Foreign Relations with China
To: Barrack Obama, President of the United States
Date: May 5, 2015
Subject: Foreign Relations with China
The United States’ foreign relations with China have accelerated quickly over the past 35 years. Starting with the death of Mao in 1978 and the subsequent opening up of China in the following period the US has begun to trade with China from a point of almost no trade to the being the largest trading partners of any two countries in the entire world. This massive increase in trade has lead to drastic increases in foreign relations between the two countries.
In a Journal article by J. Mann in 1999 titles “About Face: A History of America’s Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton” the author talks about foreign relations with China from the period of Nixon to Clinton (Mann 22). The article talks about the slow warming in foreign relations between the two countries; Nixon became the first American president ever to visit China. This was a period where both super powers had amazingly very little to do with each other. It was only after China, and the U.S.S.R. had some diplomatic issues that the potential meeting became a reality.
The relations heated up dramatically when Deng Xiao Ping became the leader in 1982. With China opening up to the global world, the US saw an immense opportunity. Us foreign investment rushed into a country that was ready to explode in terms of Economic growth rates. The influx of investment has helped both countries. China has grown dramatically, and the US has had healthy returns on their investments.
Tensions, however, have started to heat up between the two countries. In an article entitled “Understanding the Sources of Friction in U.S.–China Trade Relation” the authors talk about the rising tensions between the two countries (Woo 62). With less and less being produced in the US and sharply rising trade deficits the US has started to accuse China of things like exchange rate manipulations. The accusation is that China is intentionally holding their currency low to keep prices cheap and the US buying goods.
There has been a noted increase in China phobia in the US in recent years. There is suddenly this belief that China is taking all the US’s wealth. These fears are far from true and, in fact, the US has gained dramatically from relations with China. China has produced cheap consumer goods, and the desire to hold US bonds by the Chinese government has kept interest rates low in the US.
In an article by Aaron L. Friedberg the author asks the question: Is Conflict Inevitable (Friedberg 34)? The author talks about the many inherent points of tension between the two countries. The fact that China holds so much US debt and that there is such a huge trade deficit between the countries. Despite these natural tensions there is no reason to think the relations between the two countries won’t continue to be what they have been over the past 35 years. That is peaceful and mutually beneficial. The two superpowers will continue to shape the world, and their foreign relations will become more and more important. With that said it is of the utmost importance that the US keeps China as one of its closest allies and keep the lines of diplomacy open and clear. There are incredible gains for both countries to cooperate and continue to grow their expanding relationships. Both countries have incredible resources that complement each other nicely. There is a win-win situation present if both states can get past their differences and conflicts.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Friedberg, Aaron L. The Future of U.S.-China Relations: Is Conflict Inevitable? International Security (2005): 7-45.
Mann, James. About Face: A History of America’s Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton. American Foreign Policy Interests: The Journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (1999): 19-20.
Woo, Wing Thye. Understanding the Sources of Friction in U.S.–China Trade Relations: The Exchange Rate Debate Diverts Attention from Optimum Adjustment*. Asian Economic Papers (2008): 61-95.
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