by Xinhua writer Tian Dongdong
BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Arriving against the backdrop of rising tensions in East Asia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday kicked off his fifth Asian trip since taking office a year ago in another move to carry out President Barack Obama's "Pivot to Asia" strategy.
However, he would find himself further disappointed if he simply tries to take a tougher stance on China, as reported by some Western media, and continues to appease his traditional ally Japan, the real trouble-maker in the region.
If Uncle Sam truly wants to play a constructive role, the top U.S. diplomat should bear in mind that a responsible and unbiased America is always welcome in East Asia, but any one-sided appeasement would ruin his efforts and fundamentally erode regional stability, which would in the end jeopardize Washington's own interests.
For one thing, appeasement to Japan would embolden hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take more provocative and aggressive moves, which will surely annoy not only China, but also South Korea -- which, while another U.S. ally and a main pillar of "Pivot to Asia," at the same time has bitter territorial and historic disputes with Japan.
For another, a more provocative and aggressive Japan nurtured by U.S. appeasement would cause turbulence in building a new type of major-power relations between China and the United States as agreed by Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, last year.
As a rising power sticking to peaceful development, China -- an interlinked and essential political and economical partner of the United States -- has been sincere to seek a stable and productive "new model relationship" with the American side.
Washington is expected to show equally sincere respect and care for China's core interests over its territorial and historic disputes with Japan.
It has to be noted that the "harder U.S. line on China" remarks made by Kerry's top aide Danny Russel before his trip were not constructive because it is Japan rather than China that should be blamed for the rising tension in the region.
The Obama administration should take an equal and unbiased stance when dealing with China, Japan and South Korea. It would be better an offshore balancer rather than a direct competitor, for its biased stance would bring political appeasement, which goes against the stability and prosperity of the region.
Kerry's Asian trip offers a rare opportunity to the United States and regional stakeholders for better mutual understanding. Hopefully, it could pave the way for positive cooperation in the region. After all, the Pacific Ocean is big enough for cooperative China-U.S. relations.
Kerry to reaffirm commitment to positive U.S.-China ties in upcoming visit
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will reaffirm U.S. commitment to pursuing a positive relationship with China in his upcoming visit to Beijing, State Department said on Sunday.
From Feb. 13 to 18, Kerry will make his fifth trip to Asia in the past year, travelling to the capital cities of South Korea, China, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Full story
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to visit China
BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit China from Friday to Saturday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday.
Kerry is visiting at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, said Hua at a daily press briefing. The two sides will discuss bilateral ties and other issues of common concern, she said. Full story
Commentary: Time for U.S. to revisit "Pivot to Asia" policy
BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama vowed in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night that Washington will continue to focus on the Asia-Pacific and support its allies in the region.
A constructive America will be a real blessing for the region, but Obama should have realized by now that his pivoting, or re-balancing, is not working well and needs to be updated. Full story