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Roots and manifestations of U.S. zero-sum mentality

Roots and manifestations of U.S. zero-sum mentality

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The escalation of China-U.S. trade friction has opened the strategic game between the two countries. China has been committed to solving problems through negotiation for mutual trust and improvement of the China-U.S. ties, while the U.S. took measures of comprehensive rivalry through constantly adding tariffs, cracking down on China’s high-tech industries and slandering projects of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Zero-sum mentality, which lies behind the U.S. political philosophy and practices is the ultimate reason why it cracked down on China for its own benefits. The mentality is not only evident in economic and trade as well as national security aspects, but also disrupts the two countries’ normal exchanges in political, diplomatic and people-to-people aspects, which must be corrected.

Zero-sum thinking, which has been applied in international relations by the U.S., is the core of its hegemonism. Many current problems, including increasingly bigger economic gap between developed countries and developing countries under the background of globalization, conflicts and disorder in the Middle East and fiercer competition among powers, are all related to the U.S. using zero-sum thinking to cause conflicts with other countries.

At present, the fundamental reason why zero-sum mentality surges in full fury is that the U.S. actually has not prepared well for the coming multi-polarization of the world. The U.S. resents or even fears the fast development of new emerging economies that are thought to have moved the U.S. cheese. Therefore, in order to protect its own power and influence, the U.S. seeks to suppress any potential competitors.

In zero-sum thinking, the two sides compete fiercely without any negotiation. Such mentality must be abandoned to avoid chaos in international order and deterioration of relations among powers.

Compared with zero-sum mentality, the win-win thinking favors benefiting oneself with no harm to others and seeking common interests through negotiation and cooperation.

China will continue to rebalance the international pattern with its inclusive and insightful strategic thoughts. Ultimately, the true strength of powers should be embodied in solving problems instead of creating problems. Both China the U.S. should assume due responsibility and international justice in the face of difficulties.

Contributed by Shen Yamei for Guangming Daily

Translated by Zhang Zhou

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]