China wants credit as 'world player' from US
By Frank Ching
August 4, 2010, 7:37 pm TWN
In a dramatic challenge, China has demanded that the United States recognize it as a world power and not, as it has in the past, relegated the country to the role of a regional power.
“Is U.S. ready to recognize China as world power?” asked the headline over a major commentary in the official People's Daily newspaper. The commentary appeared in both the print and online editions, in both Chinese and English.
The article quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has urged China to play a greater role in solving the world's economic, environmental and political problems, saying that without the participation of both China and the United States, global problems could not be solved.
The call on the United States to recognize China as a world power was well timed. It came just as China was holding large-scale naval exercises while making expansionist claims over the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters.
Rebutting Secretary Clinton's remarks at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi, where she rejected sweeping claims by any country to the South China Sea, China's Defense Ministry spokesman declared Beijing had “indisputable sovereignty” over islands in the South China Sea and the surrounding waters.
And Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, speaking on the 83rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army, said China's armed forces would continue to enhance their capabilities and military readiness to safeguard sovereignty, security and development of the nation.
China's demand for recognition as a world power coincided with the holding of large-scale military exercises, involving ships, submarines and combat aircraft, just as the United States and South Korea were holding naval exercises off the Korean Peninsula.
Beijing had warned Washington not to send the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George Washington into the Yellow Sea, saying that would be a threat to China. The United States ultimately responded by keeping it on the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula.
The Chinese demand also coincided with an announcement by Yi Gang, deputy central bank governor, that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy.
China is expected to overtake the United States and becomes the world's largest economy in about 15 years.
However, China still seemed unsure of its role as a world power. Another People's Daily article complained, “Westerners burden China with responsibility.”