U.S. needs to accept China’s rise

Regarding Victor D. Cha’s Dec. 11 article, “An opportunity for America in China’s overreach“: To give this piece the proper context, consider that Cha was the Bush/Cheney administration’s initial appointment to the directorate of Asian affairs for the U.S. National Security Council. Thus it is not surprising he would be critical of most any assertive move by China.

He is dead wrong when he says that “the international norm is that countries do not unilaterally declare zones that overlap with other countries air space.” Japan did so vis-a-vis Taiwan in 2010, and South Korea, after prior “consultation” with its ally the United States, just did so vis-a-vis both China and Japan.

But Cha’s op-ed and angst are not about air defense identification zones (ADIZs). Indeed, his America uber alles mindset is indicative of what drove the foreign policy of influential people in that administration toward American global military, political, economic and cultural dominance at any cost.

To people with this mindset, the real objection is that China had the temerity to act without “consulting” the U.S. and to declare an ADIZ that overlapped the one that the U.S. had unilaterally declared for Japan during the Occupation (probably without prior “consultation” with China).

China’s rise is inexorable. The U.S. needs to “get over it,” accept it, accommodate it, adapt to it and eventually share power. To do otherwise, as Cha and others would suggest, is folly. That view is on the wrong side of history and, if implemented, will lead to disaster — not only for the immediate contestants but also for East Asia and perhaps the world.

Hopefully Cha’s mindset is not indicative of present and future U.S. administrations.

mark j. valencia
kaneohe, hawaii

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.