Regular bilateral engagements between the US and China will undoubtedly continue. We see this in the example carried out in early December, the arrest of the Finance Director of the company “Huawei” Meng Wanzhou.
However, despite the economic rivalry and political differences between the US and China, the catastrophic outcome is unlikely, if the US recognizes the reality in three aspects.
First, the U.S. authorities should accept the “new normal” of China, which boasts the largest GDP in the world. As well as the United States had the largest economy in the twentieth century, and China will be the largest economy in the XXI century. However, in any scenario, America is, of course, will remain a major economic power.
Second, States need to recognize the need for structural economic reforms in their own country, just as China did four decades ago, though with completely different accents and trajectory. Instead of shouldering the blame for its huge trade deficit for allegedly unfair trading methods used in other countries, the United States should reflect on its unsustainable economic policies, a decline in industrial capacity and lack of investment in infrastructure, education and training.
If the us government will continue to focus on meeting the interests of wall street, big business and neo-liberal economists, the country’s economic performance will deteriorate and the inequality in wealth between Americans, will continue to grow. This, in turn, will increase the risk of increasing social instability, extremism, and populism. The American elite cannot afford to ignore clear warning signs, just as she overlooked the emergence of a bubble in the mortgage market that triggered the financial crisis of 2008.
Finally, America needs to better understand the geopolitical perspectives and intentions of China, as this is an area where an incorrect assessment can lead to unnecessary conflict. For example, the Western theories of international relations predict that the economic power of China will inevitably turn him into a dominant global power, however, the history of the country allows to make a conclusion. China has never sought aggressive geographical expansion, even when he had the power to do so. This approach is consistent with an important classic doctrine, which was used by Chinese emperors and which is known as the “doctrine of the mean”. In accordance with this doctrine, any attempts to desire for world domination always lead to national destruction and bring people unhappiness.
Many world leaders, and especially the trump and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin seems to believe that military force and strategic coercion is the best measure of competitiveness and a guarantee of security. But military and political domination based on force or coercion ceased to be critical or even relevant in international relations. China wants a fair and open global system, in which you can engage all countries on an equal basis and which stimulates economic cooperation.
In the current challenging times of ideological battle about which model of economic development better, will not bring anyone benefits. The US and China — the two largest economy in the world, and they bear a special responsibility for the management of peaceful transition to a new multipolar international order. They realize this transition in the most efficient manner if they are to cooperate and jointly cope with the problems that inevitably arise.
For US this means recognizing that attempts to economically defeat or contain China will not solve their internal problems. In America’s national interest to look into the eyes of reality and to adapt to China’s rise.
P. H. Yu,
the head of the Council of the Institute new structural Economics
at Peking University, Project Syndicate, USA