Will there be any initiatives in the near future to promote US-China cooperation?

As the Cold War came to an end, the world witnessed a shift in the geopolitical dynamics and the structure of global power. With the emergence of the four great powers: Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom, the unipolarity (a state under the condition of international anarchy enjoys the hegemony of power and does not have a competitor state)of the USA quickly came to an end. Arguably, China is one of greatest competitor to the USA. Its controversial ascent to prominence as a military and economic force has influenced the current world order just as much as that of the United States.

On October 26th, 2023, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, DC, intending to improve China-US ties, by stabilising and fostering better communication. Wang argued that the relationship should lay on an “in-depth” and “comprehensive” dialogue to reduce misunderstanding and misjudgment. This begs the question of whether China and the United States are likely to cooperate in the near future.

The United States and China have one of the world’s most important and complex bilateral relationships. Many scholars have even described them as “frenemies”.  Since 1949, tensions and cooperation have arisen over a number of issues between the countries. Among the most important issues is China’s desire to expand its influence, and the U.S.’s desire to maintain its own. Further, international aspirations, Taiwan’s history, and its role in the global economy make the island’s status particularly contentious. This kind of tension simply explains the international system we exist within which is based on realism theory. Realists maintain that all states are composed of rational agents acting in unison. They have no higher authority for arbitration, so they are forced to focus on their safety and security, which becomes their priority (Mearsheimer, 2014).

Over and about that, China has been expanding the amount of money it spends on both military and economic plans and the DOD report from 2023 states that it has one of the largest naval forces in the world. It has also been creating increasingly sophisticated weaponry. Furthermore, China is projecting a picture of expanding political power through strengthening its economic connections with developing countries and increasing the reliance of international corporations on the Chinese market. This would give China a sense of authority over many nations. Yet, in my opinion, the United States is unwilling to accept a new global order in which China overtakes the US. One may wonder, what’s the solution to the problem?   If we were in the 19th century, I might straightforwardly suggest that the U.S. could have engaged in a war with China to consolidate power under a single authority or supreme leader. However, we have since moved beyond that era. The existence of nuclear weapons serves as a powerful disincentive to engage in direct military conflict in the 21st century due to worries about escalation and the possibility of uncontrollable and disastrous consequences.

Hence, concerning the possibility of future collaboration between the two countries, I think the United States should uphold its competitiveness with the Chinese economy and interact with China in a way that advances American interests while proactively managing potential risks. Without relinquishing U.S. primacy, the United States can secure the maintenance of safety, security, and prosperity in the area by promoting a more stable and positive engagement with China.

Image : Karolina Grabowska on pexels 


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