Posted: May 25th, 2022
rise of China in terms of its economy and military capability and in relation to the United States of America’s national interest. Thou many have viewed this to be a threat to the U.S., but it isn’t so, particularly to its’ national interest with respect to China.
Despite of the fact that currently the relationship that exists between the U.S. And China is not as good as compared to the one that exited with the Bush administration, both countries have to work jointly in matters where they both have common interest. The research recommends that the U.S. foreign policy towards China be one that’s aimed at seeking cooperation between both countries which will at the end be able to secure U.S. national interest with respect to China (Walt, 1998, p 41).
U.S. national interest in China
Referring to reports published by the Commission on America’s National Interests; the reports indicate that generally the U.S. national interest majorly comprise of protecting its’ citizens locally and abroad from any form of violent attack more in particular attacks using weapons of mass destruction, secondly it has a national interest on ensuring that there is stability and viability in the world’s major financial systems, thirdly it has national interest in ensuring that nations considered to be friends of America have peace within their country, stability and that they actively participate in matters that will result to success of the international community and lastly the report indicate that the U.S. has national interest on fostering good relationship with other countries which can be regarded as strategic adversaries, for example Russia and China.
Among other commissions and institutions that include; Nixon centre and Belfer centre for science and international affairs which have all categorized U.S. national interest into groups, namely the vital national interest which are highly prioritized because of the fact that they aimed at safeguard survival of U.S. citizens, the other categories are of extremely important national interest, important and less important national interest which in sense have less impact on U.S. government’s ability to protects it citizens.
US national interest with respect to China was noted recently when Mr. Gates who is the country’s defense secretary was addressing a meeting attended by other defense ministers at Hanoi. The Minister was quoted as saying “the U.S. had national interest in freedom of navigation,” this statement was aimed at addressing the dispute involving China and its neighbors on accessibility of sea waters around the region and resources endowed in it. Categorically this matter is of extreme importance to the U.S. national interest in its quest of encouraging application of international laws that give rights to each and every country to operate and navigate on international waters without any hindrance; it also seeks to encourage the well being of friendly nations and U.S. allies by protecting them from external aggression.
According to research conducted by Bergsten et al. (2008, p 256), the other national interest which U.S. has on China includes; establishment of a strong relationship between her and China whom it considers a strategic adversary, this is rated as a vital U.S. national interest. An extremely important U.S. national interest with respect to China is the establishment of a peaceful relationship between China and Japan which will be of benefit to the U.S. Walt (1998, p 41), studies have also shown that China’s continued improvement on democracy and liberalization of their market are among other important national interests that U.S. has on it as this would be able to offer to them market for goods, services and foreign direct investments from the U.S.
Rise of China based on Constructivism theory
Constructivism theory is socially based and is best described by Walt (1998, p 41), as social constructivism which considers ideas, socio-cultural identities and collective values as factors that shape international politics. Threats, identities, goals, fears and other factors viewed as real have a direct influence on state organs and they form the basic principles of this theory which Walt (1998, p 41), believes had greater influence on the rise of China.
The rise of China can be accredited to increased democratization and liberalization of the market that has led to increased gross domestic product of the country which was reportedly to be thirty percent by the year 2008 and an increase in this trend according to analyst is set to see China’s GDP surpass that of the United States of America by the year 2030. In its’ military budget allocation China also set a record in 2008 by increasing it to more than fifty eight billion dollars in addition to this it has also ventured in to space putting in place sophisticated satellite systems and modern military equipments while on the seas it has increased its flotilla of naval vessels all in a show of military capabilities.
Thou many have questioned whether China rise is motivated by the fact that it wants to gain hegemony or it’s just a peaceful rise and on this matter the Chinese government has come out very strongly defending its rise insisting that it’s motivated by peaceful development which are aim at bridging the gap between the rich and poor class of China. Constructivists have supported this by noting that China’s rise has been based on collective identity, strategic socio-cultural interaction where common knowledge of reality are generated and interest are redefined which have all resulted to China’s economic development (Ross, Feng. 2008, p 336).
The constructivism theory in China’s rise has been applied by its law makers who have used socio-cultural factors, identities, development experience and international network in policies making process. The government has also introduced overseas Chinese representation body, organized forums to discuss international policy and has also forged cooperation with under developed countries mostly in Africa both aimed at spreading Chinese culture abroad and socio-cultural interaction which form ideals common with each other, consequently improving cross-national relations; this is a constructivism approach China had taken leading to its rise.
Recommended U.S. policy
It has largely been observed that the United States of America foreign policies towards any country ultimately defines the nature of their relationship, it was also noted that during the Bush administration, U.S. policies towards China were generally considered to be friendly which lead to a strong and stable relationship to co-exists between the two countries. But the current U.S. policy towards China has being under reassessments that are inclined towards competition between the two countries and even some law makers have been quoted recommending a tougher U.S. policy towards China due to the country’s rise in terms of economy and influence in the international community. Author Lampton, (2008, pp 361), wrote in his book that the conflict between Taiwan and China could force the U.S. To implement confrontational policy towards China that could lead to a possible U.S.-China conflict.
Before making a recommendation on which policy the U.S. can adopt towards China, it would first be important to give a critical look at the major U.S. policy priorities with respect to China that include; both countries considered well economically empowered should aim at encouraging economic stability by implementing regulatory reforms, transparency in international trade and by encouraging free and fair international trade. In respect of both countries being the largest consumers of energy and greenhouse gases emitters they should both form a common path that leads to environmental conservation. The U.S. should further encourage China adhere to international human rights law (Bergsten, 2008, p256).
Given the research prior analysis of the United States of America’s national interest with respect to China it is without doubt that the research recommends a U.S. policy towards china that seeks cooperation to be established between the two countries. Such a policy will secure America’s interest and more in particular it will address the major U.S. policy priority with respect to China.
U.S. policy towards China that seeks cooperation between the two countries will see them working hand in hand to conserve the environment a fact that was even echoed by President Obama during his speech in which he was quoted saying that “cooperation on climate change and energy is simply a matter of common sense for both of the two countries.” Cooperation between the U.S. And China will make both of them win the war against violent extremism and also curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction (Hassedt, 2004, vol 1).
In light of the fact that China’s democracy is still developing and the relationship between its local and central government is still also not well formulated; a U.S. policy which encourages cooperation between the two countries will result to an exchange program where top officials, academicians, politicians and business experts from the U.S. which is a more democratic country go to China and share ideas with their China counterparts. More importantly the U.S. policy that seeks cooperation with China will help in mitigating tension arising out of U.S.-China possible power transition.
Constructivism theory in relation to a ‘cooperative’ U.S.-China policy
Constructivism theory as earlier mentioned is in support of a U.S.-China policy that will see the two countries cooperate with each other. The theory basically views cooperation as form of socio-cultural interaction in which matters of reality are commonly understood and national interest are redefined leading to development of a common identity. Consequently those optimistic about constructivism theory are of the view that economic development in China will result into adaption of new socio-cultural norms and softening of socio-cultural identities that earlier existed, this will have a positive impact on China’s democracy (Ross, et al. 2008, p336).
Liberalism theory in relation to a ‘cooperative’ U.S.-China policy
Liberalism theory is against a U.S. policy that seeks cooperation with China arguing that such a policy that will also aim at bringing democracy to China won’t succeed as democratization of China will lead to nationalization hence tension may raise between China and other nations. Constructivism theory on which the rise of China is based upon doesn’t have such assumptions.
Presidential Foreign Policy Doctrines discussed by Glenn Hastedt
According to the ‘Encyclopedia of American foreign policy’ written by author Glenn Hassedt he gives a very detailed list of America’s presidential doctrines that include numerous Presidents’ foreign policy that they implemented while still in power for example Reagan doctrine, Truman doctrine, Bush doctrine, Carter doctrine among others. The research will consider the Carter doctrine that stands out from the rest because of how divergent it is to the recommended foreign policy which this research has adopted (Hassedt, 2004, vol 1).
The Carter doctrine is an example of containment foreign policy totally different from a cooperative foreign policy. Similar to this research on the rise of China, the Carter doctrine addresses the rise of Soviet Union and states that it would use military force on any country that is viewed as a threat to U.S. national interest. The Carter doctrine doesn’t at all provide a useful precedent on the U.S. policy which this research has recommended.
Based on the first chapter of the research it is clear that the U.S. has national interest with respect to China and that China’s rise can be based on constructivism theory. The main agenda on the research was to make recommendation on which foreign policy should the U.S. adopt towards China; this has being conclude on a U.S. policy toward China which seeks to establish cooperation between them that also offer a better option on safeguarding America’s national interest and it is also in line with the constructivism theory of China.
Bergsten, F.C, Freeman C, Lardy, N., Mitchell, D, J (2008). China’s Rise: Challenges and opportunities Washington, D.C.: Peterson Institute for international Economics, pp256
Hassedt, P.G. (2004).Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy NY:132 west,31st street. Chapter one
Lampton D.M.(2008). The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money and Minds Berkeley: University of California Press .pp 361
Ross. R. Feng, Z. (2008)China’s Ascent: Power, Security and the future of international politics, NY:Cornell University Press. pp 336
Walt.S.M. (1998) The end of the Cold War played an important role in legitimizing contructivist theories because realism and liberalism failed to anticipate this event and had trouble explaining it. Foreign Policy, No. 110, Frontiers of Knowledge. pp.41
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