Henry Kissinger: Avoiding a U.S - China cold war

Discussion in 'China' started by chex3009, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

    Oct 13, 2010
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    Henry Kissinger: Avoiding a U.S -China cold war

    (China Military News cited from washingtonpost.com and written by Henry A. Kissinger) -- The upcoming summit between the American and Chinese presidents is to take place while progress is being made in resolving many of the issues before them, and a positive communique is probable. Yet both leaders also face an opinion among elites in their countries emphasizing conflict rather than cooperation.

    Most Chinese I encounter outside of government, and some in government, seem convinced that the United States seeks to contain China and to constrict its rise. American strategic thinkers are calling attention to China's increasing global economic reach and the growing capability of its military forces.

    Care must be taken lest both sides analyze themselves into self-fulfilling prophecies. The nature of globalization and the reach of modern technology oblige the United States and China to interact around the world. A Cold War between them would bring about an international choosing of sides, spreading disputes into internal politics of every region at a time when issues such as nuclear proliferation, the environment, energy and climate require a comprehensive global solution.

    Conflict is not inherent in a nation's rise. The United States in the 20th century is an example of a state achieving eminence without conflict with the then-dominant countries. Nor was the often-cited German-British conflict inevitable. Thoughtless and provocative policies played a role in transforming European diplomacy into a zero-sum game.

    Sino-U.S. relations need not take such a turn. On most contemporary issues, the two countries cooperate adequately; what the two countries lack is an overarching concept for their interaction. During the Cold War, a common adversary supplied the bond. Common concepts have not yet emerged from the multiplicity of new tasks facing a globalized world undergoing political, economic and technological upheaval.
    That is not a simple matter. For it implies subordinating national aspirations to a vision of a global order.

    Neither the United States nor China has experience in such a task. Each assumes its national values to be both unique and of a kind to which other peoples naturally aspire. Reconciling the two versions of exceptionalism is the deepest challenge of the Sino-American relationship.

    America's exceptionalism finds it natural to condition its conduct toward other societies on their acceptance of American values. Most Chinese see their country's rise not as a challenge to America but as heralding a return to the normal state of affairs when China was preeminent. In the Chinese view, it is the past 200 years of relative weakness - not China's current resurgence - that represent an abnormality.
    America historically has acted as if it could participate in or withdraw from international affairs at will. In the Chinese perception of itself as the Middle Kingdom, the idea of the sovereign equality of states was unknown. Until the end of the 19th century, China treated foreign countries as various categories of vassals. China never encountered a country of comparable magnitude until European armies imposed an end to its seclusion. A foreign ministry was not established until 1861, and then primarily for dealing with colonialist invaders.

  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2010
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    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    1) What an example! The us got away from European wrath simply because US was built by the same European descendants and using the same language, culture and religion as Europeans. Why would they attack their own offshoot an entire ocean away?

    2) Without a conflict?! The US participated in WWs minimally as compared to what the Europeans and Russians did. Using the two as shields to take the maximum punishment, US just played the sides, dropped the nuke in Japan and took away all the glory of Both the now destroyed Europe and weakened Soviet Union.

    It is not called avoiding a conflict; it is called using a conflict to weaken competitors and emerging out smartly.

    Also China's rise is a different problem due to CCP's expansionist attitude. Its aggression has sent Japan, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Brunei into a frenzy. That didn't happen during US's case. Also Chinese aren't US descendants that US will let them pass over. LOL

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