A tug of war: Washington's war with Beijing is fueling their economies


Washington and Beijing, seem to be linked with a very strange partnership, considering what we use to call international relations. In fact, they both represent a tug of war, which means they remain in full substance, as long as they both keep pushing different sides, in this power game.

With a historical background more or less known, especially the one referring to recent years' interaction between the two countries, there have been some crucial political moments, which led to an escalation that soon reached the culminating point of nowadays...

During 2010, China was resisting US pressure to condemn the attack of North Korea to YeonPyeong island. In same line with this, China rejected all the sanctions imposed on Iran by Washington. These incidents created a tension without precedent for these huge economies, but their collaboration didn't stop because of this. The fight against terrorism, the need to control the proliferation of weapons of massive destruction, and finally the effort to handle the outburst of the economic crisis of 2008, by trying to absorb most of its detrimental global effects.

The US, is blaming China for "stealing" jobs and for creating the circumstances of what can be called unfair competition, but except for that, Washington is mostly strategically worried, that China is developing its own arsenal, thus changing the balance of power, for global supremacy in terms of supression, a role the US needs to monopolize and a role, that for the moment they are the only international player they can afford it so effectively, as China still needs  time for that, but also they never craved for supremacy in that specific area...

But how reasonable can all those blamings really be? The american society witnessed the delocalisation of the manufacturing sector and the loss of jobs, due to financial liberalism and due to capitalism that demands the maximum possible production in the lowest possible cost. Beijing never "put the gun on anyone's face"...The American investors alone, grabbed the opportunity to profit from an extremely low cost manufacturing, which in return meant the Chinese created all the necessary space for developping jobs. The Americans leaved this way, their colossal companies, to pollute China.

This way, the two countries, created a really bizarre partnership, that is difficult to dissolve, without a global financial collapse...China pollutes its own environment, and this way it leaves space for Washington to develop their finacial activities. On the other hand it buys american debt through treasury bonds, and gets back the privilege of creating fortunes, in countries like Iraq or Afghanistan, where it is considered to be a big investor, interested for natural resources in those two countries.

This ambiguous partnership, becomes even more fragile, when it comes to vital issues related to territorial dominance such as Taiwan, for example. 

Beijing faces Taiwan, as a remote district of mainland China. On the other hand, Taiwan, which is one of the most powerful industrial countries in the Asian continent, longs for independence...This conflict has deep roots, and stems back to the World War 2 period...Chiang Kai Shek representing the Chinese Nationalist Party, after his loss from Mao Zedong and the Communist Party, he left and moved to Taiwan. His followers and also many countries, strongly denied to accept the communist government of Beijing. This led to the "one country, two systems" era, same as Beijing tried to do with Hong Kong, but in reality, each country gave its own interpretance to this notion. 

With this historical background, when the US decides to sell weapons to Taiwan, China gets pushed to make even more stronger its arsenal, and then US suspects China of having strategic visions inside the influence sphere of Washington. This tug of war, cannot continue like this for long, but it can't also completely dissolve, as it holds the two countries interrelated in a vicious circle that as a paradox, also fuels both of them and the economy. If Washington learns how to be present without involving in fundamental chinese rights, then this tug-of-war may go on for a long time, enhanced with the necessary changes that will not lead to a communication dead end. 

Ofcourse the internationalisation of the RMB or (Yuan), which holds the 6th position between international currencies, according to statistics from the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, showing people getting payed with it, is a reason of anxiety for Washington. Also, the fact that even through buying treasury bonds, China manages to keep its export prices lower, is another reason to cause headache to the american government and its current employment status. But still, as long as the US learns how to not interfere in vital and crucial areas of the Chinese territory, this tug-of-war relation will continue to exist, based on a change, which would be that Washington, weighs the pros and cons of getting out of this...There is only one way out of this situation, and it demands a war, that China is not ready to take at the moment...

                                                written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science 

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