Saturday, February 24, 2024

US-China relations: Competitive cooperation helps stabilize the world

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The recent meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden was significant from a geopolitical perspective. This should not be seen as simply bilateral talks on cooperation in high-level military communications. This was an important step in ensuring how the two great powers could agree to pursue “cooperative competition” without falling into permanent conflict in a multipolarity and multipolar world. be. A world affected by war.

The recent meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden was significant from a geopolitical perspective. This should not be seen as simply bilateral talks on cooperation in high-level military communications. This was an important step in ensuring how the two great powers could agree to pursue “cooperative competition” without falling into permanent conflict in a multipolarity and multipolar world. be. A world affected by war.

Although some scholars see the emergence of Cold War 2.0 in the context of difficult U.S.-China relations, it can also be seen as a competition to achieve “cooperative competitiveness.” Although the United States had no economic interdependence with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, U.S. trade with China was worth more than $5 trillion.

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Although some scholars see the emergence of Cold War 2.0 in the context of difficult U.S.-China relations, it can also be seen as a competition to achieve “cooperative competitiveness.” Although the United States had no economic interdependence with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, U.S. trade with China was worth more than $5 trillion.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, a large amount of investment has been withdrawn and the Chinese economy has stagnated as the United States and China have been partially decoupled. U.S. companies would rather reinvest in countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India.

Given the Asian giant’s low-cost competitive advantage and its role as a trade transit point with other Asian countries (particularly the US and EU), a complete economic decoupling from China would be a chimera for Western countries. It would look like this. There are also other aspects of interdependence, from climate change to global financial coordination, that do not allow for severing ties. As Joseph Nye has observed, for better or for worse, the United States and China are locked in a “cooperative confrontation,” a departure from the Cold War era, when containment of geopolitical rivals was the operational principle.

The essence of President Biden’s foreign policy is to build a new foundation for American power, so that the United States is best positioned to shape the 21st century in a way that protects its interests and values ​​and advances the common good. be able to stand. According to Nye, America’s own future will be determined by two things: “Whether we can maintain our core advantage in geopolitical competition and mobilize the world to address transnational challenges, from climate change and global health to food security and an inclusive economy. At a fundamental level, this requires a shift in the way America thinks about power and global competition.

The Biden administration believes that international power depends on a strong domestic economy, and its strength lies not only in its size and efficiency, but also in how well it works for the American people and frees it from dangerous dependence. I took office believing that I would be measured by how many people I met.

Xi’s efforts to curry favor with U.S. business elites at recent bilateral summits come as China’s economic slump and long-term demographic challenges of slow growth, weak private investment, and sluggish exports have This reflects how the Chinese government is softening its “wolf warrior” diplomatic stance. He defined the conflict between the two sides during the pandemic. The United States’ economic growth prospects and high levels of consumption make it an attractive country for Chinese exporters. However, it remains unclear to what extent Mr. Xi’s efforts will lead to more U.S. investment in China. Large investors will want to wait and see what the outcome of the upcoming US presidential election will be, as the possibility of Donald Trump returning to power could further complicate an already complicated relationship. It may be.

A future Trump administration could (likely) scrap the alliances and international institutions that the Biden administration has sought to (re)build. President Trump could also severely restrict immigration, which has helped the United States attract global talent and reap economic benefits.

Cooperating as much as possible and marshaling assets that influence China’s external behavior (relationships with countries like India play a role) will be important to the United States regardless of which administration comes into power. It will be. Countries such as the United States could also help strengthen America’s own “democratic” alliances while keeping China in check.

There are other factors that favor the United States in its pursuit of cooperative competitiveness with China. Geographically, the United States has two oceans and friendly neighbors around it, while China has territorial disputes with India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, most of which are tied to the United States. We have a good relationship with In the energy sector, the US shale oil and gas revolution has made the US a net exporter, but China remains heavily dependent on energy imports via the Gulf and Indian Ocean (with which the US has strengthened ties). There is.

Demographically, China is aging, but with the right mix of domestic and foreign policies, the United States has the potential to grow its workforce over the next decade.

Furthermore, in order for the world’s major countries to increase their global influence, they must not only promote institutional cooperation and help debtor countries resolve their debt burden problems, but also assist developing countries in their energy transition. We must also actively work to pave the way for climate change finance. Countries that lack resources.

If the United States and China, despite their complex strategic relationship and history, can find a way to cooperate and compete without threatening each other, the result will be greater benefits for today’s multilateral world order and the planet. You’ll do more good than harm.



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