On Sunday, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman-the second-ranked diplomat in the United States-will meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin, China. The talks will appear to be tense, dominated by friction on many fronts.
Last Monday, US President Joe Biden joined NATO, the European Union, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and New Zealand in attacking China. A widespread cyber espionage campaignSecretary of State Anthony Brinken said that this “posed a major threat to our economy and national security.”
The U.S. Department of Justice also accused four Chinese citizens who worked with the Chinese Ministry of National Security for hacking the computer systems of dozens of companies, universities, and government entities in the U.S. and abroad from 2011 to 2018.
These allegations were refuted by Beijing as “Fabricated out of thin air“And on Friday it Announcing sanctions on U.S. individuals In response to US sanctions against Chinese officials in Hong Kong, Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region have intensified Sino-US relations that are strained by trade disputes, China’s military buildup, South China Sea tensions, and Beijing’s suppression and treatment of Hong Kong democratic activists.
Despite China’s rapid rise, it still lags behind the United States militarily. However, it has found a more level playing field online.
“For a long time, China has been looking for asymmetric areas where it can exert influence in a way that does not challenge U.S. superiority and superiority… The establishment of a modern navy requires a lot of money, time, and expertise, but in cyberspace, the threshold is low. Strategy and international research Matthew Funaiole, China Foreign and Security Policy Analyst at the Center, said.
Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered an hour-long chest-beating speech to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, which included threatening other countries not to interfere in Chinese affairs and telling faithful followers in the party: “We Will not accept the polite preaching of those who think they have the right to teach us.”
This status quo is a far cry from when the two superpowers first thaw their diplomatic relations half a century ago. Due to the ideological split and subsequent border disputes, Sino-Soviet relations are at their lowest point. China’s great helmsman Mao Zedong believes that it is pragmatic to formulate a diplomatic route closer to the United States, and also through the two countries’ proxy war in Vietnam with Moscow Disagreement. And led by Realpolitik of US President Richard Nixon. In July 1971, Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s national security adviser, secretly visited China, paving the way for the US President’s visit to China the following year.
“This is a counterattack against the Soviet Union-the enemy’s enemy is my friend,” Isaac S, CEO of Strategic Ventures and author of “America Second: How the American Elite Makes China Stronger.” Said Tong Fish (Isaac Stone Fish). “[It] From a foreign policy point of view, this is successful… and mainly eliminates or eliminates China’s threat to the United States. “
This relationship continued throughout the Cold War. Although President Ronald Reagan was ideologically and initially more pro-Taiwan, due to China’s strategic importance, he later turned to accept China.
“Someone pointed out to Reagan that the Chinese are basically NATO members-because they control more than one million Soviet troops; in addition, we have set up a CIA monitoring station in Xinjiang to monitor Iran, the Middle East, and the Soviet Union. We There is a tacit alliance,” said Stephen McKinnon, professor of Chinese history at Arizona State University.
In 1989, relations between the two countries deteriorated after China’s bloody suppression of student-led protests in Tiananmen Square. Although President George H.W. Bush expressed the disgust of the United States and stopped selling weapons to China, his political enemies easily used his strong relationship with Beijing as capital. He was stationed as the chief liaison officer of the United States in 1974. In Beijing, the predecessor of the former ambassador for diplomatic relations was established.
“[Bill] Clinton raised this issue very clearly during his campaign with Bush in 1992… [calling] His response to the Tiananmen Square incident was weak and he promised to take a tougher stance on human rights issues,” said Bennett Freeman, who participated in the Clinton campaign and later became the chief speechwriter for Secretary of State Warren Christopher.
This commitment is embodied in a policy that utilizes most-favored-nation treatment (MFN)-what China dreams of when lowering trade tariffs-while accelerating market reforms in China while making overall progress in human rights.
“The phrase’free software will defeat oppressive hardware’ perfectly reflects the optimism of the time… opening up the Chinese economy will eventually open up its political system,” Freeman told Al Jazeera.
This optimism has been inspired by the recent collapse of the Soviet Union, which many Westerners believe is the victory of capitalism over communism. However, this apparent end of the Cold War indirectly affected China and the United States’ demand for geopolitical balance.
In 2001, China’s most-favored-nation status was made permanent, and this leverage was eliminated. In the past 20 years, American companies have increasingly relied on China’s huge market and cheap manufacturing. Coupled with Beijing becoming the second largest creditor of the United States, China has obtained its own set of leverage.
“There is an almost evangelical movement that brought democracy to China through Boeing, Microsoft, and McDonald’s… You can say that this is something that belittles American democracy,” Stonefish said.
“You can also say that, in hindsight, it embedded the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] Into the U.S. system, which caused a lot of [current] The problem faced by American companies is too revealing, but afraid to publicly oppose China’s human rights violations,” Stonefish told Al Jazeera.
“Nixon and Kissinger could not have imagined this scenario-no one is so prescient.”
Due to the interdependence between the United States and China, the Biden administration will have a harder time than Clinton to allow Beijing to use trade barriers to use human rights concessions; however, some people are optimistic that China’s near-track issue may provide opportunities for pressure.
“There are many compromises in promoting economic relations with China…not necessarily concerned with human rights, but some changes may occur,” Funaiole said, listing “the problems of Tibet and Xinjiang, the repression and the suppression of Hong Kong Worries [it’s] Be more confident in Taiwan”.
This month, the U.S. Senate passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, prohibiting the import of products from Xinjiang unless the manufacturer can prove that these products are not forced labor by the estimated more than 1 million people detained there.
“There are many [places] We can buy cotton from…. Biden is pushing for more renewable energy, but we have acquired a lot of solar photovoltaic technology from China, and now we have questions about the integrity of the supply chain,” Funaiole said.
“Our relationship with China is competitive when it should be competitive, it can be cooperative, and when it must be confrontational. The common denominator is the need to engage with China from a strong position,” the US State Department said. People say.
When convening developed countries to unite against China’s online business, perhaps the United States can learn from China’s approach and use its entry into the markets of these countries as a bargaining chip.