sinister. In the process of combating opponents and maintaining hegemony, the US repeatedly uses its power to retaliate against individuals. The most typical example is the "Meng Wanzhou case". The US not only tried to destroy Huawei but also made efforts to trap its senior executives, manipulating Canada to unreasonably detain Meng for more than a thousand days. When the US maintains its hegemony, they will fabricate various lies and despicable excuses and use the state apparatus to threaten and persecute individuals, their affiliated companies, and international organizations. The US side will use the state apparatus to persecute individuals and institutions, creating greater chaos. This will also become a "new focal point" for the US to hype up the origin tracing issue, sustain its momentum and lay the groundwork for its subsequent actions on this issue.

Of course, the underlying logic of American hegemony embodied in the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 is not limited to the above three points, but these three points are enough to outline the basic thinking and cognitive patterns of the US in maintaining hegemony. Although the COVID-19 Origin Act of 2023 is "full of absurdities", as a rare "sample", it highly condenses the underlying logic of American hegemony and reflects the increasingly irrational and impetuous state of the US against the background of the decline of its hegemonic power. This deserves high vigilance from the international community.

The author is assistant research fellow at Department for Developing Countries Studies, China Institute of International Studies.

Enhancing strength, achieving peaceful rise is the path China should pursue

We must dare to struggle with the US and deal with its arrogant plan to contain China. At the same time, the Chinese people should understand that struggling with the US is not about turning the game between the two countries into a strategic conflict or a military contest, and not about using war to reshape the pattern of China-US relations. We must seek peace through struggle and seek coexistence and cooperation through countermeasures. The main arena of struggle between China and the US should be the vast economic field. The economy should be the "preset battlefield" for us to contend with American power and achieve China's strategic breakthrough.

Some time ago, I saw some posts on the internet claiming that Professor Li Li of the National Defense University of China "said bluntly on a TV show: When China's territory is threatened, we must launch an attack immediately to destroy the US military base. We should resolutely and decisively kill targets that directly endanger China's security to ensure the initiative in the war." Professor Li then issued a statement, denying that she had ever expressed such views.

As for this tough view of "preemptively attacking US military bases," I felt it was false at first glance. I believe that only very extreme people would enjoy saying this. The possibility of China launching a "preemptive attack" on US military bases in the Asia-Pacific is basically zero. Similarly, I believe that under the current strategic situation, the possibility of the US launching an attack on China, a nuclear power, is basically zero. China-US tensions are far from being that serious. Regardless of whether it is the US or China, anyone who advocates launching a "pre-emptive military attack" against the other side is being seriously irresponsible.

Advocating a "pre-emptive" devastating strike against US military bases - isn't this an attempt to create another Pearl Harbor incident? Have those people thought about what would happen next? Similarly, if the US launches an attack on China's military bases, would China not carry out devastating retaliation? Neither China nor the US can afford to fight such a war. I advocate that China should massively upgrade its nuclear power and establish conventional military superiority over the US in the Western Pacific in order to curb the strategic ambitions and impulses of the American hawks and consolidate peace.

The continuous upgrading of China's military and comprehensive capabilities has given us the initiative on how to resolve the Taiwan question and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea. We no longer need to be irritated by the US militarily. We retain the option of reunifying Taiwan through non-peaceful means, but this is different from reversing the pattern of the China-US strategic game through war.

The US is a relatively powerful party, and it will be a long process for us to achieve a strategic reversal. Enhancing our strength and achieving a further peaceful rise is the path that China should strive to pursue the most. We are a nuclear power and our comprehensive strength forms an effective deterrent, which makes our peaceful rise highly realistic. We must maintain bottom-line thinking, prepare for the worst, and convince the outside world that we are not afraid of war and cannot be overwhelmed. However, this is completely different from the belief that China and the US must have a war.

There are some very extreme claims on the internet that the central task now should be to "prepare for war." Sometimes I feel that if one doesn't advocate "preparing for war with the US" online, accusations of being a capitulator will follow. It is quite normal that there are hard-liners on the internet. It is not necessarily a bad thing that public opinion is diverse. However, those voices that should be relatively marginalized are unwilling to be marginalized and want to rush to the leading position of public opinion. Such wrong self-positioning should not be accommodated by our society.

One of the purposes of the struggle with the US is to continue China's opening-up, because the US' strategic suppression of China can also be seen as an attempt to block China's door to the outside world. If China-US relations become more tense, we may become timid in opening up to the outside world. We must not do so. This would play into the hands of the anti-China elites in the US. China's national policy is completely different from this. Opening up to the outside world is being fully promoted in China. Most exchanges between China and the US cannot be interrupted due to obstruction by some political elites in the US, and our exchanges with the West and the entire world cannot be interrupted.

Let us have enough power to deter the US, and at the same time have enough patience to engage in complex games and exchanges with the US. We must maintain a complex relationship that is difficult to define, use our strategic initiative to guide China-US relations, and prevent both sides from moving in the direction of being enemies. I believe that doing this well is the great strategy and great wisdom of the Chinese nation.

Fooling with history, Canada turns itself into a laughingstock

Canada is under fire, again. This time, it has become a laughingstock of the world. 

Since the end of World War II, no country's parliament or politicians have ever honored Nazi war veterans in an official event, as, obviously, it is an act violating the most fundamental value of human society in today's world. But Canada did. Despite it later pled ignorance for the episode, the world's audience did seem not to buy it, and the news story has been staying in the headlines among global media for days. 

It started on September 22. During a visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Canadian Parliament, the Speaker of Canada's House of Commons, Anthony Rota, introduced Yaroslav Hunka, a constituent from his electoral district, as "a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero" for fighting against Russians for Ukrainian independence during the WWII. All parliamentarians then rose to give him a standing ovation.

The move sparked anger across the Jewish world which quickly discovered that Hunka served in a Nazi unit. The Canada-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization dedicated to Holocaust education and antisemitism programs, issued a statement on September 24, pointing out that Hunka "served in a Nazi military unit during the Second World War implicated in the mass murder of Jews and others," and that "an apology is owed to every Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Second World War who fought the Nazis." Calls for an apology from Canada are getting louder these days from a growing number of countries, including Russia, Poland, and Belarus. 

In the face of controversy, Rota announced his resignation on Tuesday and said he did not know of Hunka's Nazi ties. Yet what's confusing is that Trudeau and Rota are not the only ones who are blind to the basic history of WWII. When Canadian politicians mindlessly rose to their feet and applauded, not a single professional politician in the Parliament seemed to have considered that the Soviet Union and Canada were on the same side during WWII - the side that battled Nazis together - and that those who fought Russians may be the unjust forces in the war. 

It is a vivid epitome of the Western world, where anti-Russia is the overwhelming political correctness, people are reluctant to think: How could anyone who has ever fought against Russia possibly be the bad guy?

Canada has been following the US-led alliance closely in almost every major issue, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and tends to seek attention, showcasing its value in the Western world every now and then. Against the backdrop, its foreign policy tends to become growingly irrational and childish, Liu Dan, a researcher at the Center for Regional Country Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, told the Global Times. 

Yao Peng, deputy secretary-general of the Canadian Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the current political syndrome in Canada is defining political correctness based on camp confrontation in the major power game, and the so-called political correctness is above mature, rational, and balanced principles of international relations and order. It is against this backdrop that they tend to shut their eyes to common sense and questioning, resulting in the farce of applauding to a Nazi-linked veteran. 

This time, the episode in Canada not only disregards the moral principle and international history established after WWII, but also hurts the feelings of the Jewish world and all victims of the brutal war. 

On Monday, Trudeau said the case is "deeply embarrassing," and then quickly turned the subject to Russia, claiming "it's going to be really important that all of us push back against Russian disinformation and continue our steadfast unequivocal support for Ukraine." The logic is ridiculous. What does the ignorance of Canadian politicians have to do with Russia?

Trudeau’s rhetoric only shows that he has little sense of historical and moral justice, as evidenced by his habitual tendency to shift blame rather than introspect in response to the overwhelming condemnation from Jewish groups. He is going too far down the wrong path, Yao said.

Also in September, we see another example of how Westerners turn blind eyes to or distort history. During her speech at the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Awards ceremony in New York on Thursday last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen overlooked the US' responsibility for the catastrophic Hiroshima atomic bombing in 1945, and Japanese fascist aggression that brought disasters to neighboring countries, while only criticizing Russia for engaging in "nuclear saber-rattling." 

It seems Western countries can say anything and do anything without the bottom line as long as it is detrimental to their rivals, even if their words and deeds go against historical facts, moral conscience, and international norms.

To defeat Russia, the US-led West offered controversial armor-piercing munitions containing depleted uranium to Ukraine, and cluster munitions that could cause deaths and serious injuries to civilians. They also owe the world a responsible explanation over reports of US involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, a critical infrastructure delivering gas from Russia to Europe. 

The mentality of Westerners is so deeply trapped in the Cold War, and they have lost in the hysteria on the path to completely defeat their opponents. They are leading the world toward a dangerous direction. As Canadian researcher Tamara Lorincz noted, while everyone applauded the Ukrainian Nazi, "Not one MP called for peace, ceasefire and negotiations."

When Canada, be its ignorance real or fake, crosses the bottom line of basic human values by honoring a Nazi, the Western world, which is used to confusing black and white, distorting history in an attempt to win the major power game, should be vigilant. Those who fool with history will eventually become a laughingstock in history.

US partisan politics: two ICU patients arguing over who should lead the country

"Who is McCarthy?" The New York Times quoted an American on Friday as proving US grassroots are so disconnected from politics. Why? The answer is in the headline - "How Do Americans Feel About Politics? Disgust Isn't a Strong Enough Word."

The article said "griping about politics is a time-honored American pastime but lately the country's political mood has plunged to some of the worst levels on record," thanks to the recent government shutdown crisis, chaotic Congress and the removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Many American voters interviewed said "they viewed the whole episode as evidence of broad dysfunction in Washington, and blamed political leaders for being consumed by workplace drama at the expense of the people they are meant to serve."

It also quoted a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in July, which pointed out that only 16 percent of American adults said they trusted the federal government, close to the lowest levels in seven decades of polling. 

If "disgust" isn't a strong enough word, which word would be strong enough? A more accurate adjective is hard to find to describe Americans' state of mind. It seems to be a complex emotion composed of tiredness, anger and despair. 

When Americans look at their own system, it feels as if they are watching two patients in an ICU arguing over who should lead the country, and what's worse is that they have no other options, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Since Joe Biden took office, political polarization and division in the US have not decreased, but intensified. The long-standing struggle between the Democratic and Republican parties for their own self-interest is nothing new. And now, the internal divisions within each party have become increasingly apparent, leading to a more complicated US political atmosphere.

US politicians have long caught impeachment fever. Former president Donald Trump's presidency has been an unusually busy season for impeachments. Efforts to impeach Joe Biden are also underway. McCarthy's impeachment, however, happened suddenly and unexpectedly. He was expelled from his role by a right-wing revolt in his own party over his compromise with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.

This shows that for some Republican hardliners, embracing a bipartisan deal is not tolerable, even if a deal could guarantee there would be no US government shutdown. The rules of the game are changing. Politics is no longer the art of compromise for the greater good in the US system. 

The two US political parties have long been divided from within. The Democratic Party, because of the potential threat they feel from Trump, still maintains unity and harmony on the fa?ade. The Republican Party, on the other hand, has not been so rational, as mirrored in the latest episode. Next, the House needs to elect a new speaker, but the process will turn out to be extremely difficult, Lü said. 

Having witnessed too many farces, the American people naturally develop fatigue toward the political infightings. And some start to realize the American democratic system is manipulated by a handful of elites with money, and common American people have no say in the politics, Xu Liang, an associate professor at the School of International Relations of Beijing International Studies University, told the Global Times.

The biggest problem in American politics lies with the elites. Political elites and the general public are from distinct planets — one from Mars and the other from Venus. Political elites rarely consider how to take care of their people, addressing people's concerns over livelihood, education and the economy. On the contrary, they focus on how to consolidate their political positions through creating opposition, confrontation and division. 

The New York Times writes that the Biden administration has made great efforts to combat climate change, among other things, "yet those accomplishments have not fully registered with voters." Why? Because each party tends to focus on their own traditional advantageous fields and policy positions, rather than the common interests of all Americans. Take climate change. Even if the Democratic Party yearns for a good score, the Republican Party has from time to time emphasized that climate change is a "hoax." It is difficult to guarantee whether the next administration will dismantle the achievement made by the current government. Ultimately, the US' own development of new energy technologies will be crippled and the response of the US and the world to climate change will be hampered. 

The two parties cannot even agree on the most basic issues, imagine how they can make any difference on major issues, Lü said. Lü also underlined when the Biden administration talks about economic data or boasts about its policies on some programs, they are running out of money, and borrowing money from the distant future to create some seemingly acceptable numbers. This is obscurantism, a way of deceiving people. But they cannot hide US political dysfunction forever. An economic crisis in the US will break out sooner or later, possibly in 2024, the expert warned. 

And what would the American people do? Apart from feeling tired, disappointed and hopeless, the public could choose to avoid talking about politics, pretend they are disconnected from politics, or one day express their disgust by voting out the current leaders. Unfortunately, even by then, there is still no guarantee that the next leaders will genuinely take their interests into careful consideration. 

Forget about "of the people, by the people, for the people." The current US system is one where the government is detached from the people. It presents to observers from other countries a superpower that continues to emit a decaying odor, corroding its own development vitality, disappointing its people, and causing astonishment and unease in the international community. How could such a system possibly be sustainable? 

Manila’s SCS aggression result of strategic error

In recent months, the Philippines has frequently provoked China in the waters surrounding Ren'ai Reef and Huangyan Island, attracting extensive international attention. Will the Philippines take the risk of relying on the support of the US to forcefully transport construction materials and personnel to the illegally "grounded" warship in Ren'ai Reef, thereby triggering an armed conflict between China and the Philippines? Although it has not been ruled out that the Philippines may take such extreme measures to further exacerbate the situation in the South China Sea and the China-Philippines relationship under the misjudgment of the situation, the probability of them taking such extreme actions is still relatively low.

Successive Philippine governments have shown periodic swings in dealing with relations with China. These swings can even occur within the same presidential term. The predecessor of former President Rodrigo Duterte,in the first four years of his presidency, distanced the Philippines from the US, reduced provocations in the South China Sea and actively participated in the Belt and Road Initiative. However, over the last two years in his presidency, the situation in the South China Sea had been tense. And he restored the Philippines' key military agreement with the US.

Since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr entered office in 2022, this trend in foreign policy is still evident. He not only became the first Philippine president to visit the White House in 10 years but also granted the US military access to four military sites. The Philippines under his leadership frequently clashed with China over the South China Sea issue. However, he also visited China in early 2023 and made a guarantee that the military bases accessible to the US would not be used in any offensive action, expressing a certain degree of goodwill toward China. Therefore, it is premature to say the Philippines will continue to antagonize China in the future based solely on its current "tough policy" in the South China Sea.

Furthermore, some domestic factions in the Philippines believe that the US would provide substantial support to the Philippines in the event of a military conflict with China. This is a serious strategic misjudgment influenced by two misleading signals. Firstly, in February 2023, the US and the Philippines expanded the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). The Philippines agreed to allow US military presence in four new military bases, believing that the US would reciprocate and provide strong support to the Philippines in the event of a military conflict with China. Additionally, the US has expressed its intention to invite the Philippines to join its "Indo-Pacific" multilateral security cooperation mechanism, creating a new "Quadrilateral Security Mechanism" including the US, Japan, Australia and the Philippines to address potential conflicts in the South China Sea. However, the US has never publicly committed to militarily assisting or supporting the Philippines in the event of a military conflict with China. The Philippine government should abandon such illusion.

The current policy of provoking China by the Philippines is not well-received within the ASEAN. ASEAN member states hope that, amid the backdrop of the US and its allies using the Indo-Pacific Strategy to confront China, China can exercise maximum restraint, and they do not want their own countries to be used by the US as "pawns" in its efforts to contain China. Currently, the escalating provocations by the Philippines in the South China Sea do not align with the overall interests of ASEAN countries in pursuing "peace, security and stability." It is clear that the ASEAN countries will not take sides with the Philippines and will not allow the situation to escalate further. 

Relevant Philippine authorities should not underestimate China's determination and capability to maintain stability in the South China Sea. Currently, Philippine authorities and Western media have been continuously engaging in attention-seeking, live-streaming provocations. Besides exposing their attempts to wage a "public opinion war" to discredit China, it further demonstrates the lack of strategic thinking by the Marcos Jr government on critical issues related to regional peace and stability, putting the Philippines' national image and national security in a perilous situation. Philippine authorities should promptly cease such meaningless sensationalism and return to the path of resolving South China Sea disputes through negotiations and dialogue with China, and by reaching the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea as soon as possible.