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U.S. – China in the XXI Century

Publisher Victor Bjorgan

Publisher Victor Bjorgan

by Victor Bjorgan .- As China grows as a world power, Beijing tries to strengthen leadership in the region, by  becoming a maritime power, building more capable commercial shipping and a stronger navy to protect its strategic interests. Chinese maritime capabilities  is viewed by the U.S. with great suspicion, who thinks it will deteriorate the long U.S. dominance in the maritime Western Pacific, and its plans of maintaining world leadership as the only superpower.  While the U.S. want to continuing to engage with China, many analysts see challenges in the bilateral relation: 1) a  growing probability of conflict between a rising, continental power (China) and the established maritime power (U.S.), 2) the regional competition for leadership between China and Japan 3) the Maritime disputes 4) the North Korean Nuclear issue , and last but not least 5) influence and competition in the rest of the world (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Wall Street, etc..).

The U.S. wants to contain China as an emerging regional power, while China wants to play globally competing with America.

 To solve the situation,  the two great powers – existing and rising – should be realistic and take joint responsibility for reshaping and building a sustainable and stable security order in East Asia and the World.  A second “grand bargain” or “grand reconciliation” similar to that made in 1972 is in order, but this is not the right moment. . Maybe in some years. Ok, detente, but.. in which terms? Is the U.S. willing to let China play as an emerging global power? Is China willing to respect the U.S. as the senior global power? The answer to these questions is in geopolitics and the South Sea. If the U.S. is able to balance the Chinese power in the Pacific putting Japan and other nations into play, then America will have better cards in the new world order. On the other hand, if China wins the upper hand as the main Maritime Power in the Pacific, then any “grand” reconciliation and/or negotiation will be based on the concept that both powers are “equals”. Something in the line of  the relationship between Russia and the U.S. in the XX Century. Almost the same is at stake, not only who is biggest in the world, but which system will prevail as the fittest : a Democracy with a market economy, or an Authoritarian system with a controlled market economy.  We have to wait and see how both nations play their cards.  In my opinion, another decade to go…, at least. The ball is in the U.S. field, for now..