US should adopt smarter policy toward China: expert

The Donald Trump administration needs to adopt a smarter approach in dealing with the China-related security problems in Asia in a bid to prevent it from crossing the line, said an expert, with the US government yet to form a consistent policy toward Beijing.

In a recent interview with, Zack Cooper, a senior fellow for Asian security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, listed the security risks that Asia is now facing, which include the North Korean nuclear crisis, South China Sea disputes, cross-strait tensions and the border conflicts between China and India.

As for the North Korean nuclear problem, Cooper said that the possibility of the United States launching a military strike on the isolated country is low given the need to protect the interests of America and its allies as well as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's desire to maintain the regime, adding that other problems that the United States is facing in the region such as the relations with China would partly distract it from a focus on North Korea.

But Cooper said that the United States could hardly persuade North Korea to completely drop its nuclear weapons program.

The security specialist considers the South China Sea as a place that the United States should pay more attention to, as it involves America's major interest. An inconsistent, unclear policy toward the waters is not in the interest of the United States and what the Trump administration should do is to show its bottom line to China, enhance the military deployment around the disputed islands, promote the implementation of the freedom of navigation operations and use the political, diplomatic and economic leverage to increase the costs of China's island-building, the expert said, adding that these could be called smarter policy that Washington could use to solve the South China Sea disputes.

Among the security problems, Cooper regards the border tension between China and India as the biggest potential risk that would cause damage to the stability in Asia. It is a confrontation between the two largest rising countries, with both being determined to safeguard what they called their own territories, according to Cooper.

Cooper predicted that the territorial disputes between China and India would be the most challenging problem in 2018.

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