China must become an “unbeatable rival” if it is to peacefully coexist with the United States in a new cold war, according to a Chinese state media outlet.
Amid commemorations for the 70th anniversary of the start of Korean war – the first major conflict of the Cold War – Xiakedao, a social media account operated by People’s Daily, said on Monday that as China faced deteriorating ties with the US, there was a great need for it to take cues from history.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has warned that the US was “pushing to the brink of a new cold war”.
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There is also a growing consensus among Chinese strategists and foreign policy advisers that Beijing needs to prepare for a further escalation in conflict with the US that is akin to, if not more complicated than, the Cold War.
The article said China’s recent move to bestow memorial medals upon veterans of the Korean war to mark the anniversary has reminded the Chinese people of the history.
“Unlike the US attitude of playing down this war 70 years ago, there has always been heated discussion about it in China, even until recent years,” the article said.
“There is a great need to revisit the significance of this as we face challenges in China-US relations and a very complicated international environment.”
The article said China had concluded from the Korean war that it needed to defend itself and the peace and stability of East Asia, and that the United States “will not voluntarily give up on its dominance over the region”.
The fighting in Korea started in June 1950 with the Soviet Union supporting North Korea and the US supporting South Korea. China did not intervene until October, after the US-led United Nations forces pushed North Korean troops back to the Chinese border.
The costly conflict ended with little resolution but China has long remembered it as the war to “resist the US imperialist aggression and aid its communist ally North Korea”.
China considers it proof of China’s will and ability to challenge the world’s most powerful military only a year after China had finished its own prolonged civil war.
“The great gap in [military] capabilities [between China and the US] means its requires great strength and courage for the Chinese leaders then to make the decision to resist the United States, and aid North Korea,” it said.
“History has proven that the war boosted China’s reputation and international standing.”
The article also added that China’s involvement in the conflict gained the respect and greater help in military and industrial technology transfer from the Soviet Union.
“Some say China and the United States will eventually be friends. But to be friends with the United States, we must be a rival that it cannot beat.”
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This article Korean war lessons: China and US can be friends ‘if China is a rival they cannot beat’ first appeared on South China Morning Post