Not only is the world in transition, but the process of transition in East Asia has speeded up since the global financial crisis in 2008, and especially since the leadership change in China two and a half years ago. Is the United States keeping up with these changes or is it mired in an effort to protect the status quo, while ceding to others control over the direction of change? Does China have the capability to contest the U.S. position as the guarantor of East Asian security?
Two recent reports have triggered a discussion surrounding the evolution of US policy toward China. The fundamental choice confronting policymakers is whether to respond to China’s rise by accommodating its ambitions or to challenge the People’s Republic by attempting to reassert or double down on American preeminence in the Asia-Pacific region. Kissinger Institute Director Robert Daly explains the options during this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
China’s growing military power has fueled a security competition with the United States, increasing the risk of war between the two countries. To reduce this likelihood, the United States and China should negotiate a grand bargain in which the United States ends its commitment to defend Taiwan, and China agrees to resolve its maritime territorial disputes peacefully and accepts the United States’ long-term military presence in East Asia.
Ideology is once again playing a major role in U.S.-China relations. Government warnings against the pernicious influence of “Western values” have surged under Xi Jinping. And that concern has influenced policies toward the Internet, traditional media, culture and entertainment, universities, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations. Can China succeed in blocking Western influence? That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND.
The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is seeking to make its mark in the global development finance arena. Some have voiced concerns over the notion that the bank could have a negative impact on “good governance,” and this is among the reasons the US has opposed the idea. But is that the best posture for Washington to assume? And what impact will the AIIB have in the realm of soft power? Kissinger Institute Director, Robert Daly, addresses these and other questions in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
Since Xi Jinping took over the role of general secretary of the Chinese Communist party in November 2012 there has been a tightening of social, political and economic controls, alongside a renewed emphasis on propaganda and ideological work. China’s president will face resistance if he fails to readjust, writes Anne-Marie Brady.
China's Education Minister Yuan Guiren, has been speaking out about the threat of Western values and ideas on China’s college campuses. He said, “Young teachers and students are key targets of infiltration by enemy forces,” and added that “some countries,” fearful of China’s rise, “have stepped up infiltration in more discreet and diverse ways.” Can the government’s latest attempts to tighten controls over China’s intellectual discourse succeed? That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
It should come as no surprise that China prefers to treat individuals, information, and institutions in the international sphere as it treats them within its own borders. China’s fast-emerging competition with the United States in the rule-making arena is an attempt to have Chinese values and standards accepted as legitimate alternatives to established international standards and practices. This month’s newsletter kicks off with three short articles that, read together, present a balanced picture of the competition to make global rules—a competition that increasingly shapes bilateral relations.
The new year in U.S.-China relations began in the uncertain afterglow of President Obama’s and General Secretary Xi’s November summit in Beijing. Those meetings—Xi was said to spend more time with Obama than with all other national leaders combined—were widely read as a joint effort to ease the friction and mutual suspicion that had characterized relations since Xi and Obama met at Sunnylands in 2013.
China has just made its biggest foreign policy adjustment since 1989. The bigger question here is, what is the grand strategy behind Xi’s plans? Kissinger Institute Global Fellow, Zheng Wang writes about China's evolving foreign policy under Xi Jinping.