Thursday, 29 March 2012

America and China's Relationship Today

The above link is for a recent CNN article regarding the current relationship between China and the USA. It starts off by pointing out, ' the United States and China have the most important bilateral relationship in the world,' and goes on to question whether or not these two countries can develop a constructive and cooperative relationship for the benefit of all. It recognises there is a possibility of the countries becoming each other's 'worst nightmare', and that the consequences of this would be on a global scale.

The constant stress both Beijing and Washington put on building ties between the two nations is attributed to the acknowledgement by its leaders of what discord would do, and the article suggests that communication between the two is far more complicated, and more often than people realise. But despite these constant negotiations, it is clear that both distrust the other's long term intentions and the relationship they share is more precarious than people realise. It states, 'such distrust is corrosive, casting even well-intentioned actions and initiatives in a negative light,' which doesn't bode well for the future of their negotiations.

The article goes on to state that this 'distrust could well create a self-fulfilling prophecy of eventual confrontation'; something both nations are trying to avoid at every cost, especially in an age of nuclear weapons where it would mean mutually assured destruction. They perceive the problem as being that neither side quite understands the other's intentions, and cannot differentiate between genuine concerns and propaganda efforts. As a consequence of this, the CNN reporters teamed up with China's leading specialists to compile a report (as seen below) that outlines each country’s main concerns and why they feel them.

I think this showed remarked ingenuity of the writer's behalf, as rather than writing about the relationship as he perceives it (as an American); he has provided proof for his claims. The report garnered a wealth of integral information, and was published in both English and Chinese only last week. The discoveries made within, although numerous and complicated, pointed to one common denominator: lack of understanding and communication. Additionally, the differences in their political systems are well known, and the fears both hold are also no secret. For example:

'Beijing views America's pro-democracy foreign policy as aimed, in part, at changing China's system, while Washington inherently distrusts the motives and actions of authoritarian governments.'

But this report helped explain the reasoning behind them to each side, and to come extent, went a long way in explaining what measures could be taken to gain a better relationship. It goes on to say, 'Neither side wants an adversarial relationship, but both worry that it may become unavoidable. And extensive efforts to build mutual trust to date are not working.' It calls for new measures to be taken and for both governments to discuss the topics they have avoided for far too long. It is hoped that by taking this new information and using it wisely it could mean:

'Understanding views of the long term, clarifying thinking on key military issues and devising concrete efforts to build mutual confidence are the initiatives that could alter the perceptions in Washington and Beijing that enhance distrust.'

Without this, the relationship between the two countries will most likely remain precarious, and this unbalance will lead them both into dangerous territory. This article has highlighted the biggest concerns people hold with regards to the complex relationship USA and China hold, and rather than placing much of the blame on America's need to keep China in check, and China's strive to overtake America, it views them as two nations that are trying hard to find a way to cooperate, in an age where working together benefits individuals, as well as whole countries.

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