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China-US relations « Previous | |Next »
October 3, 2005

In a recent speech to the National Committee on US China Relations Robert Zoellick, the Deputy Secretary of State, was critical of China----many Americans worry that the Chinese dragon will prove to be a fire-breather. China is an emerging new power and some American Republicans are more than uneasy.

Zoellick said that the templates of the past do not apply to US China relations these days:

If the Cold War analogy does not apply, neither does the distant balance-of-power politics of 19th Century Europe. The global economy of the 21st Century is a tightly woven fabric. We are too interconnected to try to hold China at arm’s length, hoping to promote other powers in Asia at its expense. Nor would the other powers hold China at bay, initiating and terminating ties based on an old model of drawing-room diplomacy. The United States seeks constructive relations with all countries that do not threaten peace and security. So if the templates of the past do not fit, how should we view China at the dawn of the 21st Century?

His response was in terms of there being a cauldron of anxiety about China in the US. Zoellick referred to mercantalism, Chinese competitiveness, which is devastating US industry (textiles and machine tools), its military buildup, and its rise as a military power in its own region. China, he says, needs to act as a responsible major global player.

Zoellick then added that:

The United States will not be able to sustain an open international economic system ---or domestic U.S. support for such a system –---without greater cooperation from China, as a stakeholder that shares responsibility on international economic issues.

That's a shot across the bows.

Tony Walker, the Australian Financial Review's Washington correspondent, comments that Zoellick did not refer to the US not acting responsibly when it erroneously blames China for America's ballooning trade and current account deficits. Walker rightly says that a larger revaluation of China's currency within realistic parameters would not make the slightest bit of difference.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:25 PM | | Comments (1)
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By the same token, the Development-state model that China, Japan, South Korea and others practise is contributing to the big bulge that is the US Treasury Debt.