Over the past 50 years or so, the US’ China policy has been controlled by former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger’s ideas. The policy has sacrificed principles and given China special treatment, going out of its way to make sure that US policy direction remained in place to avoid criticism that it had failed.
The US has fantasized about how trade and economic exchanges with China would help turn it into a democracy, relieve domestic oppression and promote its peaceful coexistence with the international community, going so far as to threaten the rest of the world with the idea that if China were to collapse, the world would not be able to handle the wave of Chinese refugees.
During former US president Barack Obama’s terms in office, Kissinger’s view began to lose currency as China’s behavior made it clear that the US’ assumptions and prognoses were wrong: China is not developing into a benign direction, but rather is engaged in malevolent expansion.
China, the deceptive kingdom of false statements, accounts and agreements, is relying on theft and fraud to get its hands on Western science and technology, and counting on unfair trade practices to gain market share in the West.
As Beijing has gotten carried away with this, it has unilaterally tried to break up the post-war global order and establish its own hegemonic power.
In a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Oct. 4, US Vice President Mike Pence marked the end of Kissinger’s thinking on China.
The administration of US President Donald Trump is treating China as a competitor and it is now openly challenging Beijing’s unfair competition practices and hegemony.
The Chinese media are loyal to the Chinese Communist Party and they are pumping up their own courage, saying that China will win an easy victory and that pro-unification advocates in Taiwan will shrug off talk about China’s empty “ascent” as they make a fuss about time not being on Taipei’s side.
However, time really is on the democratic Taiwan’s side.
China does not have the ability to challenge the US. Its economy is highly dependent on the irreplaceable US market and its exporters rely on unfair methods and manipulation.
Targeted by the US’ punishing import tariffs, China has lost any competitiveness in the US market, and foreign investors are beginning to leave China.
It is already clear who will be the winner and who the loser in the US-China trade war.
China’s response is weak and Beijing is showing no intent to join the global market based on fair competition.
To everyone’s surprise, China is openly inciting US business circles and farmers to oppose Trump in an attempt to force him to fall in line. Beijing might even be doing exactly what Pence accused them of: attempting to bring Trump down by interfering with US domestic politics.
Kissinger and his followers assumed that the divisions between the US and China were restricted to the Taiwan question, but reality shows serious conflict between the US’ economic and strategic interests and those of China.
Meanwhile, time is showing that Taiwan is destroying the prevarication in the Shanghai Communique. It claims that “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.”
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Perry Svensson
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