Frenemies: The Possibility Of Military Conflict Between China And The United States

2358 words - 10 pages

After financial crisis of 2007-2009, the traditional superpowers such as the United States, the UK, France, etc. are now still stagnant in the recovery(Jacques, 2012). Their economies are plunging deeper in debt, financial systems remain fragile and visible economic growth has not yet resumed. However, on the other side of the world, the rising China tells a very different story.

The reform and opening policy, which began in 1979 and accelerated since the 1990s(Steinfeld, 2010), has truly invigorated China. China has experienced rapid economic growth even during the global financial crisis. According to the data provided by the World Bank in 2013, China’s GDP growth has been increasing ...view middle of the document...

According to Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening policy, China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain as a developing country for a long time, so the first and foremost task for Chinese people is to develop the nation's economy (Deng, 1987). Thus the economic interest is essential to China. Meanwhile, to the US, a developed country with the most powerful economy, its concentration has already been shifted from economic interest to political and diplomatic interests, which contribute to maintaining a sustained leadership role in the world as well as balancing other superpowers in Europe and newly-rising powers in Asia(Allison and Blackwill, 2011).

As the national interests for the US and China are different, in order to serve and protect them, two forms of military conflicts can arise between the US and China. One is the implicit conflict of confrontations, such as expanding the scope of their influence, and allying other countries to keep the balance of power. The other one is form can be wars between the US and China, such as the Korean war and the Vietnam war.

Implicit conflict (confrontations) similar to the Cold War is likely to occur in the future, because a lot of international affairs have been driven by the different vital national interests of China and America in the post-Cold War era.

With the outstanding economic achievements, there is a potential trend for rising China to gain not only economic interest but also political and diplomatic interests from the international society. For instance, with the strong economic power, China has provided developing countries in Africa with non-string-attached investments (Chin and Thakur, 2010). One of its major purposes to do so is to acquire more political support and acknowledgment of “One China”. Such economic aid also enhances China's influence in Africa. In addition, China is promoting an agenda of Chiang Mai Initiative to diversify the existing current monetary system which is now controlled by America. Other practices like launching the Shanghai Cooperation Organization indicate China's growing impact in Asia as well. China has come to a new global status not only via making effort to create win-win settlements within the existing world order, but also by acting as a "system reformer"(Chin and Thakur, 2010) when it is further integrating into the current world order. As China is playing a more active role in the world stage, the US feels challenged.

In terms of the US, it seems to arrange some unfriendly events to the People’s Republic of China. For example, the US have been assisting Taiwan for its capability of military self-defense. According to Kan(2012), every year, hundreds of Taiwan’s military personnel at different levels receive training and education at US military colleges or other institutions. In 2011, Taiwan spent over five billion US dollars to upgrade their fighters and radars, and bought new weapons and aircraft from America. Such...

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