American-Chinese relations based on diplomatic efforts

Derek Sutter and Derek Sutter

The Chinese-American relationship is perhaps the most important relationship between any two nations on today’s global political scene.

The U.S. and China have the world’s largest economies, with China’s GDP surpassing Japan’s in 2010 and still growing rapidly.

Both China and the U.S. have massive militaries and both have nuclear arsenals.

These two powers hold permanent seats on the ever-important U.N. Security Council, guaranteeing their influence on world events for years to come.

Because China and the U.S. are each so strong, their ability to cooperate and develop a level of mutual trust is vitally important to tackling global problems, be they world hunger, climate change or Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The U.S. and China can actually find large swaths of common ground on many present international issues.

Considering America’s unquenchable thirst for consumer goods and China’s export-oriented economy, the protection of trade between the two nations and the rest of the world is of vital interest to both Washington and Beijing.

In addition, both countries are concerned with terrorism, and some coordination on preventing the rise of more Jihadists should be considered.

On other issues, however, the atmosphere appears much less cooperative.

For instance, the U.S. has pledged that it will help protect the territory of Japan, yet Japan’s territorial claims overlap with China’s.

The U.S. has sold high-tech weapons to India, one of China’s regional rivals.

Perhaps most important, Beijing views Taiwan as a province of the People’s Republic, while the U.S. deals with Taiwan like an independent country, often selling them weapons used to fortify the island.

These disagreements between the world’s primary powers are not just unfortunate. As China’s wealth and strength continue to grow, its demands for accommodation and respect will likewise increase in volume, threatening the unipolar world order.

If harmony on earth is desirable, if the world’s problems are in urgent need of address, there must first be built a bridge of trust between China and the United States.

Achieving this trust is the global political challenge of this century.

Because China is the growing power, many of the disagreements ought to be resolved in a way that favors China. In the long run, this will also be helpful for the U.S.

The resolutions to these disagreements ought to be viewed as the building blocks in the bridge of trust that absolutely must be built.

The U.S., firstly, should stop selling weapons to India and Taiwan. These sales are making China into an enemy of the U.S. before China itself decides to become one.

Promoting a great improvement in relations between China and Japan is of supreme importance as well.

The U.S. is bound by word to protect Japan. It cannot go back on this promise, else the credibility of the U.S. would be devastated. Thus, the optimal solution is a better engagement between the Chinese and Japanese.

Most importantly, as the U.S. backs Japan, it should not be seen as backing the atrocities committed by the Japanese during World War II. Some public pressure from the U.S. on Japanese leaders that visit the Yasukuni Shrine and thus pay homage to war criminals is overdue.

Many other means may be utilized as building blocks in the bridge of trust and cooperation. Encouraging student exchanges between China and the U.S., increasing diplomatic dialogues, and deeper trade ties are just a few more ideas.

The important thing for the world’s future is that the bridge gets built.

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