Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Asiatica, Stati Uniti

Cina vs Usa. Gli alleati degli Stati Uniti in Asia orientale contro una linea dura sulla Cina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-08-17.

Pollo allo Spiedo 001

Tempi grami per la Harris-Biden Administration.

«U.S. Allies in East Asia do not support a hardline on China»

«Biden would adopt a less confrontational approach to relations with China. They have been disappointed»

«Early steps by the new American administration toward China seemed to be a continuation of President Trump’s hardline policies»

«the new secretary of state echoed the charge of his predecessor that China was engaged in genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The tariff barriers on bilateral trade have been left in place»

«that competition is now the principal driver in the bilateral relationship. For much of the last 50 years, the U.S. was confident that China’s growing wealth and power did not threaten the U.S.’ vital interests and their differences could be managed by diplomacy and engagement»

«The U.S. is seeking to adjust to an international situation in which it is no longer the sole superpower»

«This is not so much because of a decline in power, but because other countries have risen to major power status and China, of course, is the first and foremost example of that»

«A new multipolar world is emerging»

«→→ At the same time, there is no question that the social and political polarization that has been a prominent feature of the U.S.’ domestic scene over the last half decade has damaged the international image of the U.S. and the perception of its reliability as a great power ←←»

«China, in turn, in a remarkably short period of time, has regained the wealth and military strength that are the attributes of major powers»

«Of particular importance for US-China Relations, the administration has reaffirmed that it will adhere to one-China policy and that it does not support independence for Taiwan, and it is also seeking a pattern of regular consultations between Beijing and Washington»

«However, the reality is less positive»

«President Biden needs congressional support for his domestic programs and congressional attitudes toward China are hostile»

«A hardline American approach to China does not mesh well with the interests of US allies and friends in East Asia who do not wish to see the region polarized»

«In other words, the U.S. that tries to work with our friends and allies will discover that they do not support a hardline approach to China»

* * * * * * *

Il problema è semplice.

La Cina è cresciuta, e sta continuando a crescere sia economicamente, sia politicamente, sia militarmente.

Nei rapporti esteri, massimamente con gli Stati Uniti, reclama relazioni inter pares, nel pieno rispetto dell’altrui sovranità nazionale, senza ingerenza alcuna nei fatti interni.

In carenza di questi requisiti, sarà sempre un dialogo tra sordi.

Ma adesso anche i tradizionali alleati degli Stati Uniti nel sud est asiatico stanno disimpegnandosi da questa politica estera americana: per loro i rapporti politici ed economici con la Cina sono assurti a grande importanza, e non possono essere più a lungo ignorati.

La Harris-Biden Administration sembrerebbe sempre più autoescludersi da questo scacchiere in piena crescita.

* * * * * * *


U.S. Allies in East Asia Do Not Support a Hardline on China

When President Donald Trump lost the November 2020 presidential elections in the U.S., some people hoped that President Joe Biden would adopt a less confrontational approach to relations with China. They have been disappointed. Early steps by the new American administration toward China seemed to be a continuation of President Trump’s hardline policies. Shortly after the administration took office, the new secretary of state echoed the charge of his predecessor that China was engaged in genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The tariff barriers on bilateral trade have been left in place. Senior officials in the Biden administration bluntly stated that the U.S. engagement strategies toward China had failed and that competition is now the principal driver in the bilateral relationship. For much of the last 50 years, the U.S. was confident that China’s growing wealth and power did not threaten the U.S.’ vital interests and their differences could be managed by diplomacy and engagement. That is no longer the case. And the question is why. 

A starting point to understanding what has happened is to recognize that the U.S. and China are both in the midst of fundamental transitions that affect their respective places in the world. 

The U.S. is seeking to adjust to an international situation in which it is no longer the sole superpower. This is not so much because of a decline in power, but because other countries have risen to major power status and China, of course, is the first and foremost example of that. A new multipolar world is emerging. Not surprisingly, the U.S. is reluctant to give up the dominant position that it has occupied since the end of the Cold War and to accept the adjustments that it must make in order to establish a new equilibrium. At the same time, there is no question that the social and political polarization that has been a prominent feature of the U.S.’ domestic scene over the last half decade has damaged the international image of the U.S. and the perception of its reliability as a great power.

China, in turn, in a remarkably short period of time, has regained the wealth and military strength that are the attributes of major powers. This has altered the psychology of the Chinese people. This is what Zheng Bijian didn’t take into account when he came up with the concept of peaceful rise. The Chinese people now are demanding a more muscular foreign policy, consistent with China’s growing power. And this has changed Chinese behavior patterns, which have become more assertive. As a result, regional countries, including the U.S., are finding China’s assurances that it will rise peacefully and never bully its neighbors less and less credible.

These are two of the key background factors that have influenced the sharp plunge in the bilateral U.S.-China relationship, to the lowest depths in half a century. This has created a dangerous situation where missteps by either side or by both could plunge the world into an unprecedented crisis. I use the term unprecedented because China and the U.S. are both major nuclear powers. Confrontations between them are particularly dangerous, and repair work by both sides is vitally necessary. 

Fortunately, despite some superficial similarities, the Biden administration is fundamentally different from its predecessors. President Biden has more foreign policy and national security experience than any American president since the first President Bush 30 years ago. In contrast to the Trump administration, President Biden has appointed capable and experienced officials as secretary of state and national security advisor. These are officials who could sit down without talking points and talk for hours with Chinese counterparts about any issue in the world. Now this was totally missing in the last administration. The Biden administration is moving carefully, to iron out internal differences and adopt sustainable policies that will not simply reflect the whims of a woman. 

Of particular importance for US-China Relations, the administration has reaffirmed that it will adhere to one-China policy and that it does not support independence for Taiwan, and it is also seeking a pattern of regular consultations between Beijing and Washington. The recent consultations between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng were marked by a barrage of charges by each side against the other.

However, if one reads carefully the public reports regarding the consultations, it is evident that there were constructive elements. According to the Chinese account of the meeting, Deputy Secretary Sherman called the US-China relationship as the most important bilateral relationship in the world, noted many times that the two sides have had contact with each other since President Biden was sworn in, expressed U.S.’ willingness to have open and candid contacts and dialogues with China, declared the U.S.’ hopes that the two countries could coexist peacefully, said that the U.S. has no intention of restricting Chinese development and does not want to contain China and would like to see China develop further, and noted that the two sides can engage in healthy competition, cooperate on climate change, drug control in international and regional hotspots, and strengthen crisis management capacity and avoid conflicts. American accounts of the meeting she had are consistent with the above statements. These are encouraging words that you would not have heard from the previous administration. 

However, the reality is less positive. President Biden needs congressional support for his domestic programs and congressional attitudes toward China are hostile. Changing these attitudes will be difficult but not impossible. A hardline American approach to China does not mesh well with the interests of US allies and friends in East Asia who do not wish to see the region polarized. In other words, the U.S. that tries to work with our friends and allies will discover that they do not support a hardline approach to China, and I think that will have an impact overtime. But as the first step, it would be useful for both China and the U.S. to tone down their rhetoric toward each other. Governments have the responsibility not only to formulate wise foreign policies, but to talk in ways that develop public support for those policies — and we are not doing that. We are talking publicly in ways that undermine the wise policy that we should be pursuing. So as a starter, let’s get our rhetoric under control and I hope that will have some chance to exchange views about other steps that could be taken.

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