How USA's China Gambit Backfired

Discussion in 'China' started by ajtr, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Brezenski's and Obama Administration's G-2 is down in dumps now.......:happy_2:

    How China Gambit Backfired


    China’s more assertive foreign policy has challenged the Obama administration’s worldview. Expect a new US grand strategy.

    In its first year, the Obama administration envisaged a two-pronged foreign policy. The first prong—cooperative strategic engagement—sought to build and sustain cooperative partnerships with states and non-state actors who operated within (or hoped to join) the international order. The second, which was aimed at actors like the Taliban and North Korea who seek to undermine or destroy the international order, consisted of a quite different approach—war, containment, or coercive diplomacy.

    US policy toward China was supposed to be the centerpiece of the first approach, based on the underlying assumption that the world’s major powers ultimately share the same threats and interests— tackling terrorism and pandemics, ensuring economic instability, and preventing nuclear proliferation.
    The Obama administration hoped to build on these shared interests to bring emerging powers, like China and Brazil, fully into the US led international order.

    Essentially what the administration aspired to create was a concert of powers—geopolitical competition was supposed to be consigned to history. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it in July 2009, the multi-polar world would be a multi-partner world, with the United States set to use its unique role in the world to help major powers overcome barriers to cooperation so they could collectively pursue their common interests.

    And China was supposed to feature strongly in these plans, with the administration working hard to deepen strategic and economic dialogue and offering China more influence in the international order.
    Senior officials talked up China’s importance and leverage over the United States and avoided any actions that could antagonize Beijing. For example, in 2009, the president didn’t meet the Dalai Lama and accepted a tightly choreographed visit to China, while his administration initially avoided selling defensive arms to Taiwan and explored adjustments to its relations with India.

    But what followed was nothing short of a revelation for much of the administration’s foreign policy team.

    Instead of accepting the offer of a full partnership, China became far more antagonistic and assertive on the world stage.
    It expanded its claims in the South China Sea, engaged in a major spat with Google over Internet freedom, played an obstructionist role at the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, regularly and openly criticized US leadership, and, sought to water down sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programme at the UN Security Council.

    Senior administration officials said influential voices in Beijing saw the United States as a power in decline and perceived an opportunity for China to take advantage. The United States’ regional allies and partners, meanwhile, expressed their concerns over this turn of events and called upon the United States to restore its traditional leadership role in the region.

    The mounting evidence that China simply isn’t interested in becoming a full stakeholder in the US-led liberal international order has forced the administration to respond with a new policy in Asia. In addition to ongoing engagement with China, this new tack seeks to deepen US ties with other powers in the region, and unlike the earlier approach doesn’t shy away from advancing US interests and values—even if it upsets Beijing.

    This new approach has been on full display over the past few weeks, with the United States standing shoulder to shoulder with South Korea in the face of North Korean aggression by undertaking military exercises in the region to demonstrate its alliance commitments, and it has also offered to mediate on disputes in the South China Sea, much to Beijing’s displeasure.

    But the implications of this shift extend well beyond China policy. More than any other development, China’s increasing assertiveness revealed a fundamental flaw in the Obama administration’s worldview—that although multilateralism is needed more than ever, emerging powers (and not just China) will often define their interests in ways that conflict with US interests and they will continue to engage in traditional geopolitical competition with the United States.

    So what does this mean for US foreign policy? The United States is likely entering a geopolitical period unlike any it has faced before. Americans are used to countries being friends or enemies—for us or against us (something that fit 20th century realities almost perfectly). But relations with China will be a peculiar blend of cooperation and rivalry, meaning the US will be faced with a more competitive world than it has over the past 20 years (although unlike the Cold War, it will be a competition within limits, between interdependent powers, and with plenty of potential for cooperation).

    Such unprecedented developments have also sparked a vital debate inside the Obama administration about how to respond, and how best to preserve the liberal international order created at the end of World War II.

    On the one hand are those who wish to persist with cooperative strategic engagement so the international order is run by a concert of powers, with the United States and China at its heart. On the other are those who believe that, even as they cooperate, relations between the United States and emerging powers will be far more competitive and prone to limited rivalry than relations between members of the old Western order, meaning the United States will have no choice but to compete with emerging powers to shape the international order while maintaining a geopolitical advantage over its competitors.

    If the China policy is an early test case, then it shows a tilt toward competitive strategic engagement. The question now is whether this approach will stick and gradually spread to influence the president’s overall grand strategy.

    There’s no guarantee it will—the 2010 National Security Strategy, released in May, continued to articulate the old way of thinking. But if America’s new Asia policy is a sign of things to come, China’s major gambit to take advantage of what it perceived as US weakness in 2009 may go down as its greatest foreign policy mistake in recent memory.

    Beijing’s assertiveness discredited those Americans who were most willing to compromise with China. Its spurning of them has now acted as a catalyst for a more competitive—and geopolitically savvy—US multilateralism.




    Thomas Wright is Executive Director of Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can follow him on twitter @thomaswright08
     
  2.  
  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Sour grapes....How soon State department will issue statement on USA-china bhai-bhai thing.....
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    China with its belligerent attitude has managed to send most of its neighbor's back into America's arms which plays very favorably into Americas Geo-political ambitions.GOI has to keeps an eye out on this G-2 Tamasha.
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,613
    Likes Received:
    5,670
    China became arrogant with its new found wealth and taking all the missteps that any arrogant King would have taken in Old ages leading to the demise of their Kingdom. China needs a reality check and some humility if it wants to be respected for what it is, otherwise they will make more enemies than friends. This will not bode well for China in both short and long term.
     
  6. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    this is the attitude of a china whose gdp is one third of the US, will they act the same when those gdp numbers will be at par and when china overtakes the US, certainly not. if today the chinese are seen as assertive, tomorrow when the things change they will certainly be aggressive and arrogant, and i doubt they will like share the space at the top with the americans. bush understood it, obama doesnt, hope the next administration in the US gets a better hang of things to come and plan their act accordingly.
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,551
    Likes Received:
    6,556
    USA is just buying time so the Chinese keep buying US debt thru the current crisis, once things are back on track in the US economy; USA will smack China back down. It is China that is dependant on USA not the other way around, no matter how delusional Chinese get.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    USA after being given cold shoulder now recalibrating its maritime strategies in in south china sea with india and vietnam another example of which is recent south korea-usa naval exercise. cross-posting from vietnam thread....

    Need For India -Vietnam Strategic Naval Dialogue

    by B.Raman

    " It is clear that military clashes would bring bad results to all countries in the region involved, but China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means."--- From a "Global Times" editorial of July 26,2010

    (July 30, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) After having adopted a soft policy towards China since coming to office in January 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama is showing signs of starting to articulate in public its concerns over the implications of the growth of the Chinese naval power and its likely impact on the freedom of navigation and maritime trade. The public articulation of the concerns of the Obama Administration in this regard were triggered off by China's ambivalence on the question of action against North Korea for allegedly sinking a South Korean naval ship in March and its strong statements in recent months on its rights in the South China Sea and its determination to play what Beijing looks upon as its rightful role in the Western Pacific.

    Interestingly and intriguingly, the concerns of the Obama Administration over the ambivalent policies of China in this region and over the implications of the increasing maritime assertiveness of the Chinese Navy were voiced by two dignitaries of the Obama Administration, who recently visited New Delhi and Hanoi, thereby hinting that there was a triangular convergence of these concerns in the US, India and Vietnam. Does this presage the beginning of a thinking in the corridors of power in Washington on the likely benefits of a co-ordinated strategy by the US, India and Vietnam towards the growing assertiveness of the Chinese Navy?

    That is the questioin that has started bothering some analysts in China. While they have so far refrained from naming India in this context, they have already named Vietnam and cautioned it not to be misled by professions of US friendship for that country.

    The opening salvo in the articulation of the US concerns was fired by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an official visit to India.He told Indian media persons on July 23,2010, that China's aggressive posturing over territorial claims in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions was a matter of concern that the US shared with India. He was quoted by the Indian media as saying as follows: "China seems to be asserting itself more and more with respect to the kinds of territorial claims. They seem to be taking a much more aggressive approach to the near-sea areas recently....There is growing concern over it. In my perspective, we (the US) must work with India in this regard.In my recent interactions with its leadership, India too has expressed similar concerns." He gave the example of recent public statements by China about the US Navy operating in the Yellow Sea. Noting that the US navy was in the international waters, Mullen said despite such remarks by China, the US would continue to operate in the international waters there.

    Admiral Mullen said further that the US believed China was shifting focus from land-centric to air and maritime capabilities. "Fairly recently I have gone from being curious about where China is headed to being concerned about it. One of the characteristics that does not exist as far as China appears militarily is transparency. In fact, there is opaqueness to it that we continue to really scratch our heads about from a military standpoint. We have virtually no relationship with the Chinese military. If we have such relationship, we can agree on and disagree on, and also we can learn from each other." He pointed out that the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions were critical to economic and trade activities and that stability in these two regions was absolutely vital.

    The same day in her address to the Foreign Ministers of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) at Hanoi, Mrs.Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said that resolving disputes over the South China Sea was "pivotal" to regional stability and suggested an international mechanism to solve the issue. "The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia's maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea," Mrs. Clinton said. According to the "China Daily",Washington has called for unfettered access to the area and accused Beijing of adopting an increasingly aggressive stance on the high seas.

    While Beijing has not yet reacted to the remarks of Admiral Mullen in New Delhi, it reacted immediately and with virulence against the remarks of Mrs.Clinton--- thereby indicating that it possibly distrusts Vietnam more than it distrusts India. The Chinese Foreign Minister,Mr.Yang Jiechi. who challenged the remarks of Mrs.Clinton at the Hanoi ARF meeting, strongly opposed attempts to internationalise the South China Sea issue."What will be the consequences if this issue is turned into an international or multilateral one? It will only make matters worse and the resolution more difficult," Mr. Yang said and added:"International practices show that the best way to resolve such disputes is for countries concerned to have direct bilateral negotiations. "

    Mr.Yang said in his rejoinder to Mrs.Clinton: "China has territorial disputes with a few ASEAN member countries. The South China Sea is currently a peaceful area with navigational freedom.Trade has been growing rapidly in this region and China has become the number one trading partner of many countries in the region.In my bilateral discussions with both ASEAN colleagues and others, they all say that there is no threat to regional peace and stability.It is not China but some other country that is "coercing" regional countries to take sides on the issue. Asia can solve its own problems without interference by outside countries. ASEAN is also not an appropriate forum to resolve the issue.China and some ASEAN nations have territorial and maritime rights disputes because we are neighbors. And those disputes shouldn't be viewed as ones between China and ASEAN as a whole just because the countries involved are ASEAN members.The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and ASEAN member countries in 2002 has played a good role in containing regional conflicts and will see high-level meetings when conditions are mature. In the declaration, the countries pledged to exercise restraint, and not to make it an international issue or multilateral issue.Channels of discussion are there, and they are open and smooth."

    There is suspicion in China that Mrs.Clinton would not have made such a strong statement without the tacit concurrence of Hanoi. Mr.Su Hao, a researcher on Asia-Pacific studies with the Beijing-based China Foreign Affairs University, said there had been many "subtle changes" in the South China Sea issue in the past year, with countries including Vietnam becoming much tougher and Washington moving away from its previous low-profile tone. "I'm sure the US is the basic reason for the change - it is supporting the other sides," Su said and added: "During a recent visit to Vietnam, I told a Vietnamese officer with diplomatic background that our late leader Deng Xiaoping had said 'since we can't solve the South China Sea issue, we can leave it to the next generation which will be smarter." According to Mr. Su, the Vietnamese officer replied: "That is why we have to solve it now." Mr. Shi Zhan, an international studies researcher at China Foreign Affairs University, said the US is re-flexing its muscles in the South China Sea partly because of the resources in the area.

    In an editorial under the title "American Shadow Over South China Sea" published on July 26, the "Global Times" of Beijing wrote: "Maintaining and playing up regional tensions are typical American ways of keeping a presence and causing interference in disputed areas.
    On Friday (July 23), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed "concern" over navigation freedom and offered help in facilitating communication in the South China Sea. Are any of them a major concern in the region at the moment? No. The remarks of secretary Clinton were, of course, made after various US think tanks and media groups created much fanfare about potential clashes that would necessitate the step-in of the US government. Clinton's words clearly signaled America's strategic intentions in the South China Sea. The US will not put regional interests first. This is something that Southeast Asian countries have to bear in mind. Regional stability will be difficult to maintain if the countries concerned allow themselves to be controlled by the strategic guidance of the US. China and its neighboring countries have built a consultative mechanism to smooth out disagreements in the disputed water, and the communication channels are open. Conflicts, though they appear sporadically, are expected to be diminished with deeper understanding. Fully aware of the complexity of the region, China offered a solution of "shelving disagreement and joint development" to help foster trust and move the issue forward. China's objective is clear: to build strategic trust with neighboring countries under China's tolerance and patience. But that hard-earned trust is under threat with the US intention to meddle in the region, and force countries to choose between China and the US. With growing economic power, China and the US may encounter more clashes in China's adjacent sea. Few Southeast Asian countries would like to get in the middle of Sino-US tensions, but like many other regions, they are caught in a dilemma: economically close to China yet militarily guarded against China. Southeast Asian countries need to understand that any attempt to maximize gains by playing a balancing game between China and the US is risky. China's tolerance was sometimes taken advantage of by neighboring countries to seize unoccupied islands and grab natural resources under China's sovereignty. China's long-term strategic plan should never be taken as a weak stand. It is clear that military clashes would bring bad results to all countries in the region involved, but China will never waive its right to protect its core interest with military means. To maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, the solution of "shelving disagreement and joint development" is the only option. "


    In another editorial under the heading "US push in Vietnam suspicious", the "Global Times" wrote on July 28,2010: "In another sign that the US is "back to Southeast Asia," the US is approaching its old adversary in the region. During her two-day stay in Vietnam last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed economic cooperation, promised to solve the legacy of Agent Orange, and praised the unlimited potential of improved US-Vietnam relations. The message was clear when the US claimed, on Vietnamese soil, that it is in the US national interest to resolve South China Sea disputes. Embracing a former adversary for broader strategic gains is diplomacy the US is good at. It's true there is still conflict between China and Vietnam over disputed waters and natural resources. Both are hot-button issues that can trigger public resentment toward each other. It is also an obstacle to deepening bilateral ties between China and Vietnam. But from a historical perspective, the two countries have overcome the shadow of past military clashes for mutual benefit. China has been the largest trading partner of Vietnam for five consecutive years. Charting a similar reform road like China, Vietnam is benefiting from economic boom and political stability that is envied by neighboring coun-tries. The desire for mutual economic benefit surpasses the dispute over sea territories and it also lays a solid foundation for solving the dispute peacefully. Two weeks ago, the two sides finished a 1,300-kilometer long land boundary demarcation. Six years ago, the two sides inked the treaty over maritime boundary demarcation at Beibei Gulf, setting a reference point for solving issues over disputed waters in the South China Sea. Pressure to maintain an influence and guard against a rising China, the West is eager to cozy up to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. Meanwhile, the Western media likes to poison Sino-Vietnamese ties by painting China as "an elephant" which can easily trample on the interest of Vietnam.Vietnam should also be careful about not becoming a chess piece for the US as it pursues a broader regional agenda. China does not include Vietnam into its sphere of influence. The two countries are making an effort to build normal nation-to-nation relations. The two can find ways to solve disputes peacefully and avoid being taken advantage of by other countries. "

    In bitter attacks on Mrs.Clinton's observations, some Chinese bloggers have accused her of ambushing China in its backyard. There is not yet a smilar reaction against the comments of Admiral Mullen, but the Chinese must be nursing a similar, but not yet openly expressed apprehension that there is another US ambush at New Delhi.

    These developments call for a strategic naval dialogue between India and Vietnam in order to assess the seriousness of the Chinese maritime threats to the region and exchange views on the options available to India and Vietnam to protect their maritime interests. It would not be advisable to associate the US with the India-Vietnam dialogue on this subject. Any Indo-US dialogue should be kept separate in order not to create any fears in Beijing that India, the US and Vietnam are ganging up to prevent the emergence of China as a naval power.

    ( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre for China Studies. E-mail: [email protected] )
     
  9. macintosh

    macintosh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    2
    China is doing with US what it did with the Europeans. Not so long ago the Europeans were in love with what they said a friendly China which will be playing a major constructive role in the world peace and development. But then came the Copenhagen reality check where the Europeans were spurned by the Chinese while negotiating an agreement with the US. The Europeans realized the assertiveness that a powerful china could display. Although much has to do with the indecisiveness of the Europeans but still it made them change their strategy with some propagating a strong realignment with US while others advocating engagements with other regional players in Asia to be in a position to counter China.

    However I have to say that the current assertiveness of China w.r.t US is understandable and correct to an extent.
    As far as these are concerned, everyone is aware that South China Sea has major oil resources and to expect China for allowing the US to mediate in the dispute would be stupidity at the least. China is aware that the US would like to make things only difficult for the Chinese and would only result in diminishing Chinese influence in the region. Thus not being submissive to US on the issue is required by the Chinese to protect it's national interests.

    As far as Google is concerned, it was aware of the rules and regulations when it entered China. It signed a contractual agreement wherein it was mentioned that Google would abide by any rules and regulations the Chinese would impose. Thus it was Google's fault to raise these issues while fully aware of the conditions before hand.

    Copenhagen was a disaster for the developed nations wherein they sought to abdicate themselves of the past wrongdoings. Both India and China were correct to stick to their stand and the Chinese did a fine job in making sure that the developing countries too got their share of space in world. For the Europeans and US China may be a monster in this regard but it actually enhanced their standing in the developing world.

    Again on Iran the Chinese are doing a one fine job by sticking to their national interests over the whims of the US. When pak got it's nukes, the CIA was fully aware yet they wanted to won the cold war more than protecting the nuclear proliferation as winning the Cold war was in US national interests. Now it is in China's national interests to secure oil supplies for it's growing economy and to protect it's investment in Iran. China is not as stupid as India to tow US line and lose a strategic asset whose services are so essential to India's interests in Central Asia and as back up in Afghanistan in case Taliban overtake it once again.
    China is thus doing what it should and is correct in not submitting to the US policies. An independent policy is essential to the mullti-polar world structure and India should take a lesson from China. China is aware that the economies of US-China are too much intertwined to be affected by such policies. So China's offensive protective policies can go on without much change on ground.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    cross-posting...........

    New US thinking on India
    Coming Obama visit offers an opportunity


    Now, in the second year of his presidency, we are evidently seeing a turnaround in President Obama's thinking. His administration is recognising that an assertive China is set to challenge US power worldwide and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, where the US has alliance relationships with a number of countries like South Korea and Japan. Not only is China strengthening its navy to militarily assert its territorial claims on maritime boundaries with Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and South Korea, but it is also challenging the presence of the American Pacific Fleet in the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea, off the Korean coast.
    .
    .
    The Chinese have introduced new concepts in international relations by claiming that foreign ships cannot enter the waters in their neighbourhood even if they are outside Chinese territorial waters by describing these areas close to their shores as âœwaters of China's interests, or as being within China's sphere of influence. Moreover, Chinaâ's export-led growth and manipulation of exchange rates are seen as producing destabilising global trade imbalances, and its approach to climate change is less than positive.
    .
    .
    On July 1, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary for Defence Policy, Michele Flournoy, outlined the US approach in Asia. She asserted that it no longer makes sense to discuss the increasingly interconnected Asian region in terms of “East Asian” security or “South Asian security”. She added: “It also means that the security of Asia’s two dominant powers (India and China) can no longer be viewed as a zero-sum game. A safer and more secure India that is close to the US should not be seen as a threat and vice-versa. Indeed, all three countries play an important role in that region’s stability”. Flournoy also remarked that the economies of both India and the US relied on effective maritime security to preserve free passage in the Indian Ocean and surrounding waterways.
    India believes that its interests are not served when US-China relations are marked by collusion, as was apprehended in the first year of the Obama Administration, or by confrontation, which marked the early years of the Cold War. Moreover, the emerging American policies appear to reject Chinese efforts to undermine India’s “Look East” policy. China views Indian engagement with its Asia-Pacific neighbourhood with suspicion, asserting that India is merely a “South Asian power”.
     

Share This Page