George Friedman, the US geopolitical forecaster and strategist, said in an interview with Voice of America that China needs to face the fact that there is no East or West problem, but China and the US are willing to have a reasonable discussion with China and find a solution, implying that China is not.
While this gets to the nub of the matter in rightly pointing out the crux of the problem is the failure of the two countries to communicate, he wrongly believes that it is the US that is portraying China as hostile for internal political purposes, and it is the actions of the US that portrays China as hostile for internal consumption, and it is the actions of the US that shows its hostility, not the imaginings of China.
His argument does not hold water as it ignores the fact that Beijing has repeatedly tried to initiate dialogue, even going so far as to provide Washington with a Dummy's Guide on How to Ensure Dialogue Is Fruitful by giving it two lists one detailing the mistakes the US is making with China and how to rectify them, so that the US is not in any doubt. The second is a list of its core concerns, just in case Washington has too much on its plate and has trouble recalling them. The US is trying to push the envelope on its commitment to one China on the issue of Taiwan. There is growing speculation that it is trying to lure Beijing into a proxy war.
The US has become more brazen in displaying the ill-will it harbors toward China, which has had the nerve to follow its own development path, avoiding putting the nation in a hock to US designs and politics.
Besides waging a trade war against China, high-ranking US officials have publicly called China the primary rival and strategic adversary of the US, but stopped short of calling China an enemy.
Washington has also banned Chinese companies that have grown to be multinationals, especially those in the high-tech sector, from doing business in the US. The strategic containment and encirclement that the US has instigated against China on the regional level and in China's wider periphery is only the tip of the iceberg.
Friedman ignores Washington's penchant for rallying its Western allies around its anti-China banner and its action-oriented clique-building with them targeting China, as well as its efforts to decouple China from the global system through a process of exclusion, in his summary dismissal of an East-West divide.
Washington is not extending the hand of friendship to Beijing with such moves. Nor has it responded in any meaningful way to Beijing's request to reopen the channels of communication shut down by the previous US administration.
Dialogue is the key to better China-US relations, but it is Washington, not Beijing that is unwilling to talk.