China-bashing is nothing new in the ongoing race for the Republican presidential candidacy. Former Utah governor and US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has decided to blaze a trail to attract public attention, unintentionally giving away a secret among US politicians.
China has 500 million Web users and 80 million bloggers, who "are bringing about change, the likes of which is going to take China down," said the candidate in a CBS debate with candidate Mitt Romney. "We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China."
By "taking China down," Huntsman described a rosy picture to the electorate: "We have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic manufacturing muscle. That’s all I want to do as president."
Even taking into account the complexity of the context of the comment, "taking China down" should not be simply seen as a slip of tongue. It perhaps reflects the real thinking of many US political elites.
The Internet era has brought some change to China, and has led to all kinds of interpretations. Some people in China have made public their willingness to cooperate with anti-China forces in the West and do not even bother to conceal such intentions. Huntsman’s words show that some Western politicians have openly joined forces with them.
Chinese society has to make a decision when confronted with such encouragement to take down China from the outside.
If Huntsman’s wish to "take China down" continues to be integrated into US national policy and becomes a collective belief for Americans, and if they think the US will only fare well at the expense of China, the 21st century will hardly be a peaceful century – another Cold War may be the best we can expect.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was considered to have contributed to the prosperity of the US and its global hegemony. Now, Huntsman is encouraging Americans to bring about the disintegration and collapse of China’s current political system. He doesn’t care how risky it is for the US to do so or whether China will slide into chaos. What he wants is very simple: reinvigoration of the US and its economic manufacturing muscle.
Huntsman’s way of thinking gives us a clearer picture of the political wisdom and morality of the US presidential candidates. World peace and prosperity have no place on their agenda.
Perhaps Huntsman’s words can also serve as a blessing in disguise for the Chinese people. They let us know that some hostility from the outside cannot be dissolved by our good will. We must develop our own strength to break their wild ambition of "taking China down."