Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War was over, making the U.S. the only superpower left in the world. This has made the international system much more tranquil, and relaxed. The only country potentially powerful besides the U.S., is China. Many Americans fear China, not only because they are communist, but also because of their huge population. Their population is 1.3 billion people, which accounts 1/5th of the worlds population. As one of the only potential superpowers in the world, it would be in the best interest of all Americans if the U.S. and China became allies, instead of enemies. Peace and development, economic prosperity and social progress, are goals that both of these two countries share. Unfortunately the world is full of many destabilizing factors. We have to figure out how to make the 21st century peaceful and stable, despite all of these factors.
The U.S. and China are two awesome nations. One, being the largest developed nation in the world, the other one being the largest developing country in the world. Both are already permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The two countries also share common interests in making sure peace and stability is not only done in Asia, but the world at large. We both share common responsibilities in the promotion of global cooperation, and in the prevention of weapons of mass destruction, the crackdown on terrorism, drug trafficking, and other cross-border crimes, along with many other chief areas of primary concern. For example, there is a huge potential for cooperation between countries in the following areas: environmental protection, culture, energy, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, promoting global economic cooperation, cracking down on international terrorism, cross-border crimes along with many other areas (5).
China has been a communist country since the communist revolution took place in 1949, since then China has been ruled by the dictator Mao Tse-Tung. However the Chinese dictator died in September 1976, he was hailed abroad as one of the worlds great leaders. Certainly one of the more impressive aspects of the Chinese communist government, has been the willingness of the people to protest against it (3, pg. 4).
China has been in a state of revolution and reform since the Sino-Japanese war of 1895. As a result of Japans victory over Russia in 1905, Chinas constitutional reform movement gathered momentum. This forced the Manchu government by public opinion to make gestures of preparation for a constitutional government, an act to which reformers in exile responded enthusiastically by establishing a Political Participation Society (Cheng-wen-she) (1, pg.84).
The apparent willingness of the Manchu government to consider constitutional
reform naturally removed some of the assumptions for revolution and impeded its progress. This helped to sharpen the already intense conflicts that occurred between the reformists and the revolutionaries. In efforts to check this unfavorable tide, the Chinese student revolutionaries in Tokyo extended their war of words to physical combat. Unfortunately the revolutionaries victory over the reformists in Tokyo was not equal to (5=Zhaoxing, Li, Seeking Common Ground, http://www.nyu.edu/globalbeat/asia/china/06221998zhaoxing.html)
(3= Moody, Peter, Chinese Politics after Mao, copyright 1983, pg. 2)
(1=Liew, K.S., Struggle for Democracy, copyright 1971, pg. 84-87)
its battlefield victories against the Manchu government in this period. Instead they suffered many discouraging reverses. The failure of the uprisings on December 1906 caused the entire revolution to move to the southern provinces along the Hong Kong/Indo-China border (1, pg. 86).
Between 1907 and 1908 six unsuccessful uprisings in South China were underwent by the Chinese League in South China. Do to deaths of Emperors and Empresss, control of the government fell into the hands of younger, very inexperienced Manchu princes. The intolerance and animosity these princes held towards non-Manchu statesmen, and overhasty indiscreet execution of centralization policy, cost them the service and affection of loyal and able Chinese officials. At the same time the reformers discredited themselves by having internal squabbles over money (1, pg.87).
While all of this turmoil was going on in the country of China, its foreign relations were worsening. British troops entered Tibet, while the Russians pressed for treaty revisions respecting its trade relations with Mongolia and Sinkiang. The revolutionaries felt the urgency of overthrowing the Manchu dynasty as the prerequisite for dealing with their difficulties with foreign nations. They felt that the time for saving China was running out, and they must get rid of the incompetent Manchus (3).
In 1911 the Chinese revolutionaries were not aware of the necessity or the techniques for organizing the masses for revolution. The majority of the Chinese did not even take part in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Participation was confined to students, soldiers, members of secret societies, and some government officials. It is said that the revolutionaries neglect of socialist principles greatly contributed to the failure of the 1911 revolution.This is because they failed to broaden the basis of their revolution to include peasants. This 1911 revolution provided China with its very first chance at adopting democracy, but its failure drove many to take the opposite course of action. Many began to doubt the validity of democracy under Chinese conditions, after this revolution failed (1, pg. 198-200).
The Pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing and other cities from April to June 1989 were more than just an episodic expression of popular discontent with the Chinese government. Of prime importance was the non-violent nature of the protesters. The extraordinary self-discipline of the one-million-strong demonstrations was a testimony to the populations collective awareness that violence would only destroy the movements moral force. Chinas leaders fostered profound distrust, and mutual suspicion among the population by cynically manipulating popular discontent and encouraging strife for their narrow ideological goals. In contrast, 1989 witnessed the forming of a genuine civil society in urban China as popular consciousness was created among the different groups and individuals. The massive support for the student movement in 1989 indicated a profound rupture between state and society, and in the long-lasting divisions between the intellectuals and the people (2, pg. 131-3).
Most of the U.S.s problems in its relations with China stem from human rights abuses that their government has done to its people. In the spring of 1989, an unprecedented popular movement in Beijing and other cities peacefully challenged the authority of the government, only to be crushed by military force. Chinese tanks and machine guns crushed student pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijings Tiananmen
Square, which killed, wounded, and imprisoned thousands of peaceful protesters.
(2=Saich, Tony The Chinese Peoples Movement copyright 1990, pg. 131-133)
In the immediate aftermath of Chinas greatest political crisis since the communist takeover in 1949, the regime attempted to regain legitimacy that was lost during one nights carnage by the Peoples Liberation Army that resulted in over a thousand innocent civilian deaths. To defend the crackdown on both the domestic and the international fronts the Chinese government warned that any recurrence of popular protests would be summarily crushed (2).
China was our ally in WWII, fighting against Japan. But after the communist revolution of 1949, things changed, China became an enemy. The estimated annual defense budget of china is $8.7 billion dollars, however the expenditures have been estimated at ten times that amount at $87 billion dollars. That is still less than a third of what the U.S. defense budget is at $265. $87 billion 1/3 of Americas defense budget is not a lot of money considering the fact that there population is almost three times the size the U.S. has. The political fallout from the Tiananmen crisis shaped much of Chinas political landscape after 1989. Extensive organizational measures were adopted to squelch political conflicts within the Chinese Communist Party and the Peoples Liberation Army, and to tighten control over colleges, factories, and villages. The lessons of the 1989 pro-democracy movement was that a ruling Communist party could not tolerate liberalization (4,pgs. 1-3)
The serious hard-line communist resisted any, and all of the propositions that would involve any political change that might threaten the one-party dictatorship, thus condemning Western Cultural and political influence in China. Moderate components in
the party, forced on the defensive by the 1989 crackdown, appealed for incremental
(4=Sullivan, Lawrence R., China Since Tiananmen copyright 1994, pgs. 1-2)
institutional alterations and advocated even bigger openness to the West. The pair agreed that unless high-level corruption was stopped, the country faced dissolved political instability. Some among the leadership even feared a similar breakup to that of Yugoslavia (4, pg. 2).
Despite outward appearances of strength, the Chinese leadership has been revealed as weak, divided internally, and unable to keep up with the forces of change that has been sweeping much of the Communist world. While the leaders maintain short-term power, they cannot maintain without upkeep of the key sectors of their urban society. The present policy prescriptions can be summarized as back to the future. The old politicians who dominate Chinas politics dream of a bygone golden age when political stability and solid economic prospering under an essentially Soviet-style economy, when it was clear who the friends and enemies were (2, pg.viii).
China and the U.S. have been through many different phases of friendship together. We have gone from allies (WWII) to enemies (Cold War). There has been a great deal of tension between the two countries over human rights violations, like the Tiananmen Square massacre that happened in 1989. In this massacre thousands of Chinese students were murdered for holding pro-democracy demonstrations. This resulted in an angered President George Bush suspending all high-level governmental exchanges. After having been suspended in 1951, most-favored nation status was restored to China in 1980 conditionally under the Jackson-Vanik freedom-of-emigration amendment of the Trade Act of 1974 and must be renewed annually (7, pg. 2).
(7=Pregelj, Vladimir, Most Favored-Nation Status of China, http://www.fas.org/man/crs/92-094.htm)
Most Favored Nation Status (MFN) can be withdrawn from China in several ways: (1) by appropriate direct legislation enacted through regular legislative process; (2) by using the specific means provided in the Trade Act of 1974 for denying MFN status to a country that had it restored under that law, i.e., by the fast-track enactment of a joint resolution disapproving the mid-year annual renewal of the Jackson-Vanik waiver authority with respect to China, if such renewal is recommended by the President, or (3) by the Presidents failure to recommend such renewal with respect to China in the first place (e.g., for noncompliance with the Jackson-Vanik requirements). China also can lose its MFN status if the agreement is terminated, upon notice, at the end of a term or if the 3-year extension of the U.S.-China trade agreement does not take place because the President declines to make the required determination (7, pg. 3 paragraph 5).
In 1995 the Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, anticipating the 1995 Presidential extension of the waiver, on May 23, 1995, held a hearing on the U.S.-China trade relations and renewal of Chinas MFN status. The extension itself, without additional conditions, took place on June 2, 1995, by Presidential Determination 95-23 (60 FR 31047; H.Doc. 104-82) and was followed by the introduction of resolutions disapproving the extension (H.J.Res. 96 and S.J.Res. 37). H.J.Res. 96 was reported adversely (H.Rept. 104-188), considered under a rule (H.Res.139;H.Rept. 104-194) and tabled July 20, 1995, by a yea-and-nay vote of the House (321-107). This action precluded the enactment of the companion measure (S.J. Res. 37)(7, pg. 4 paragraph #3).
China is a country that has been victimized by foreigners many different times throughout history. It was not until the twentieth century that China started to recover some degree of self-government, and independence. Many believe that China will become more like the western countries, meaning more materialistic, non-ideological, and this will result in a freer culture and politics. China is currently emerging as a great power, and a potential rival to the U.S. in the Pacific Ocean. It is felt they are trying to replace the U.S. as the dominant power in Asia, meaning the U.S. is seen as a chief obstacle to its own strategic ambitions. This can be seen as an attempt of China to account for centuries of humiliating weakness, and establishing China as a center for a global civilization. This is feared because this will challenge U.S. global supremacy.What is the U.S. so afraid of? Is it, that the county with a fifth of the worlds population is trying to become the worlds second biggest superpower?
In 1994 President bill Clinton renewed Chinas most favored nation trading status, this guaranteed Chinas privileged access to U.S. markets. Currently many U.S. companies do business in China making huge profits. With U.S. corporations making a ton of money in China, does this mean that Capitalism is only a step away in China?
China poses very little of a military threat to the U.S., even though they are currently engaged in one of the most extensive and rapid military build-ups in the world. This is said, because China is the third-largest nuclear power in the world, and the only one in Asia. There is little to fear though, Chinas most advanced warplane is the equal to the late 1960s U.S. warplane. Even better is the fact that the Japanese aircrafts are much more superior to their Chinese counterparts. China can not offset Japans ability to produce a 21st century aircraft. China is very distant from occupying a power plant, avionics, and metallurgy engineering that are essential to make a plane that can take-off and land on an aircraft carrier in any type of weather (4, pg. 36-38).
The U.S. must offer China much more than just the opportunity to follow the rules. They must come up with a new and appropriate policy of engagement that will require acknowledging the Chinese interests that will accommodate both of our countries. This is needed to prevent nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula. We must also accommodate the Chinese interests in Sino-Pakistani security ties. These steps will require Washington DC to admit the economic causes of trade imbalances and how the Chinese government has limited ability to make sure their domestic laws and their international commitments work (3, pg.89-91).
Of course these steps give the U.S. little guarantee that the engagement of our two countries will really work. It will take negotiations on both sides to make hard policy adjustments and to seek a compromise to a solution. Washington will have to guard the unilateral interests that it has. This means maintaining current duty stations in Asia where U.S. soldiers are deployed. Retrenchment would do more to effect the Sino-American bilateral equilibrium of power than any combo of Chinese Military and economic platforms would. This U.S. should not rely on compulsive measures for Chinese cooperation. These compulsive measures would produce a renewed sense of tension in Sino-American relations that would result in heightened instability in East Asia. The U.S. has such a strategic head start on China, causing Washington to have the break of sitting back and watching China modernize before they go adding a more positive approach to the China-U.S. relations 6, pg.3).
China is vulnerable to neighboring countries that crowd China on all borders. This results in serious security problems within Chinese borders. This has caused U.S. (6=Yebai, Zhang, Sino-U.S. Relations, (http://www.china2thou.com/9910p2.htm)
President Bill Clintons problems dealing with China. In 1998 Bill Clinton was accused of looking the other way to the internal abuses, and the exportation of harmful weapons, and their aggressive behavior in the international arena. This is believed to go on because he took secret campaign contributions to his party from the Chinese. It is hoped that eventually all of the facts and mysteries concerning China will all be sorted out and dealt with appropriately. Hopefully the election of George Bush, a new, hopefully competent U.S. President, can get things taken care of more appropriately than Bill Clinton did.
Over the long term, it is felt that we are most likely to be dealing with China, no longer ruled by the communist party but with a reform-minded leadership. This should be on the minds of future policy-makers tackling short-term strategic issues. Even before the events of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, foreign business was becoming more realistic of the China market. It is felt that China is a great source of income for U.S. business. So why dont we give that 1/5th of the world a chance? All we can do now, is sit back and watch the future events, to know what is going on with China, and how the U.S. is impacted by the future developments, that China makes.