Country Research Reports between U.S and China
Report brief by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Marc Garneau
Since the end Cold War, United States employed the principle of economics and political liberalism promoting free-market democracies. China’s growing influence, its big economy, and growth potential created tensions between U.S and China. China’s entrance to the international system previously dominated by the United States threatened America’s global position and its influence. Escalation of foreign ties happens in 2017 under the Trump administration when the United States declared China a strategic revival and competitor. The issues surrounding this foreign tiff include economic and trade frictions, a dispute over intellectual property rights, technological decoupling, the Hong Kong issues, and a dispute over the South China Sea. Covid 19 pandemic further deteriorated China-U.S foreign relation.
The United States has largely been driving this latest cycle of confrontation because China is emerging as a global great power threatening American position as global economic powers. The United States is resisting this growth of China’s dominance by pursuing a containment strategy that includes escalation of foreign ties conflicts. China administrations employ an authoritarian and static version of capitalism that poses great challenge to the west and liberal order1. Due to trade and economic friction, a sanction imposed by the United State government and poor handling of covid-19, the official between the two countries have frozen and the mutual antipathy between the official of these two countries is unmatched.
The foreign ties are in a serious situation since the normalization of their diplomatic ties in the early 1970s. Both China and U.S have gone through retaliation and friction from 2017 to 2020 before President Biden took power in 2021, Jan 20th. Trump administration perceives China as a strategic rival because China is determined to maintain its right to development and Challenges the United States as a global leader2. This creates challenges in cementing agreement or negotiation to end trade conflicts. Trump reacted to U.S growing influence by imposing a trade tariff on a Chinese import. As a retaliatory measure, China as well put trade tariffs on American goods an issue that further put the two countries in an odd position.
Trump continues in imposing additional trade tariffs valued at $34 billion worth of Chinese goods while China retaliated with its tariff on five hundred U.S products. U.S blamed China for taking advantage of the free trade rules to take advantage of U.S firms operating in China while China blamed U.S for trade bullying3. Furthermore, the United State was not pleased with Chinese military aggression in the South China Sea, concern about religious persecution by the Chinese government, and the poor implementation of intellectual property laws that result in the stealing of American intellectual property4. U.S and China conflict deepened when the U.S justice department requested Canada to arrest Huawei executives.
The executive was arrested for crimes relating to fraud and violation of trade sanctions against Iran. China on the other hand retaliated by arresting two Canadian citizens for undermining national security. China and U.S held trade talks but it never yields any success. U.S further added a trade tariff believing that China will offer a favorable trade deal. The U.S further bans U.S companies from sourcing foreign-made telecommunication equipment that under U.S security a move that was perceived to target Huawei. The escalation of China and the U.S on Huawei was based on technological competition. The restriction dealt a severe blow to the company 5G business and result in other European country’s announcing restrictions.
Hong Kong Human Rights and democracy act passed on by congress also created foreign relations tiff with China where the U.S could sanction individuals involved in human rights abuses in Hong Kong. The Act also gave the U.S official some right to evaluate Beijing and Hong Kong relations and whether Hong Kong enjoyed a higher degree of autonomy from Beijing5. The coronavirus outbreak further created a new conflict whereby China and U.S blame each other for the outbreak. China maintained that the U.S military brought the virus to China while Trump makes a sentiment that branded Coronavirus China virus and blamed the Chinese government for negligence that resulted in to spread of the virus6.
China passed new national security law for Hong Kong while the U.S government signed an executive order that ended Hong Kong’s preferential trade status. The conflict escalated leading to China’s closure of its consulates in Houston, Texas. The U.S accused China of using this consulate as a hub for espionage and intellectual property theft. China retaliated by closing the U.S consulate in Chengdu. The U.S further sanctioned Chinese companies for human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The new administration will have a difficult time in solving the conflict that existed with the current administration considering that some of the policies were implemented to protect the U.S. global interest, preserving its position as a global economic power. Renegotiations of a trade agreement, maintaining communication, and avoid conflict will help reduce escalation of the two countries’ conflict.
The report examines on U.S and China relations that have affected the world at large and how China and U.S responded to the changes within China that seem to affect their economic dominance and how China responds to those change in U.S. China is trying to reinvent its own way to economic power while the United States is concern on its global position, strategic and competitive position. These concerns result to increases escalation on diplomatic ties, trade and economic trade restriction result to imposing of tariffs, blame games between the two countries where China perceive the U.S as a bully while China is accused of violating human rights in Hong Kong and failure of China control a covid-19 outbreak. China and U.S should find a way to renegotiate their trade agreement, maintain communication and avoid confrontation.
De Graaff, Nana, and Bastiaan Van Apeldoorn. “US–China relations and the liberal world order: contending elites, colliding visions?.” International affairs 94, no. 1 (2018): 113-131.
Delisle, Jacques. “When Rivalry Goes Viral: COVID-19, US-China Relations, and East Asia.” Orbis 65, no. 1 (2021): 46-74.
Medeiros, Evan S. “The changing fundamentals of US-China relations.” The Washington Quarterly 42, no. 3 (2019): 93-119.
Steinberg, James B. “What Went Wrong? US-China Relations from Tiananmen to Trump (Winter 2019/2020).” Texas National Security Review (2020).
Zhang, Baijia. “Understanding changes in Sino-US relations from a historical perspective.” China International Strategy Review 2, no. 1 (2020): 1-13.
1Zhang, Baijia. “Understanding changes in Sino-US relations from a historical perspective.” China International Strategy Review 2, no. 1 (2020): 1-13
2Steinberg, James B. “What Went Wrong? US-China Relations from Tiananmen to Trump (Winter 2019/2020).” Texas National Security Review (2020).
3Medeiros, Evan S. “The changing fundamentals of US-China relations.” The Washington Quarterly 42, no. 3 (2019): 93-119.
4Medeiros, Evan S. “The changing fundamentals of US-China relations.” The Washington Quarterly 42, no. 3 (2019): 93-119.
5De Graaff, Nana, and Bastiaan Van Apeldoorn. “US–China relations and the liberal world order: contending elites, colliding visions?.” International affairs 94, no. 1 (2018): 113-131.
6Delisle, Jacques. “When Rivalry Goes Viral: COVID-19, US-China Relations, and East Asia.” Orbis 65, no. 1 (2021): 46-74.