U.S. should respect and accept China's self-determination path
Ken Moak
Editor's note: Ken Moak, who taught economic theory, public policy and globalization at university level for 33 years, co-authored a book titled "China's Economic Rise and Its Global Impact" in 2015. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
The ideological war between the world's two largest economies should end because neither is willing to risk a "Thucydides Trap," in which an existent power uses force to prevent a rising power to challenge it. Unlike previous such wars in the past, China and the U.S. are nuclear powers and their economies are closely intertwined. Any economic or military conflict between the two giants could lead to mutual assured destruction (MAD), destroying the world with it. 
Besides, trying to force China to give up its way of developing the economy is neo-colonial extraterritoriality, which China would never accept.
Also, it seems that the U.S. cannot take the moral high ground to accuse China of unfair trade practices.  
America, too, introduced subjective non-tariff barriers to protect domestic industries. For example, it applied "national security" as a reason to impose tariffs on Canadian and other foreign-produced steel and aluminum. 
Construction work underway in Miami, Florida, May 17, 2019  /VCG Photo

Construction work underway in Miami, Florida, May 17, 2019  /VCG Photo

On the issues of intellectual property and industrial secrets theft, some Chinese individuals or firms might have broken the rules, but accusing the government of sponsoring or condoning it is unfair and untrue. The remarkable achievements, in fact, were acquired through effective and pragmatic government policies under the principle of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" which unleashed the people's hard work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit. 
On the issue of government subsidization of industries, it is not only a Chinese posture, but the U.S. and other countries do that as well, though the methods differ. The U.S. government gives tax credits for research and development activities to private enterprises. For example, the U.S. Department of Defense guarantees purchase of weapons from private firms that develop and manufacture armaments. 
Today, China's private businesses account for over 60 percent of the total GDP and 80 percent of urban jobs, according to government statistics. With continued economic and political reforms, the private sector would likely play an increasingly important role in shaping China's future economy.
Many threats – economics and geopolitical – have been made by the U.S. to force China to abandon its economic and political architectures.
The latest is the Trump administration escalating the trade war by increasing tariff rates and banning Chinese technology firms from the U.S. market. However, the attempt has failed to move China. 
Huawei's logo. /VCG Photo

Huawei's logo. /VCG Photo

On the contrary, China is hitting back with tit-for-tat tariffs and other countermeasures. As explained in my past articles, Trump's "dumb" trade war has harmed the U.S. economy just as much if not more than China's. Further, China has the financial resources, such as over three trillion U.S. dollars in foreign reserves, domestic market of 1.4 billion people and markets of over 60 countries along and Belt and Road, to weather the U.S.-imposed trade war. 
Unless the American political elites and their neoconservative cheerleaders are willing to risk a nuclear holocaust, China is unlikely to give up its successful development architecture. That war would not only be opposed by the American public, but also those who urged a "tougher" stance against the Asian giant might not stomach that.
Every country has the right to adopt systems that serve its national interest as long as they do not deliberately harm the interests of other nations. China's policy has served the country well, propelling the economy to be the largest in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) and second-largest in nominal exchange rate measurements.
The remarkable economic achievement has allowed China to lift between 700 and 800 million people out of poverty, become an economic, technological and military power nearing parity with that of the U.S. and its allies.  
The U.S. political establishment cannot stop China from "doing it my way" stance. To that end, U.S. lawmakers should take a page out of their Chinese counterparts' playbook, and spend their money and efforts on fixing the country's crumbling infrastructure, funding social programs such as education and healthcare services and improving people's livelihood instead of wasting them on futile and hollow threats.
The U.S. should accept China's right to its self-determination path, and work with the country to make the world a better place. In doing so, the U.S. will regain world's respect and support.
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