US China Relations After rather lengthy negotiations between the United States and China, there has been a trade agreement reached between the two countries. China has agreed to enter into the World Trade Organization (WTO). This along with U.S. Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Kurt Campbells visit to China in an attempt to mend relations damaged by the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, marked a good series of events for U.S.
and Chinese relations. The article also shows that the relationship between these two countries still needs work which cannot be done with ease. A century ago, the U.S. fought off rival countries in a battle for economic influence in China. The 20th century began with U.S.
Secretary of State Jon Hay arguing that whoever understood China “has the key to world politics for the next five centuries.” Yet, according to the article, foreign policy experts agree that most Americans see what they want to see. Harvey Sicherman, President of the Foreign Policy Research Institute put it nicely in the article, “The pattern of our policy toward China is a series of illusions punctuated by unpleasantries.” Professor Michael Hunt, an historian of U.S.-China relations points out, “We really invest a lot of hopes in China, we do this repeatedly, and theyve really been crushed. They are so much an expression of our own needs and our own expectations.” Take the idea of the China market. One Far-Eastern expert proclaimed at the end of the last century, “No other market in the world offers such vast and varied opportunities for the further increase of American exports.” Take that comment with this one by the U.S. chamber of Commerce about the recent progress made, “This is really a landmark opportunity to open up Chinas vast market to American companies.” These expectations could be dangerous, points out the author. The market might not even materialize into what many are predicting it to be.
To achieve the”dream” of a billion-plus consumers of American products, China will have to raise the average income of its citizens which is no easy or short-term task. Such changes cannot happen overnight, Chinas move toward a market economy will require “systematic improvement” at all levels of society according to the author. One of the grandest illusions of Western Policy has been the reasoning that it can single-handedly change China. For more than a century Western missionaries, businessmen, and advisers have come to China believing in their “superiority” over the nation. This arrogance was present because they possessed advanced technical skills and a sense of moral rightness.
These Westerners thought they should be welcomed and listened to immediately. When the Chinese went their own way, these same Westerners felt betrayed by the entire nation of China. The author points out a specific example of this occurring in 1949. When the Chinese Communist forces finally took over the mainland and established the Peoples Republic, many Americans engaged in a witch-hunt over who had “lost China”, as if China was a thing that could be lost and also as if the United States had any control over the destiny of such an ancient and populous nation. A key to this historical arrogance is the American idea that market forces can rapidly transform an authoritarian government into a model democracy. U.S.
trade negotiators still argue the current trade pact between China and the United States will help the Chinese achieve, in their words, “greater freedom and greater global prosperity.” Robert Dallek, a foreign policy expert and presidential historian, says “Americans often think the end of such development is something that looks like the United States.” This is an idea that goes way back to the 19th Century. According to Dallek, “Chinese movement toward democracy may never come about or even come near to what we think it should be.” And if it does, “It will be their kind of capitalism, their kind of democracy.” The authors points seem clear in that although much progress has been made in recent weeks, there is still a lot of work to be done. Yadong Liu, a former official in the Chinese Foreign Ministry, agrees with the author and does not see Chinas recent development as leading to the end of conflict with the United States. He emphasizes Chinas nationalism by claiming that , “Both the leadership and population in general are still driven by desire to restore China to what it was hundreds of years ago,” before it was dominated by a series of foreign powers, including the United States. The author thinks of this nationalism as more of a “self defensive” form of nationalism. It seems as if anything happens, whether it is large or small, it can easily irritate the Chinese if they believe it is insulting or humiliating towards them.
This helps to explain why the U.S. bombing of the Belgrade embassy touched off a number of protests against the United States. For Americans, says the author, “The danger is that we become too mesmerized by our own success.” And by doing so, “We miss the realities that actually shape the future.” He makes it clear that if we expect too much out of this current trade agreement, it will only put off implementing it fully. The authors points can be used when looking at trade dealing with China in a business and market situation. Although much progress has been made, it is still up in the air as to who got the better deal.
If eventually U.S. firms are able to export or sell their products to the entire Chinese population, there are unlimited possibilities. With a massive population, and a better economy on the way, China would be and ideal location to sell your product. This still remains to be in the future according to the article. It will take some mending of issues for the Chinese to even consider the U.S. for major importing and exporting.
Time will also determine if China will ever reach their goal to have an equal trading relationship that the U.S. has with other countries around the world through the World Trade Organization. Article #2 The article starts out with an image of Chan Yinmiao, a carpenter sitting by the side of the road on a Beijing overpass, waiting in the wind for work. When the author mentioned the breakthrough trade deal his government struck with the United States recently, Chan brightens up. Chans family lives hundreds of miles away in eastern China where they cultivate rice.
He hopes the trade deal will open up lucrative export markets especially for their crop. “The more the market opens, the more opportunities well have to make money.” Chan claimed. Obviously this excitement regarding the new trade deal extends beyond those who hope to measure its benefits in dollars, cents, and improved trade figures. The deal did mark a major milestone in Chinas campaign to join the World Trade Organization(WTO). Some have hoped that entry in the trade group that makes the rules for world trade will also spur improvements in human rights, legal reforms, and eventually, progress towards a democratic government.
The author reasons that an economic opening will hopefully bring about a political opening in a country desperately in need of both. Also, a free and private economy forms the base for a democratic system, so it will make Chinas government and legal system evolve toward democracy. President Clinton and his supporters have argued that growing trade, foreign contacts, and the World Trade Organizations rules on fair competition will open markets and legal processes will help bring China closer to other international countries. A major part in the deal between China and the U.S. involved the investment of Chinas telephones and Internet networks, not allowed under the initial deal, but will make both networks cheaper and available to more Chinese, thus increasing the amount and flow of information throughout the world. Other, more social changes could occur because of the new deal are, more Western movies will bring more new ideas, more foreign lawyers and businessmen who will expect Chinese courts to enforce contracts could advance rule by law, rather than by bureaucrats.
Also, foreign investments will create more new jobs, offering a wider range of employment opportunities. Wang Shan, a political commentator and author believes that the Chinese leaders have not clearly considered the social changes that entrance into the WTO could bring, “They are not sufficiently prepared for the pressures on Chinese society,” he said. “Chinese leaders feel that entering the WTO will promote Chinese exports, open up world markets, and attract investments. But Americans feel that once China enters this system great changes will occur in Chinese society, including political and social changes.” The author goes on to express other concerns that the Chinese have about this new entrance into the WTO. Specifically that trickle-down civil rights improvements through increased trade will come too slowly and that foreign governments will have to pressure China over its human rights record to bring about deeper change.
Lin Mu, a one-time aide to former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang, elaborates on the subject of social change, “Its an idle dream for the American government to think it can improve the human rights situation with economic cooperation.” The article again shifts to other …