The World Bank projects and places China as the fastest growing nation in the World. According to World Bank projections, the growth and expansion of China economic is a prospect that cannot be dismissed. Despite standing as a revisionist/reformist power, China is not far from overtaking the United States as the World super power. It remains on how China will defy the world order to reclaim its position as the new global superpower. China’s economic growth and technological advancement are the new drama of the twenty-first century. According to analysts, the rise and growth of China remain a phenomenon that may overthrow and change the currently existing order. Observers believe that China’s position in the global arena cannot be ignored nor taken for granted, especially by the world superpower the United States of America.
As the world watches the unfolding events both on the East and West nations, tensions and speculation remain high on the need to understand and absorb the reality and what the future holds for the two major superpowers. The United States and China remain locked in a battle that poses the possible threat to world peace and stability in addition to international systems leadership and legislations. It constitutes a possibility of an Asian-centered world order and the continued ascendance of Beijing. However, the rise and growth of China need not set hostilities and world instability as analysts believe and predict. Although speculations and projections point to increased domination of the rise of China on the international scale, it remains to be observed on how the United States will respond to China’s strategic positioning on the world stage. This memo outlines cautious measures that the new US President, Donald Trump can take to counter the rise and growth of China and the possible threats it poses in the country’s position as the sole superpower.
In the first 100 days in office, America’s interest has come first, on paper, though. As the US president, there is no other way of foreseeing what the future holds for the US in its foreign policy manifestos. During your campaign, you campaigned on a platform that puts American interest first and concentrating on “Making America Great Again.” It became your blueprint and selling point to voters, an approach that saw you emerge best in bringing the lost glory and maintaining the established world order. According to your strategic vision, your principle was bold and simple “America First,” putting the country’s interests first before anything else. According to analysts, you won the public attention by convincing them of the need to put America on its previous international stage (Department of State 1). In your inauguration speech, you declared that from that day on, America would be your first agenda, and it shall remain so all through your presidency. According to your guiding principle of foreign policy, America’s arch rivals are Russia and China (Shepherd 1). In your campaign rhetoric, you brandished China practicing “predatory” trade standards, a position that has allowed China to exploit America’s weak enforcement guiding principles, thus killing many jobs. Additionally, you claimed that China had been put up by the much money drained out of America.
It is no doubt that America remains the largest economy with the Europeans also rising in the pecking order. However, the growth and rise of China together with the Asian economic influence clearly demonstrate that a new country may change the pecking order. Currently, China remains the largest manufacturer and exporter of goods. It leads in smart phones, vehicles, oil, and remains the biggest market for companies from the US such as KFC and Daimler. Additionally, in 2012, the Asian country stood out as the greatest consumer of ornaments than any other European country. The above simple facts place China in an advantaged position globally to counter the US position economically. Through and by keen analysis, America needs to restructure and change its tactics in dealing with China failure to which President Xi’s strategies will put your administration in an awkward position globally. A fact and the position I am certain the US cannot take quickly.
According to Shepherd (1), many and the entire world, expectations was high on laying down a strategic blueprint to tackle the unfavorable trade and foreign policy practices undertaken by your key rival-China. Laying down this plan would have called upon you to make a radical change created by the former President, Obama. In Obama’s strategy, he forged the application of economic pacts that majorly included the TPP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership), meant to buttress China’s military measures and business maneuvers. However, your disdain for TPP and the NATO pact, made many to believe that you would come up with an alternative plan. Additionally, your major focus on calls for the extermination of radical Islamic terrorism takes the focus away from your previous mantra on America First. How you plan to achieve this remains a mystery as your fierce rivals’ device grand plans of achieving greatness and positioning themselves strategically to the right of their interest. Additionally, your geopolitical and economic shift may end the 500-year phase that saw the US dominate on global affairs. The erosion and alignment will cause by your aggressive approach to dealing with your arch rival, China on the international stage (Shepherd 1).
Foreign Policy: China First
According to your approach to China, you intend to focus more on combating unfair trade practices that allow China to benefit at the expense of America. Your choice of Robert Lighthizer, a fierce critic of China’s foreign policies, is a clear indication of an aggressive approach in tackling China’s rapid growth and possible tilt of the world order. Although trade remains the chief antagonism between the US and China, your focus has gone beyond trade pacts and policies (Shepherd 1). You have taken critical economic, political, military, and diplomatic features of the current competition of power, influence, and domination. Your first few weeks in office have seen you ignore your chief rival, China, giving them much ground to gain on international affairs and standings. In January during the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, you sent no representative to the conference. China, on the other hand, sent a full delegation, headed by the President, Mr. Xi Jinping, the first ever appearance of a Chinese leader in such a gathering. In his speech, President Xi denounced countries out to turn away from globalization, pointing to China as an example of internationalism and free trade. Delegates at the conference noted the gradual shift political influence as Washington abandoned its long working world stage position. Ignoring the conference marked a clear indication of your aggressive position and non-compliance on international affairs involving your fiercest rival (Department of State 1).
Later the same week, your office confirmed President Xi’s comment by withdrawing from the TPP negotiations, ceding US leadership role in guiding the Pacific-Asia region in trade agreements and pacts (Torbati et al., 1). Your response to the TPP agreements and decisions exposed your office as developing cold feet towards world engagement and abandoning globalization as the new way of trade agreements and associations, more so in situations that involve your rival, China. Your focus has been intended to deride the Chinese leadership and foreign policy, trade strategies while focusing on non-priority international affairs that expose the US standings as the world superpower. While your office derides on downplaying the aspects of new trade pacts between nations, China is gradually adopting a new mantra and focus, and that is, “Making China Great Again.” China has put its strategies in place and the last four decades has seen it concentrate more industrializing its manufacturing sector including aerospace, medical services, scientific exploration, and trade policies needed for its focus for 2030 as outlined in its economic blueprint. Taking an aggressive approach to dealing with China on the international stage on foreign policy may further weaken the United States stand as a global leader on democratic principles and trade pacts. While your blueprint and commerce treaties are still shrouded in mystery, China’s trade team is has concentrated on preserving its multibillion-dollar industry through and by currency complaints and barriers (Department of State 1). An aggressive approach by your administration will further give China ammunitions to propel its manufacturing sector to greater heights. For example, the killing of the TPP, without outlining an option has forced Asian allies to sign trade propositions on providing money, infrastructure, market access, and getting China’s support on security and economic agreements.
While you are focused on making America great by ignoring international calls for humanitarian crises, China is gradually taking advantage of the opportunity to strengthen its core foreign relations. Your refusal to accommodate Iraq refugees gave China an opportunity to align itself with some of your key allies, a strategy that will continue to undermine the country geopolitical standing and trade agreements with the larger Asian-Pacific region. Countering China aggressively by showing contempt to some of its foreign policies such as intake the Iraq refugees will only give the Chinese leader ammunitions to propel itself to the apex of international recognition. Ignoring calls from the international community on the need to show a human face on the plight of refugees may have a negative connotation that has the possibility of making China look better at mundane things that they were never recognized for such as intake of refugees. Much of your public rebuffs only end up favoring and benefiting China in the end. While your administration is busy condemning American enemies working with the Chinese, China as a country is gradually tightening its strategies to working towards its 2030 mission in technology, infrastructure, and economic progress (Meijer 15).
The United States and China need a deal and trade that will take away the current tension on which country is leading in which aspect. If your government can prepare a business blueprint, engage with China and trade, and avoid confrontational scenarios with other nations, America stands to gain and re-enforce its standing as the number one superpower without shouting it down the world’s throat (Torbati et al., 1, par 15). China does not need an enemy in the US government. China needs a trading partner. Your government has to accept the fact that China is on its way to building an enormous political, economic, and military outfit that may soon rival the US standing. Your government need not be afraid of China nor to demonize the country. An aggression strategy will only help bring out the best in the Chinese on the global stage.
Mr. President, your best strategy in countering the rise and growth of China is to adopt a cautious approach towards dealing with China and the world as a whole. An important fact that your administration needs to acknowledge is the fact that China is not out to reverse the world order. It has no unique moral values to underrate or underwrite the US position in the world order. China is not focusing on taking the United States head on in an economic, technological, military, or political scene. China stands out as a revisionist and reformist, and if your government can adopt a cautious and intelligent approach to dealing with China, the Chinese leaders will not look out for opportunities to focus on becoming a destructive power. Instead, it will continue accommodating US-China negotiations much to the benefit of your government and the United States at large (Department of State 1). China is conscious of its rising power but is not interested in replacing or competing with the US to attain the superpower status. However, a confrontational and aggressive approach to dealing with the country will bring out the best in all fronts; economically, technology-wise, politically, and foreign relations.
A close look at some of China’s regional strategies such as its Monroe Doctrine that aims at establishing a strong sphere of influence in addition to De-Americanization may be given strong focus if your government takes an aggressive approach towards the country. A typical example is the launch of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that excluded the US and further asserted the Chinese influence in the Asian-Pacific region. By announcing, that China will take on maintaining regional organization managed by Asians, it simply sent a signal to America and its allies of its growing influence. An aggressive approach by your government may give rise to such outfits aimed at De-Americanizing Asia-Pacific region with your government-losing grip of the region as China takes over.
Although globalization poses a challenge to the two governments, it would make little sense to engage with China in economic warfare. However, your proposed swinging tariffs on goods from China may open up another round of a war that the Chinese may not let go. President Xi’s tough-minded separatist may aggravate the situation by adopting aggressive measures aimed at undermining the US role and influence in the Pacific. While your government shows little interest in playing a central role in the Pacific, any attempt to interfere with the Chinese goods or trade pacts may backfire seriously for your government (Meijer 13).
On the surface, China is positioned for greater improvement and development, according to its “China, circa 1982” five-year plan. As President and in your admission, the Chinese are bold, confident, but insecure and paranoid (Department of State 1, par. 13). Your admission that you have dealt with the Chinese and that you understand the Chinese mind should be your starting point as President and a master negotiator with an exceptional deal-making skills. I believe you are poised to win with the Chinese. However, you need to differentiate dealing with the Chinese at a business level and dealing with them as President of the most powerful nation on earth. The Chinese are master game changes, and I believe that they also know the game of “Making China Great Again” same as your mantra of “Making America Great.” As President and an intelligent businessman, I believe you are at the same level with the Chinese. The difference will be marked on who will be the game changer. However, your greatest undoing will be your “back to the future” agenda that seeks to roll back old tired policies, and that will attempt to preserve big industries by tariff barriers and currency grievance. Additionally, an aggressive approach will be your greatest undoing in dealing with China. Your first mistake, although done grudgingly, without considering the consequences was the killing of the TPP with no strategic fallback plan. It was an aggression that is and will gradually expose China as the game changer in the Asian-Pacific region. Additionally proceeding with the trade remedies as you focus on previous challenges would only hamper American businesses and global chain supplies (Department of State 1).
Sir, your best focus, and plan should concentrate on reorganizing business relations with China and smart trade pacts that aim at restoring the relationship between the two countries without adopting an aggressive approach. First and foremost, these strategies will aim at a carefully planned approach to mending the tensed relationship the two nations without appearing to be taking advantage of the Chinese. Second, the objective should focus more on not looking at posing as a superpower, but as a trade partner and ally in the global scene. First and foremost, all engagements with the Chinese should be on a real reciprocity basis, in which case, the benefits will flow to both countries without one seeming to be disadvantaged. The second plan is to revitalize “Section 301 of the Trade Act” put in place in 1074 in addition to other commercial agreements that gave the president the power to impose retaliatory levies that made the US believe that other countries are applying wrong business strategies (Meijer 11). On a third note, are the resurrection and the re-branding of the TPP. It will demonstrate to the world and the business community that America looks forward to their business success. The above three strategies should be approached with care and caution since it may further complicate the US relations with other nations on trade pacts and agreements. Done on a national scale and with good will, the Chinese will not only view your administration with admiration; it will not go about laying strategies of controlling the Asian-Pacific region, a key feature in your foreign trade policies (Torbati et al., 1 par. 14). Additionally, you will need to accept the fact that China is the fastest growing market for most products from the US in addition to other nations interested in trading with China. These are products ranging from automobiles, agriculture, food, aviation, and the telecommunication industry that looks forward to the fast-growing market in China.
In his speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF), President Xi warned that “no one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.” Just a day after this keynote speech by President Xi, an annual survey revealed that over 80 percent stated that they felt unwanted in China with a significant percentage reporting that they have little confidence that China will trade with the US comfortably. The forum and responses days later exposed what the world believed would mark the US-China relations. Apparently, the Chinese leader expects Washington to use an aggressive approach to its foreign policy while at the same time stifling other countries economically. The above scenario will not only expose America’s fear and outrage at China’s powerful influence globally, but it will also reveal that your administration is not ready for an all inclusive relation based on agreement and benefit. While George W. Bush and your predecessor focused on avoiding any direct conflict with China, your administration seems to be focused on the opposite in which both departments related to China on a well-articulated strategy that benefited both countries and conflicts was minimal. However, from your speech and mantra of “America First.”
, it seems you may adopt an aggressive approach that may do more harm than good to American businesses and Washington’s relations with Beijing. Despite the fact that the Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism is incompatible with the American system, I believe as a business minded President, you can come up with cautious strategies and policies. These may formulate policies that will put American business in a strategic position on the global stage and more so in the Chinese market while at the same time opening up the American market for Chinese companies. Although it is a win-win situation, I believe the cautious approach is better than an aggressive approach that may leave America’s esteem damaged and bruised while China continues to flourish under the watch of your administration.
Department of State. U.S. Relations with China: Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Fact Sheet. December 6, 2016. Web. March 14, 2017. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/18902.htm
Meijer, Hugo. Trading With The Enemy: The Making Of Us Export Control Policy Toward The People’s Republic Of China. Oxford University Press, 2016.
Shepherd, Christian. “China Will ‘Take Off The Gloves’ If Trump Continues On Taiwan, State Media Warns.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 16 Jan. 2017, Www.Reuters.Com/Article/Us-China-Usa-Trump-Iduskbn15001x. Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.
Torbati, Yeganeh, Brunnstrom David, and Heavey Susan. U.S., China Discuss ‘Mutually Beneficial’ Economic Relationship. February 28, 2017. Web. March 14, 2017. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-idUSKBN167291