Washington’s attempt to shape environment around China bound to fail-Xinhua

by Yi Xin

In May 2022, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at George Washington University that “We cannot rely on Beijing to change its trajectory. So we will shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision for an open and inclusive international system.”

Well, this is not something new. From “Pivot to Asia” to the Indo-Pacific strategy, the United States seems to be obsessed with changing the strategic environment in China’s neighborhood. The Biden administration, determined to succeed in a “decisive decade” of competition with China, is taking this geopolitical game to a whole new level.


On Oct. 9-10, the United States, Japan and South Korea staged a joint maritime drill around the Korean Peninsula for the first time in seven years, followed by their first-ever trilateral aerial exercise two weeks later.

The two military exercises, both had the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as the perceived enemy, were one of the outcomes of the U.S.-Japan-South Korea summit held at Camp David, where they announced deepening military and economic cooperation and condemned China’s “dangerous and aggressive behavior.”

Unlike the Trump administration, President Biden values the role of U.S. allies, therefore it now remembers how to gang up with its allies to form exclusive blocs to contain China.

The trilateral summit at Camp David, another U.S. attempt to establish a new multilateral military group or “mini-NATO” in Northeast Asia, is a perfect case in point.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel touted that deepening the trilateral relationship will “change the strategic landscape of the Indo-Pacific,” but the reality is the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy is nothing but a byword for “bloc politics.”

Under the strategic goal of encircling China, the United States has been busy binding other countries to its Indo-Pacific strategy over recent years. From peddling the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity and reinforcing the Five Eyes to strengthening the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and AUKUS and tightening bilateral military alliances, the United States is desperate to maintain its hegemony in the region and beyond by reshaping the strategic environment around China.

Despite the disguise of rhetoric like “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” its true intention of stoking a new Cold War in the Asia-Pacific can not be kept under wraps.


The United States has a long-standing tradition of meddling in regional affairs and stirring up troubles. In the past weeks and months, the Philippines has clearly stepped up its provocations against China in the South China Sea, though the two countries had managed the situation calmly for quite some time. Anyone with a discerning eye can easily see that Manila has Washington’s support.

While China is committed to enduring peace, the United States has been making waves in the South China Sea. By instigating standoffs, sending military vessels and reaffirming its defense commitment to the Philippines, the United States is endorsing and even emboldening the Philippines’ infringement.

The United States demands China respect the freedom of navigation enshrined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and prides itself on its role as a defender of the “rules-based” order. Ironically, the United States is the only major country that has yet to ratify the convention. For Washington, international rules have never been a tool for disciplining itself, but a weapon for attacking others.


After the Build Back Better World initiative languished, the United States and its G7 allies rebranded the program as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, which they said would provide funding for infrastructure in developing countries, but the way it is delivered says otherwise.

Throughout its history, Washington has never cared about helping developing countries. The commitments made under the program are empty promises to the best. To benefit from the loans, the recipient countries need to accept terms defined by Western values and pick sides between China and the United States.

In contrast, China’s intention has been transparent and aboveboard. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, marking its 10th anniversary this year, aims to provide better infrastructure and improved connectivity, which are essential drivers for the common development and prosperity of regional countries and the key ingredients of a positive regional environment.

China honors its words with deeds. Over the past decade, it has turned its principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in neighborhood diplomacy into real actions. Despite turbulence in the global landscape, China worked with its neighbors to preserve the hard-won peace and tranquility in the region and to develop Asia into the most vibrant force of growth.

The history of Asia-Pacific has taught us that openness and inclusiveness are the only viable ways forward. “Shaping the strategic environment around Beijing” is to turn back the wheel of history for Washington’s self-serving strategic gains, which is unpopular with regional countries and doomed to fail.

Editor’s note: Yi Xin is a current affairs commentator based in Beijing.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Xinhua News Agency.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *