Foreign policy between the United States and China has never been smooth sailing. The relationship started off rocky with events such as the Peoples Republic and Tiananmen Square massacre and evolved into China being our biggest creditor and largest holder of U.S. debt (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis Pg. 1). Even though the United States aims for a strong, mutually enabling relationship with China, we are more realistically faced with a parasitic relationship, with China as the host.
The United States and China have a very rocky relationship today, due to their harsh past. China’s and America’s first interactions occurred in 1949, involving the People’s Republic of China. It was under Mao Zedong’s rule post communisms defeat of a nationalist government, which caused Chiang and his troops to flee to Taiwan. The United States supported Chiang’s exiled republic of China’s government in Taipei, setting the stage for a very complicated relationship with China (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis pg.
1). Post Peoples Republic of China, the Tiananmen Square Massacre occurred. In 1985, Chinese students protest for a democratic government ending in Communist China sending troops to clear the square, leaving many dead (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis Pg. 10). The United States responds by suspending sales to Beijing and freezing their relationship with China. Then, in 1999, Nato “accidentally” bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. China immediately forgave the United States, but it’s citizens not so much. This was followed by the U.S
. China relations act of 2000, which lead to China becoming America’s second biggest trade partner in 2006. Between 1980 and 2004, United States and China trade goes from $5 billion to $231 billion, a total increase of $226 billion in 24 years (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis pgs. 13 & 16). Our government works very hard to obtain a “positive, cooperative, and comprehensive” relationship with China (U.S. Relations With China Para. 1). According to our government, this will be done through expanding areas of cooperation and addressing areas of disagreement, such as human rights and how to run a government.
The United States tries hard to advance cooperation with China in order to build a partnership which involves beneficial mutuality and respect. There is an annual strategic and economic dialogue, also known as the S&ED, which serves as a platform to not only promote bilateral understanding, but to improve mutual trust and increase cooperation.
Through a numerous amount of joint projects and open conversations, the United States and China have joined forces to address common regional and global issues such as concerns in Iran and North Korea and environmental protection (U.S. Relations With China para. 1 & 2). All of these activities are done mutually to better the world we live in today and the relationship between the United States and China. There are, though, many things the U.S. specifically does for China, and China specifically does for America.
The United States specifically helps China with four issues, environmental protection, human rights, America’s assistance with Tibetan communities, and addressing the threat of pandemic diseases (U.S. Relations With China para. 2). The United States and China work hard and quite efficiently together when it comes to the environmental protection of China. In July of 2013, the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group came up with a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They agreed to work hard to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, promote carbon capture, increase energy efficiency in buildings and transportation, and promote smart grids (Greater China Engagements). Human rights, on the other hand, are still a sort of disagreement. China and the United States have different viewpoints when it comes to human rights. America, being a republic, believes all people should live freely with natural rights. China, being communist, believes it’s the government’s job to tell its citizens how to live. Therefore, human rights are a touchy subject amidst the two countries, but American still tries very hard to help China’s citizens obtain the same rights we have.
The United States and China also work together to address pandemic diseases and their threat on the human population. Both countries are advanced in medication and sciences, so together they make a great team in avoiding pandemics. Whereas the United States helps China in environmental and social situations, China is the United States’ economic backbone. China imports $411 billion worth of goods to the United States yearly; while the Unites States exports only $129 billion to China. That leaves the United States at a $282 billion deficit towards trade. China accounts for three-fourths of the trade deficit growth and is also the United States’ second largest trade partner (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis pg. 21).
China has also loaned America $1.2 trillion to aid in our debt issue. China is the biggest creditor of the United States. They own more of the United States than the amount owned by U.S. households (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis pg. 18). China is able to help the United States’ economy so much because they are the second largest economy themselves (Alessi, Carin, and Zissis pg. 19). Even though the United States tries to better other countries, the government and economy is in no place to do so until we better ourselves without the aid of China. Without China’s investments, imports, and guidance, America would be failing terribly as a country. China is our backbone- our biggest creditor. The United States feeds off of what China gives to them, making the United States China’s parasite.
"Greater China Engagements." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. "The People's Republic of China." Office of the United States Trade Representative. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. Zissis, Carin, and Christopher Alessi. "U.S. Relations with China (1949 - Present)." 21 May 2012. Council on Foreign Relations. Jan 2014.