Interests, Not Ideology, Should Drive America’s Approach to China Ideologues prefer to understand the U.S.-China relationship as a contest between good versus evil. They take comfort in clean divisions between democracies versus autocracies. They like parallels between the current U.S.-China great power contest and the U.S.-Soviet Union Cold War. The United States triumphed over the Soviets in the Cold War, after all, so why not repeat the cycle again now with China, they ask. .......... invoking Cold War analogies misdiagnoses the nature of the U.S.-China relationship and creates a false hope that the United States has the capacity to compel the collapse of China. ........ Any American attempt to treat China as its existential enemy (a la the Soviet Union during the Cold War) would isolate the United States from its friends and allies, none of whom have any enthusiasm for joining an anti-China containment coalition. ....... Not even America’s closest partners in Europe or Asia would sign up for a role in erecting such a global economic partition. ......... Trade data does not support arguments that China is seeking to bifurcate the global economy, though.
Over 150 countries view China as their largest trading partner, making China the world’s largest trading power.Even as Beijing pursues more statist economic policies at home, it continues to look for opportunities to gain leverage by locking in other countries’ dependence upon China for future economic growth. ......... a recognition that the bilateral relationship is deeply competitive. ......... Both countries also are battling each other to dominate the frontiers of innovation in technological fields that will define the coming century, such as quantum computing, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and clean energy. ............. bilateral trade in goods hit a record in 2022, nearing $700 billion ........ by virtue of their positions as the world’s two most powerful countries, the United States and China also face planetary interdependence. From climate change to the global economy and pandemics, they both are harmed or helped by their (in)ability to pool capabilities to confront shared threats.......... The sooner leaders in Washington and Beijing embrace the framework of competitive interdependence for understanding the nature of U.S.-China relations, the better they will be able to compete without resort to conflict. The framework pushes both sides to coexist within a heightened state of competition, not out of amity but rather a sober recognition of the parameters within which the relationship operates. The hard truth is that neither the United States nor China would be able to achieve their national ambitions if they end up in conflict with each other. ........... the goal of strategy is to minimize risks and maximize benefits. The current trajectory of U.S.-China relations is moving in the opposite direction. Risks of conflict are rising, while benefits from the relationship for American and Chinese citizens are receding. ......... a degree of strategic maturity that has been in short supply in recent years ......... The current downward trajectory of the relationship, if not arrested, will continue to generate sharp incidents of growing intensity. Expecting that U.S. and Chinese leaders would manage all such future incidents wisely and calmly requires the triumph of hope over reason. ........ What is needed now is clear-eyed, evidence-based, interest-driven thinking about how the world’s two most powerful countries can compete without resort to conflict, both now and in the future.
Mr. Hass. I read some of your comments about the Xi visit. There are some questions I would like to ask you. May I?— Paramendra Kumar Bhagat (@paramendra) March 22, 2023
2/ I suspect China's leaders feel less isolated on world stage than many in West suspect. Saudi Arabia reportedly plans to host Xi for visit. No BRICS countries have condemned Russia's invasion. Wang Yi reportedly may visit India soon. Chinese outreach to Global South increasing.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
3/ This raises the premium for Western unity in addressing China on its approach to Russia/Ukraine. Planned April 1 EU-China Summit will be an important event. Would be helpful for Beijing to hear a message from EU leaders that rhymes with what Biden conveyed to Xi last week.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
4/ Important for Beijing to hear consistent message from US + EU on need to 1) avoid backfilling sanctions, 2) refrain from sending arms to Russia, 3) contribute meaningfully to relief of humanitarian suffering in Europe, and 4) support efforts to hasten termination of conflict.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
5/ US and EU should not offer concessions to China to compel caution and prudence on Russia/Ukraine, but should make clear in a matter-of-fact way that PRC's decisions now will determine what range of trajectories for China's relations with West will be available in the future.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
6/ Beijing’s aspiration to become a geo-economic power requires functional relations with West. Beijing has its own incentives to avoid full rupture with West over Russia/Ukraine. Self-sufficiency and deepening ties with developing world are important, but not a substitute. END.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 21, 2022
Trade balance of Brazil and China 2021 was 125 billion dollars, Brazil with the USA and Europe was 120 billion dollars.According to eurostat in 2021, China has overtaken the US as the biggest partner in the EU.— Pedro Lacerda 🇧🇷 (@pedrolacerdass) March 22, 2022
A month ago, it was the US and friends playing Olympic boycott against a “genocidal regime.”— Betelnutgeuse (@Betelnutgeuse) March 22, 2022
Now it’s how China’s actions will determine “relations with West.”
Global South eyeing China to be a leader.
West looking at China to get in line, or else.
March 22, 2022
What a collection of fantasy of Western Departmentalism— 🇨🇳希小瑞GoDRic🏳️🌈☭ (@SheraxGoDRic) March 22, 2022
You offer no concessions and expect China to cooperate with you? That’s not how diplomacy works.— Bryant Z (@Coffeecurd) March 21, 2022
Speculation that China might invade Taiwan to distract from mounting domestic challenges - or because Chinese leaders imagine that their window of opportunity to seize the island is closing - is not just wrong, but dangerous. Here's why: https://t.co/mawriqRj1e THREAD— Jessica Chen Weiss (@jessicacweiss) March 21, 2023
I think @jamescrabtree gets the dilemma for US strategy in Asia right. US is under pressure simultaneously to maximize deterrence while minimizing provocation. He also is right to point out that PRC and others’ actions cast long shadow on regional stability as well. https://t.co/TMaqiFzKPd— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 22, 2023
As Xi’s visit to Russia makes clear, Beijing remains firmly committed to growing its relationship with Moscow. https://t.co/a5Vc5TxuEs— The Brookings Institution (@BrookingsInst) March 20, 2023
1/ This feels like an instance when @SecBlinken is right on the merits but wrong on the message. China wants to frame itself as committed to peace and the US as supporting prolongation of war. Better to frame in affirmative that US…https://t.co/0rqEkTahFt via @Barronsonline— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 20, 2023
3/…to restrain Russian aggression, commit to protecting principle of territorial integrity, etc.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 20, 2023
US could draw more support and have greater effect by making affirmative case for what constructive PRC role would look like than by warning others not to be duped by PRC. END
Looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to and learn from this conference in Singapore this week. Please join us if you are in town and interested. https://t.co/zGQtUzQIcQ— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 20, 2023
Impressive chart - US economy over-performing pre-COVID trend and Chinese economy underperforming it.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 19, 2023
This chart reinforces need for modesty in real-time forecasting of impacts of major events on major power competition. https://t.co/7G3xPNzFFi
@ewong and @StevenErlanger break down Xi’s likely aims for his upcoming visit to Moscow and how such efforts will be received in US and Europe. https://t.co/v1HdeqJBeX— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 19, 2023
US-PRC relations are off track. Risks of conflict are rising, while benefits from the relationship for American and Chinese citizens are receding. Ideological arguments don't carry answers. Evidence-based, interest-driven thinking is needed.https://t.co/cKuSIlMmmx— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 17, 2023
Thoughtful round-up of key takeaways from China's National People's Congress on a range of issues by members of the CSIS Trustee Chair team. https://t.co/3nYDg4t51H— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 17, 2023
NEW: US importers bore almost the entire burden of tariffs Donald Trump placed on more than $300 billion in Chinese goods, a report by an independent US government agency found.— Eric Martin (@EMPosts) March 15, 2023
USTR is currently reviewing if the 301 duties should remain.@apgmonteirohttps://t.co/xPsn4SACZj
Sharing a range of perspectives from across Brookings on the significance of this week's AUKUS announcement.— Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass) March 15, 2023
Featuring: @brucebrookings @MichaelEOHanlon @AmyJNelsonPhD @ConStelz @ProfTalmadge @AndrewIYeo Tom Stefanick, myselfhttps://t.co/eYknVReZNQ via @BrookingsInst
China as Peacemaker in the Ukraine War? The U.S. and Europe Are Skeptical Chinese officials say Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip to Moscow is a peace mission. But U.S. and European officials say he aims to bolster Vladimir V. Putin....... And even a call by Mr. Xi for a cease-fire would amount to an effort to strengthen Mr. Putin’s battlefield position, they say, by leaving Russia in control of more territory than when the invasion began. ...... A cease-fire now would be “effectively the ratification of Russian conquest,” John Kirby, a White House spokesman, said on Friday. “It would in effect recognize Russia’s gains and its attempt to conquer its neighbor’s territory by force, allowing Russian troops to continue to occupy sovereign Ukrainian territory.” ......... for Chinese officials to come out of the meeting claiming “we’re the ones calling for an end to the fighting and nobody else is.” ....... In an article published in a Russian newspaper on Sunday, Mr. Xi wrote that China had pursued “efforts to promote reconciliation and peace negotiations.” ......... Skepticism of one of Mr. Xi’s stated goals pervades thinking in Washington and some European capitals. American intelligence agencies have concluded that relations between China and Russia have deepened during the war, even as Russia has become isolated from many other nations. ........ The two countries continue to do joint military exercises, and Beijing has joined Moscow in regularly denouncing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. China remains one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil, which has helped Moscow finance its invasion. ......... Chinese officials have at no point condemned the invasion. ........... “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-around containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development.” ....... But China remains firmly anchored in the global economy, and Mr. Xi and his aides want to avoid being seen as malign actors on the world stage, especially in the eyes of Europe, a major trade partner. ....... Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin have a strong personal affinity and, as of this week’s state visit, have met 40 times since Mr. Xi became China’s leader in 2012. Mr. Putin called Mr. Xi a “dear old friend” in an article published in a Chinese newspaper on Sunday, saying the two enjoyed the “warmest relationship.” ......... China’s recent mediation of an initial diplomatic rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran had boosted notions of China as a peacemaker. ....... China is not a close partner of either country and has a very specific economic interest in preventing the two from escalating their hostilities — it buys large amounts of oil from both. .......... Mr. Xi has not talked to Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, since the war began, much less asked for his perspective on peace talks. ........... Mr. Zelensky has said he would enter peace talks only if Mr. Putin withdrew his troops from Ukrainian territory. That includes the Crimean Peninsula, which the Russian military seized in 2014, and the Donbas region, where that same year Russian troops stoked a pro-Russia separatist insurgency. ........... Qin Gang, the foreign minister of China, spoke by phone with Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign minister of Ukraine, and stressed that the warring sides should “resume peace talks” and “return to the track of political settlement” ......... Analysts in Washington concur. “I don’t think China can serve as a fulcrum on which any Ukraine peace process could move,” said Ryan Hass, a former U.S. diplomat to China and White House official who is a scholar at the Brookings Institution. ......... Mr. Hass added that China would have a role as part of a signing or guaranteeing group for any eventual peace deal and would be critical to Ukraine’s reconstruction. “I believe Zelensky understands this, which is why he has been willing to exercise so much patience with China and with Xi personally,” he said........... they saw it as a further sign of China’s friendship if not alliance with Russia, as well as an effort by China to present itself as a mediator in the war. ....... He suggested that Washington wanted the war to continue to further weaken Russia. “Some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize,” he said. “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harms on Europe. They might have strategic goals larger than Ukraine itself. This warfare must not continue.” ........ many European officials, like their Ukrainian and American counterparts, are convinced that early talks on a peace settlement will be at the expense of Ukrainian sovereignty. ......... “It is not a peace plan, but principles that they shared” .
Japan’s Prime Minister Becomes Latest G7 Leader to Visit Ukraine Fumio Kishida, who has been seeking a more active role for his country in international affairs, made an unannounced trip to meet with Ukraine’s president. ......... Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has galvanized Japan’s foreign and military policy, stoking concerns about the costs of geopolitical instability. Policymakers and the public alike worry that the country would be unprepared to handle a crisis in its own backyard, whether North Korean aggression or an attempt by China to take the self-ruled island of Taiwan. ....... Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, said the prime minister’s show of solidarity with Mr. Zelensky was in contrast to the partnership between Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin, calling the alignment between the Chinese and Russian leaders “nefarious.” ........ “Prime Minister Kishida stands with freedom, and Xi stands with a war criminal,” the ambassador wrote. ....... A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry responded to news of the visit by saying Japan should “help de-escalate the situation instead of the opposite.” ....... The war has raised concerns about Japan’s reliance on other countries for food and energy, most of which it imports. Prices for commodities such as natural gas jumped after the invasion, putting cost pressures on Japan’s production of electricity. In response, the country has pushed for closer relationships with its allies and broken a decades-long deadlock in military spending as it plans to double its budget over the next five years. ....... Mr. Kishida embarked for Ukraine from India, where he had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on issues including protecting freedom of navigation in the Pacific. ........ In a speech on Monday at the Indian Council of World Affairs, a research institute in New Delhi, Mr. Kishida said that Russia’s war had driven a “paradigm shift” in global affairs. ..... “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine oblige us to face the most fundamental challenge: defending peace,” he said, according to prepared remarks. .
March 21, 2023
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