Prepared by the researcher – Dana Nabil Abu-Hlatam
Democratic Arab Center
Journal of Political Science and Law : Twenty-Fifth Issue – November 2020
A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin. The journal deals with the field of Afro-Asian strategic, political and economic studies
This research aims to study the Chinese-American bilateral relations between the period 2008-2018 and to study the impact of these relations on political, economic and military aspects as it relates to global politics. In order to achieve the purposes of the study, this research used systems analysis as a study methodology. The thesis questions the effect of the bilateral relations between China and the United States of America on the global market and examine the impact of the bilateral political sphere on the global politics. It also looks for the international economic and political competition between the two countries. This study concludes that China and the United States of America (USA) are seeking to maintain power and influence across all domains by using different economic competition. The two countries shape the structure of world politics and need to ensure stability and security in the region to reach their goals. China had used the international disputes to build a political and economic base and developed economically and use its economic power to become the leader of this bilateral relations. The two countries need to build more trusted relations and engage in more cooperate as trust is crucial in their bilateral relations.
Most of the political analysis and studies agree that at the present time, the bilateral relation between China and America is one of the most important relations in the twenty-first century. It is a balanced relation that contains complex interests, competition, and conflict; this relation is a different model of International Relation that had taken place in political history. Moreover, it is made of several contradictory elements governed by the pragmatic utility of both countries. Within this relation, there are combinations of mutual economic, political, defense, and scientific exchanges.
The bilateral economic and political cooperation is a model of unique International Relations and thus international and regional issues. The Sino-American bilateral relations can be seen as a complex relation; it contains both cooperation and competition. These relations can be understood by understanding the political context of the region.
The main question of research is how the bilateral relations between China and America affect international politics, and it contains the following sub-questions:
- Do the Sino-American economic bilateral relations affect the ongoing exchanges in the global market?
- Do the bilateral relations between China and the United States of America in the political sphere affect global politics either negatively or positively?
- Can the bilateral relations between China and the United States of America be a model of international economic and political competition?
- The current study is based on a basic premise that Chinese-American bilateral relations influence international politics. Based on the questions of the study, the researcher suggests the following main hypothesis that is based on the following sub-assumptions:
- Chinese-American bilateral economic exchange affects the global market.
- The political bilateral relations between China and the United States of America affect the global policies in negatively and positively ways.
- The Chinese-American relations are a model for the importance of international relations to international politics.
Importance of the Study
China maintained a level of economic growth at the world economic crisis not as America and Europe countries did, this gave China a boost in trade exchanges in the global market (Namini, 2017, Article). The economic strength and the neutralization of military power between the two countries presence in the final calculations of strength and weakness elements.
The study has scientific important, it is looking for the impact of relations between the two countries on international politics. In which this provide the Arab library a scientific study and a practical model to study the bilateral relations of major countries and their impact on international policies, which means the settlement of future studies in Jordan and the Arab world.
Aldedeb, Fahed Bin Farhan, 2010, Mouta, “The U.S.-Sino Relations (1989-2010)” (unpublished thesis)
The aim of this study is to examine American-Chinese relations between the duration 1989 and 2010, focusing on the interests and differences between the two parties. It identifies the nature of American-Sino relations and the impact of these relations on the future of the unipolar international situation represented by America and its impact on creating a balance of power in International Relations. The differences between the two researches that this research study focuses on the impact of Sino-US relations on international politics, but our thesis focused on the general relation between America and China.
Saadi, Mohammad, 2006, The Future of International Relation from the Clash of Civilizations to the Establishment of Civilization and the Culture of Peace.
This book examined the future of International Relations and its thesis, the clash of civilizations, through exposure to the concept of globalization, the situation of the West after the attacks of September atheist, and the dialogue of cultures and culture of peace between nations, and instead of clash of civilizations activates dialogues to culture of global peace. This book contributed to the field of knowledge, and related to the theories of International Relations, there is an absence of scientific research in the context but showed the establishment of civilization and peace culture and the future of International Relations. This book helps our study to get deeper understanding of IR and its origin and future.
Salmoun, Yasin Shalan, 2013, Damascus, Change in the International Order and its Impact on the Chinese Foreign Policy Towards America an Applied Study in the Post-Cold War. (unpublished thesis)
This study looks for the strengths of China in the international system and the status of both America and China within the scope of changes in the international system as America, with its strengths, the greatest pole in the changes in the system. China, with its strong assets, is one of the poles of the international system. This researcher studied the Chinese foreign policy toward the United States of America and focused on the most important changes in the international system that led to changes in China’s foreign policy towards the United States of America and the impact of this change. The study focused on the impact of the change in the international system on the main orientations of Chinese policy toward the United States but in this thesis, the researcher is looking for the impact of the Sino-American relations on the international politics instead of international system.
Spatial Determinants: The People’s Republic of China and the United States of America and the international arena.
The Bilateral Relations between China and America from 2008-2018.
The bilateral relations between China and America are considered one of most important International Relations in the political system in 21th century. The concept “the big two countries” is what others use to describe this relationship in which these two counties are playing a significant role in shaping the international system. These relations could be described as complex in which they have a high level of economic interdependence between them. Meanwhile, China is making steps to maintain its economically and militarily control in the western pacific at the expense of America .
Chinese economic, political and military aspects have been raised rapidly within the period 2008-2018. The international system had experienced transformations in the global system, the “unipolar” system in world politics seemed to approach its twilight
America is trying to prevent the Chinese from rising to maintain its unipolarity in the world system. America created the international order upon a network of trade agreements, international institutions and military alliances to measure predictability to world politics. The current international order based on free trade, multilateral cooperation to address global challenges and to reach global peace and stability .
China’s enormous material and population potential pursuit to comprehend the development plans, it is seen as most contenders for America’s hegemony in the new century. China had been able to lead in figures: economic growth, production, export volume and cash reserve. This led the world to focus on Asia and South East. China aspires to become the stronger influencer in the region, but the United States of America is concerned about the Chinese rise and changed its foreign policy towards the east to restore balance in East Asia and the pacific .
There is political competition between China and America based on economic, military and social aspects. As China aspires to strengthen its regional and international role (commercial in particular), on the other hand, America seeks to maintain its interest and status in the international system. With the complexity of International Relations and their effectiveness on world order, the cooperation and rivalry between Beijing and Washington will not only affect Southeast Asia but also other countries around the world. This bilateral relation will affect the world system too.
After the global financial crisis (2007-2008), China criticized America’s system and the role it played in shaping the international system. Sino had blamed America for being the reason behind the economic crisis and failure to assess Chinese vital role by bringing international collective response. The Chinese media (political media) had scolded America’s policy for alleged Chinese interests and interference with China’s Asian neighbors such as South China Sea.
Beijing and Washington worked together to create more world order, peace and regional stability. Both worked together in many regional security issues including North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East including Iran. Both countries cooperated to reach human rights, suffering from climate change human rights and facing military development (arms race) .
China used to see itself as a developing country, unready to form the global order or to assume the global responsibilities unlike the USA. Despite its economic ascent over the past three decades, China still doesn’t play a significant role in the international system compared to the United States of America. But after world financial crisis in 2008 and Chinese economic growth, China’s role in the international system has changed and become a significant player in creating global security.
The economic and trade ties between China and the United States of America have grown exponentially over the past decades. The rise of China boosted the bilateral relations between China and America in the economic field. China is the largest trading partner to America, while America is China’s second largest trading partner. However, the recent trade friction between the two countries had significant impact on the global economy. Both countries are the world’s largest economies, accounting for about 40% of the global economy and over 22% of the world’s export of goods (Based on 2016 figures of the World Bank and the World Trade Organization respectively).
Since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship, the trade relations between the two countries developed rapidly. Both countries have benefited from the partnership. Both countries had grown deeper and build in a mutually beneficial relationship and convergence in interest. The deep cooperation has boosted economic growth, industrial upgrading and structural optimization in both China and America, in addition to that it enhanced the affectivity of the global value chain.
Chinese goods are value money, their low cost of labor had helped America in maintaining their economic and tackling the economic crisis (cash-strapped). In 2008, “the total sales of American goods in the Chinese market, including goods exported from the U.S. to China, amounted to $224.7 billion, close to the value of goods China exported to the U.S. in 2008, which stood at $252.3. The two countries were almost balanced in terms of sales after adjustment for value-adding freight and insurance fees”.
In 2017, the Unites State’s total merchandise imports from China amounted to U.S.$505.5 billion (HK$3.94 trillion), an increase of 390% compared to 2001. Over that period, its total merchandise exports to China have grown by 570% to $129.9 US billion (HK$1.01 trillion). On the U.S. side, this represented a trade deficit in goods with China at U.S.$375.6 billion (HK$2.92 trillion). On the other hand, the U.S. maintained a trade surplus with China in services at a value of $40.2 US billion (HK$313.3 billion) (China’s General Administration of customs (2018)).
Over the past three decades, the bilateral economic and trade relations have been growing rapidly along with the Chinese economic development of its reform and opening-up. The trade and economic relations between Sino and America played a huge role in maintain stability in the world economy. China and America have enhanced trust cooperation in growing mutual economic benefits and potential mutual interests in maintaining peace and prosperity underline a possible structure for the Chinese-American relations .
As part of non-government state role, in 2005, C. Fred Bergsten initiated a Chinese-American G-2 to gain wider currency and scope for foreign policy experts who were China and the US could work together in solving for global problems and to prevent Cold War.
America and China are world two largest economies. According to China GDP annual growth rate, the Chinese economy advanced 6.5 percent year on year in the September quarter of 2018. It was the lowest growth rate since the first quarter of 2009 during global financial crisis. The GDP annual growth rate in China averaged 9.58 percent from 1989-2018 (according to trading China growth annual). On the other hand, the United States of America expanded 3 percent in the third quarter of 2018 over the same quarter of the previous years; GDP annual growth rate in America averaged 3.20 percent from 1948 until 2018.
Bilateral relations are crucial to future development of the world economy. According to the United Nations comrade database on international trade, United States imports from China beverages, spirits and vinegar was 78.16 million dollars during 2017.
However, America has been constantly challenging China in economic field, as a result, the economic friction between the two sides has escalated rapidly within a short time. This has caused a huge damage in the world economy, especially serious damage to the economic and trade relations between the two countries. This led to solve issues between the two governments and the two citizens and led to a threat regarding the multilateral trading system and the principle of free trade.
China and America are the world’s largest economic has a significant tension, that Americans are worry of being overtaken by China as global economic super power. China made remarkable progress regarding economic growth and volume of international trade. “the US GDP per capita of $61687 in nominal terms in 2018 and ranked 8th in the world, US ranks 13th in terms of PPP, whereas China has GDP per capita $ 9377 and $17943 in PPP terms and ranks 74th in the world nominal terms and 78th in PPP terms .
Chinese trade renaissance has not stopped at this level, but also launched the project “new silk road” that aim to revive and develop the historic silk road. This project contains construction of networks of the road railways, oil, power lines, internet and gas pipelines. Through this project, China will promote economic, cultural, tourism cooperation with other countries to achieve stability and sustainable development in China. This also will open doors to China in various countries of the world and will sweep all American and European economic plans. It is expected by 2030 that the Chinese economy will be the largest economy in the world.
Periodically, China’s economy gets enlarged at the period of global financial crisis. Sino kept maintaining consistent trade surplus with United States too and in 2017 China had a trade surplus with America worth 275.81$ billion. In January 2018, Trump imposed tariffs on solar panel and washing machines, then he added steel and aluminium tariff (25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminium imports) in order protecting national security (sigma, 2018, article). China has announced its retaliation policy by imposing tariffs on 128 US products. The trade tension between the US and China is shifting from cooperative relation to a non-cooperative in international trade, self-interested actions turned out in the world community.
China aims to limit America role in the international system and to decrease US hegemony, conversely it supports other countries to have an economic position in the international society. With the rise of new powers in the international system, the 21st century has witnessed a shift in power calculus. Because of the slow pace of creating peace in the global system that reflects current economic and political realities, China has started to create its own multilateral lending organizations. Such as “new development Bank (BRICS bank) that was built after the reform of (BRICS) group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) a new constellation in the world system, that focus in improving the global economic situation and reforming financial institutions. These 4 countries share similar objectives, since its formal inception in 2009, the group has met every year. They aim to become more involved in global affairs. In 2014, they reformed BRICS development Bank and Fund US$ 100 billion to protect BRICS currencies from speculative attacks.
This group aimed to create a multipolar world, they demand a revival for the United Nations Security, reform the international finance system (WTO), (WB) and (IMF). The (BRICS) is an interregional group to emerge powers and raise its status to create a multipolar world.
After World War II, United States of America created a global circling network created by military alliance to promote peace and international cooperation. This international order provides stability in world politics and reflects America economy and political performance to be a superpower country (Maher, 2018, p. 516). Over the past two decades, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has increased its military spending over 11 percent per year and transferred itself to become a capable and modern “technology and skill level”.
America has interest in keeping weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated weapons out of unstable regions and away from terrorists. America wanted China to limit its weapon sale program and end its relations with its trouble’s clients. In recent years, China started controlling and preventing proliferation of missile and nuclear technologies as a response to the US request.
America is anxiously looking over Chinese military spending that kept increasing over the years and the growing strength of the Chinese army and this considered as a threat to American interest in the pacific over the long term.
A peaceful and stable world is an interest of both China and the US. America keeps combating Islamic fundamentalist terrorist, but China was concerned with its own terrorists who have been bombing city buses, shopping areas in cities of Xinjiang.
In general, Sino-American military relations have been characterized by volatility and less developed than their economic counterpart. This fluctuation is due to the position of both countries regarding to problematic issues between them, especially Taiwan. In 2010, the United States of America decided to sell 6.4-billion-dollars’ worth of arms to Taiwan. Following this decision, the Chinese government suspended its military relationship with America until the end of 2010. This led to arrange the tenth round of defense talks between the two countries based on Asia Military Balance 2016, p.13-17.
The Chinese and American military relations have followed different development paths, China reformed the Chinese military force rapidly after the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996 (China’s defense spends around 11 percent per year (1996-2015) and started modernizing its capabilities and focus on developing air, cyber and counterpace capacities and naval forces. On the other hand, the American military budget increased rapidly after the attacks of September 2001, in 2015 America defense spending was 560$ billion, 57 percent more than in 1996.
The Chinese government believed that strengthening military relations with America means strategic gains for China and the possibility of sending political messages through it. China knows that the military modernization process requires accumulated experience such as the America military, in terms of combat efficiency of the capabilities and possibilities. China also needed to cooperate with America in the military field to strength its global role in combat to international terrorism, piracy and participation in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance.
China wants to convey to the United States of America to stop interfering in maritime disputes issues (South and East China Sea). China has its own issues as its own sovereign issue that could affect the Chinese national security. As a result, China and the US agreed to expand their military exchanges and training to build more stable relations. This move was launched through Chinese Defense Minister’s Zhang WanQuan visit to America and meeting America Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel in Washington Aug 2013.
China aims to increase its military strength not only for controlling and extending its influence in Asia, but also to protect its vital strategic supplies, such as the oil.China and the United States of America recognized that the China-US military relationship could be stabilizing factor for their bilateral relationship, and to become a productive mil-mil relationship. The two nations are improving communication between each other nation militaries to reduce the risk of misunderstanding. Both countries are aiming to build confidence measures and develop military to military crisis DE-confliction and communication framework.
The long-simmering geopolitical competition between China and the United States of America is shows implications for the Korean Peninsula. China and DPRK share long border and have a stable relationship that has reshaped the power structure and restores stability in the peninsular. Sino and North Korea bear a huge strategic pressure from the US-ROK military alliance. The key to settling the North Korea nuclear weapon issue is to offer security guarantees to North Korea, in return, North Korea could transfer its nuclear assets to a third party. But with regards to low trust between the United State of America, and North Korea, any kind of guaranties must be multilateral (not only US) but also China, so China is playing a very important and unique role in pressing North Korea to transfer its nuclear assets.
Chinese-American Relations in World Politics
Taiwan is one of the most sensitive issues in US – China relations. It was defeated by the communist forces in the Chinese civil war. During the Korean War, protecting Taiwan by the US military was important to America to stop the spread of communism in Asia and protect US forces and interest in the Pacific. Taiwan’s location has a significant benefit in terms of trade and economic interests for American and China.
Taiwan remained a complex issue facing bilateral relations between China and America. China has never stopped modernizing its armed forces. Since 1979, it has steadily increased its military spending by more than 10 percent annually, except in 1987 and 2009. These arm sales to Taiwan got criticized by PRC, stressing that America is interfering in an internal affair. President Jiang himself took charge of the new Taiwan crisis in March 1996; China tested ballistic missiles on all sides of the island and announced intercepting arms shipments. The crisis ended after America sent two aircraft carriers to the Taiwan Straits, but China was able to clarify its viewpoint on rejecting any thought of accepting Taiwan’s declaration of independence. Within the years, Taiwan lost its statehood, but it was still a close ally and well secured by America. President Bush’s declared that “the U.S. would do its utmost to help Taiwan defend itself”.
If America stops providing Taiwanese weapons and ends its official relations with Taiwan, China believes that it will be easier to resolve its differences with Taiwan. China has also proposed a “one country, two systems” policy to achieve reunification between the two parties of Taiwan Strait.
Since the election of President MA Ying-Jeou in March 2008, he has attempted to expand social and economic linkages with PRC, as the relations have reached into singing economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) in June 2010, which provided “privileged access to Chinese markets and other economic benefits for various important constituencies in Taiwan” Ma’s policy started with reassurances toward China and pledged continuation for the “‘three-no’s’ principle – no unification, no independence and no use of force”: “I sincerely hope that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can seize this historic opportunity to achieve peace and co-prosperity. Under the principle of ‘no unification, no independence, and no use of force,’ as Taiwan’s mainstream public opinion holds it, and under the framework of the ROC Constitution, we will maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait”. Ma was willing to expand cross-strait economic and social relations. Since 2008 until 2014, China and Taiwan have signed (21) economic agreements. Ma has not pursued Taiwan’s independence which enabled China and Taiwan to have a closer relation. Obama’s administration has regarded this improvement in the relations as a significant, important and beneficial one for stability in the region. In the 2011 Sino-US joint statement, Obama said “The United States appreciates the framework agreement for cross-strait economic cooperation and welcomes new channels of communication between the two countries.” The United States supports the peaceful development of cross-strait relations “according to the White House 2011.
Obama acknowledged the three signed communiqués between China and America to recognize the One China policy as a sole legal government. He also emphasized the importance of US – Taiwan relations and Taiwan relations act to create base for Taiwan-American relations. On the other hand, America helped in maintaining Taiwan’s stability, peace and security by providing arm defense as well as assisting Taiwan in creating self-defense capability according to Department of Defense 2015.
South China Sea Conflict
The South China Sea is an important part of East Asia because it is one of the biggest flash -points in Asia. Many countries, including China, several neighboring countries and the United States, have demanded those who control hundreds of small islands there, and the water that surrounds them provides this route to the 3.5 million square kilometers of waters.
Currently, China and America disagreed over the South China Sea. The conflict was raised by the fact that America is not a member of the United Nations convention on the law of the sea (UNCLOS). However, America claimed that” peaceful surveillance activities and other military activities without permission in a country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)”. In addition, the South China Sea is a free access and has economic and geopolitical interests from America.
Hillary Clinton as a United States Secretary of State supported the freedom of navigation and the respect for international law as a matter of national interest to America as a response, China warned America of making the South China Sea an international or multilateral issue. China’s rapidly rising power and its recourse to” make the conflict has become more contentious. The main global issues played a key role in determining the nature of the Sino-American relations. Taiwan issue was one of the main issues resulting in tension in the bilateral relations between China and America, in which China consider Taiwan as a part of its “One China “principle and can’t recognize it as an independent country separate from the China mainland. Despite the occasional U.S. statement, America military and political presence in Taiwan and Washington’s supportive stance toward Taiwan policy were considered as a challenge and great concern for China.
In addition, the Chinese ambition to become a superpower was largely linked to the Taiwan issue, as the return of Taiwan to China signified more political and economic power for China, meanwhile reducing American presence and influence in East, South East and the international system in general.
After the end of the world war, America was caught between two opposing directions, either supporting Taiwan to apply democracy in the Asian region or leaning toward the Chinese side and growing the bilateral interests with China. This made America slow down before making decision on Taiwan, which would affect the bilateral relations.
The history regarding Chinese-American conflict dated to 1949. In the same year, the Chinese-Taiwan conflict began. Taiwan followed China’s policy until 1895 when Japan captured the land. Following the defeat of Japan in the World War 2, Taiwan returned to China in 1945. However, the Kuomintang headed by the general Jiang Kai Shek refused to establish a coalition government with the Chinese Communist Party and launched a civil war. After three years of the victory of the Chinese communist party, the Kuomintang forces withdrew from the mainland to Taiwan (China’s south eastern island) with an encouragement of America that still supports the Taiwan government until this day, which officially calls itself the republic of China.
Since 2013, China has built artificial islands on seven sites in the South China Sea. In May 2018, America hosted (RIMPAC) Rim of the Pacific maritime exercise over China’s sites. PRC argued that such operations infringe on its sovereignty and undermine “peace, security and order”. America claimed this (RIMPAC) to have the right to sail, fly, and operate in this area and to offer to its military the freedom of navigation operations in the sea.
Iran’s Nuclear Deal
Since 1950s, Iran has started its nuclear program with assistance of America. However, in 1979, the Iranian revolution stopped nuclear research after Khmeini has issued a religious ruling (fatwa) prohibiting nuclear weapons. In 1990s, Iran returned to pursue its nuclear program in cooperation with Russia and China. A crisis called Iranian nuclear program escalated after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Although Iran pledged in the Grand Bargain that it will stop supporting Hamas and Hezbollah for a full guarantee from America, Bush administration rejected the offer. In 2006, the “Five Plus One” group (US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany) began negotiations with Iran regarding Iran nuclear weapon. Technically, the Iranians have reached advanced stages in the technology of enriching uranium for manufacture nuclear weapon.
The Islamic republic of Iran represents a serious challenge to the interests of America in the Middle East. Most worrisome for US policymakers is Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapon. America and its allies have tried to discourage Iran from developing its capacity through combination of sanctions and treats; however, Iran has continued in enriching uranium. The sanctions regime imposed on Iran dependent actors such as Russia, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. China is also considered as an important element to the United States if America wins its cooperation in discouraging Iran from developing its capacity to manufacture nuclear weapon.
But to this date, China refuses to support substantial sanctions on Iran in view of the strong partnership between the two countries over the past three decades. The cooperation between Beijing and Tehran are based on China’s energy and resource needs and the arms sales as well as the cooperation in defense and geostrategic balance field against America.
Due to international pressure and the need for protection and survival, Iran becomes heavily dependent on China economically, diplomatically and military.
From the Chinese perspective, Iran is a strategic partner against America. Iran has the huge oil and natural gas reserve that can drive development in China, as it is a growing market for Chinese goods. In addition, Iran isolated and involved in a conflict with America, and this is a unique opportunity for China to exert its influence in the Middle East and reduce American influence in the Persian Gulf.
Even though China has a strong economic relation with America, it is concerned about US intentions, more specifically, it is concerned about the ability of United States to control global strategic area and reduce Chinese supply of energy in any potential military conflict, such that happened in Taiwan. In this way Iran is helping China diplomatically and economically in countermanding the American influence in the Middle East.
In April 2015, Obama declared that if the negotiations succeeded and fully guaranteed Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons technology, he will enter into a comprehensive agreement (The Iranian nuclear program agreement). China was the most eager to ensure the success of the negotiations of this deal. This was clear when China proposed to include a negotiation framework based on reciprocal waiver step by step to make it success. These efforts had a huge beneficial on China political position and its economy.
China has played a role in all stages of the negotiations. It has also contributed to resolve the differences between Washington and Tehran. After reaching plan (JPOA) in November 2014, China put a negotiation framework:
- Commitment to dialogue between G5+1 and Iran.
- Pursuing a comprehensive, just, appropriate and long-term solution.
- Following the principles of solution step by step.
- Creating a conducive atmosphere to dialogue and negotiate.
- Following a comprehensive approach to address the symptoms and the roots of the subject.
International Relations consist of bilateral relations between countries, especially the major ones. China and America shape international politics and consider as an influential leader in international order. There is an economic and trade competition between China and the United States of America and this affects the bilateral relations between them. China needs political stability to reach economic development to maintain its position in the international system and to twilight America’s hegemony. Instead, America trying to contain China’s rise and want to maintain its superpower position by using military power and following sanctions policies.
Both China and America focus on convergence points with each other rather than the differences. Therefore, we can see that China is the one who’s leading the relations not America, by using economic competition rather than the military one. This thesis shows the impact of economic power on the political relations and international system too.
The reform of bilateral relations between the two countries had a scope of globalization, transnational natural of many global threats and challenges as well as economic interdependence that shape and influence the political dynamics within Sino-American bipolarity.
The bilateral relations between China and America have been formed a new model of International Relations after the Post-Cold War. China has entered economic competition to be an important member in the international community by forming BRICS group and developed its economic relations by launching One Belt One Road initiative in 2013.
China had followed many theoretical approaches, starting with constructivism in its rising, following with realist in dealing with foreign counties, and communism (Marxism) in its internal policies. On the other hand, America had followed liberalism as its theatrical approach in dealing with foreign affairs and led to create liberal international system.
The Chinese-American relations followed the neorealist theory to create a stable international system. In global issues, China and America aimed to maintain stability in the global system by using soft power. The two countries recognized the importance of each other to reach peace and stability, China develop its military power and use its deterrence military power instead of aggression force to maintain stability. The United States of America develop its military power to fight terrorism to reach global peace.
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