Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week #6 U.S. Foreign Policy Strategy with China

Relevance

Continual growth and development of strategies are critical in U.S. foreign policy - they set the tone for future relations with other countries and determine whether or not the U.S. has a "Canada" (friendly, cooperative, respectful), "Mexico" (more transactional, respect may be one-sided), or a "Russia" (tension, rivalry mindset, professional contempt).

U.S. Planes and China's Claim on Airspace

This week without notification 2 U.S. bombers flew over islands in the East China Sea where China has claimed their airspace. China responds by sending in more carriers into the island region. Japan claims these islands are theirs but China disagrees. The speculation is that there may be large mineral deposits on these islands that China wants. Also, China and Japan have always had a shaky relationship.

Significance

Since its entrance into the modern world and its adoption of Chinese capitalism, China has transformed itself into an economic powerhouse. Despite poor societal freedom, corruption and weak supportive services to its people, the popularity of the Chinese government remain high due to its successful economic stewardship. One current focus of China is to claim as much territory as possible for shipping routes and airspace. This aggressive behavior has created tension with Japan, the Philippines, and other South Eastern countries. The U.S. has responded with stronger alliances, more military exercises, and greater military presence (e.g., more U.S. naval ships posted in Australia). The U.S. response is seen by China as imperialistic oversight and a step forward in trying to control/encircle China.

The unique differentiator in this scenario is how closely tied the U.S. economy is with China's economy. Mutual attrition is a prisoner's dilemma but it seems that these 2 countries plan to respond in this manner.

Question

How should the U.S. re-strategize it foreign policy with an ambitious China, one of our largest trading partners, so that we can minimize a Cold War mentality and make it into a win-win relationship?

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