U. S. and China are two of the most powerful countries in the world with two very different ideologies (Cheung 1998). After Chinese communists took power in 1949, U. S. and China had been enemies until Nixon visited China in 1972 which made these two countries allies against the Soviet Union. While this good relationship did not last long, after the June 4 massacre and the collapse of the former Soviet Union and its eastern European bloc, the Sino-U. S. relations are more competitive than cooperative. Under this circumstance, the current American policy towards China should be: containment first, cooperation second.
First U. S. needs to contain China’s military and political might to prevent it becoming a new Soviet Union. To achieve this, America should focus on the following tasks: first, U. S. should focus on the war of hearts and minds to spread the ideas of freedom and democracy to Chinese people (especially intellectuals and the youth); second, assist independent organizations human rights activists inside China; third, support American allies around China (especially Japan and Taiwan) both politically and militarily. While confronting China in many areas, U. S.
and China need to cooperate on a number of important issues, such as economy, anti-terrorism, climate change, pandemic control, and nuclear non-proliferation, etc. In addition to facilitate a peaceful transformation of China, U. S. should help maintain the balance across the Taiwan Straits and assist China and Southeast Asian countries to solve the South China Sea islands disputes peacefully. To sum it up, though a democratic, free new China is in US interest, America should not push China too hard now while facing many big problems including the current economic recession.
But U. S. should also be firm about its basic principles, not sending China wrong messages by saying that human rights issue should not affect the overall Sino-U. S. relationship (Clinton, as cited in Kralev, 2009). References Cheung, G. (1998). Market liberalism: American foreign policy toward China. New Jersey: Transaction Pulishers. Kralev, N. (2009, February, 21). “Clinton riles with rights remarks”. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www. washingtontimes. com/news/2009/feb/21/clinton-says-rights-take-back-seat-to-climate-chan/
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