Why does the US government go to extremes in China policy? Interpretation of famous American scholars

Global Times Bai Yunyi’s robbery of tiktok by the U.S. government has shocked the world. To make matters worse, U.S. Secretary of state pompeio said more actions would be taken against more Chinese technology companies in the future. This reminds us of pompeio’s recent speech at the Nixon Library, in which he declared that the US policy of engagement with China had “failed” and launched a comprehensive attack on China from internal affairs to diplomacy. Some analysts say that pompeio’s “denunciation” may guide the trump administration’s actions in the next few months. Now, in the special period before the US election, many people are worried that these American politicians will introduce more extreme policies out of political self-interest. To this end, the Global Times recently linked Shi Wen, a senior researcher of the Carnegie Foundation for international peace and a well-known expert on China issues. In July last year, he and four other scholars led the writing of an open letter entitled “opposing China”. Between now and the November election, there may be a series of escalating tensions between the United States and China, which are likely to be caused by the United States. I think the trump administration is desperate to increase its possibility of re-election. Therefore, it is likely to deliberately provoke and trigger conflicts, so as to unite the American public around the president who has been besieged on all sides, divert people’s attention from the fact that his government has no ability to govern the United States, and let people ignore his poor handling of various domestic problems such as epidemic situation, race and economy 。 It is difficult to guess what these provocations will be, but they may involve further US actions in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. The United States may take some legal actions, to which China may issue a statement of opposition or take tit for tat countermeasures. < / P > < p > in the most serious case, the United States will act on matters that China regards as its core interest, such as Taiwan and other territorial sovereignty issues. I hope that the US government will not be stupid enough to make major provocations against China in these areas, because China will not have much room for maneuver and it will not tolerate the United States to do so. For ideological and domestic political reasons, trump may want to push the relationship between the two countries to a degree similar to that of the cold war. However, I think it is better for Beijing not to bite Washington’s “fishhook” between now and November. It should be as restrained and responsible as possible, in sharp contrast to the US government, which is constantly provocative and reckless. I think China does that in some ways, but it needs to stick to it. Steven: I think there are several reasons, some of which are political, and some are trying to create a view that China is terrible and a fatal threat to the United States. This is obviously a wrong, excessive and ideological interpretation of the relationship between China and the United States and China. There is a view within the trump administration that the only way to deal with China is to constantly exert pressure to contain and restrict China, disclose China’s “evil behavior” in the eyes of the United States, and try to unite with other countries to oppose China. This view is not only inaccurate but also misleading – it wants to motivate the Chinese people to oppose the Chinese government; it tries to limit China’s choices and force it to act in the way the United States wants it to. There is no doubt that China needs to change some of its own behavior, but the trump administration’s practices, sanctions, attacks and ideological criticism will not achieve results, but will make China more hostile to the United States. And it will alienate many of America’s allies, who will feel that the United States is out of control. Novel coronavirus pneumonia and climate change will also be weakened by the same ability. Shi Wen: some of the US allies will feel the same about some of the trump administration’s criticisms on China. They will also find it difficult to accept some of China’s trade, investment and economic activities, including some of the trump government’s criticisms of China in political and other fields. But on the whole, they will think that Trump’s China policy and strategy is excessive and one-sided, and they do not recognize China’s position in the world. Moreover, trump ignores the fact that many countries do benefit from trade and investment with China. They will not agree with this simple and one-sided demonization of China. These countries still want to maintain good relations with China, but they also want to push China to make changes, such as taking greater responsibility in some areas. They want to do this in a more coordinated and balanced way, but the United States does not show such hope. What the United States provides is a unilateral and belligerent means. Germany, France, Japan and even Britain will not agree to deal with China in such an “excessive” way. Shi Wen: from now to November, it is very difficult for the two countries to have a meeting with Yang Jiechi in Hawaii. I think China hopes to express its willingness for good dialogue and reconciliation through this meeting, but pompeio seems not interested in it. Pompeio is the worst candidate to negotiate with China. He is playing a game of politics and ideology, which is only in his personal interests, not in the interests of the United States, and is extremely unprofessional. He is one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of the United States, and he himself proves it every day. Shi Wen: Although I mentioned the risk of escalation of tensions between the United States and China in the coming months, I don’t think there is a great possibility of a real military conflict between the two countries. Although the trump administration is loud, I don’t think it wants to push the current brinkmanship to the level of actual conflict. I think China’s leadership is smart enough not to allow itself to be pushed into danger and not to take the initiative to cause such behavior in the United States. It is possible for a crisis to occur in the South China Sea, the East China Sea or the Taiwan sea. This will be the result of a serious miscalculation on both sides. On the whole, I am not predicting war. I just think that the risk of military conflict is rising and the difficulty of crisis management is increasing. We need to be very cautious about this, because no one wants to see a real political and military crisis in the United States and China. Steven: this kind of reckless and stupid behavior, no one can predict. In particular, it is unprofessional and irresponsible to give notice only a few days in advance. This behavior shows that the trump administration will do all kinds of extreme things in order to make the American public believe that China is a fatal threat to the United States. The espionage charges made by the State Department are ridiculous. In fact, all consulates or diplomatic missions have intelligence missions, and the evidence they give is not convincing. This is actually a political act. In retaliation, China closed the US Consulate General in Chengdu. Previously, some people thought that China’s retaliation would be more fierce, such as closing the US Consulate General in Hong Kong, which would be very bad if it did happen. I very much hope that China will not continue to “tit for tat” because it will eventually become a vicious competition that is not in line with anyone’s interests, and only pompeio may benefit from it. Of course, we are not surprised by China’s countermeasures. I just want to say that I hope the incident will not continue to develop like this. As I said earlier, China should avoid biting the “fishhook” of the United States. To some extent, some people within the US government just want to escalate the US China confrontation to justify their larger political and strategic goals. Shi Wen: some people will say that, but I think it is quite misleading to use the cold war to compare the current US China relations. I don’t think the two countries will copy the fierce Cold War confrontation, proxy war, or manipulation of third countries to try to gain greater advantage. For example, during the Cuban missile crisis, the United States and China will not benefit from copying these actions. Pompeio’s speech in Nixon Library is a kind of political opportunism and ideological fanaticism. From all aspects, he knew little about China, but like a missionary, he tried to define what China is and what we should do to China. It’s not a real policy statement, it’s not a speech by a professional politician, it’s almost meaningless. Pompeio said that “the blind policy of engagement with China has failed”, which is a huge distortion of history. First of all, contact with China is not blind. Second, it has not failed. Whether it is for China, US China relations, or the world, the engagement policy has achieved great success in many aspects. < / P > < p > China has created great miracles in improving people’s living standards and created huge global wealth. Many countries have benefited from trade and investment relations with China. China has provided a lot of assistance to other countries on the international stage and in different international organizations. It is increasingly accepting international norms and institutions in more and more fields. Even though it has not yet done so in some areas, it is promoting global peace and prosperity in many areas. Although China is not regarded as a democratic country, and although in my opinion and many other scholars, the Chinese government is becoming more and more tough and even aggressive in some aspects, it does not mean that the policy of engagement with China has failed. In fact, for decades, professionals engaged in China affairs have never assumed that China will become a democratic country, and the main goal of China engagement policy is not this, but the interests of the United States, geopolitical and economic interests of the United States. Even Nixon himself did not pay attention to China’s domestic changes at first. He hoped to see changes in China’s diplomacy and the way in which China interacts with the west, and such changes did happen. Many American officials later, although they wanted to see China become more liberal in many ways, this was not the main goal of China’s engagement policy. < / P > < p > I think many people have realized that we have no second choice but to engage with China. Contact with China is not “because China performs well, the United States gives China a reward”, but the basic way of interaction among big powers, that is, not blind hostility or containment, but to avoid conflict, change bad behavior and establish cooperation foundation. The United States has no choice. Steven: I don’t think there is such a hysterical consensus in Washington. Although some people agree with Trump’s policy, it does not mean that there is a broad and unified consensus in all parts of the U.S. political system. To a large extent, the United States is still debating what is the right and balanced China policy. Indeed, the United States competes with China in many areas. It needs to improve its competitiveness, be more tough in dealing with China in some fields, and clarify what the United States supports and does not support. The United States also needs to compete with China in a more realistic way, and establish a basis for dialogue and real cooperation to deal with serious problems that cannot be solved without China’s cooperation. Therefore, what the United States needs is a realistic policy of engagement with China, a policy that can balance the interests of the United States and China, and one that recognizes the United States itself