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Sino-American relations - Essay Example

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Sino-American relations refer to the interstate relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China ("PRC" or "China") (Sino-American relations). The forces that govern Sino-American relations are often shaped by the respective power and strategy of the United States and China…
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Sino-American relations
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Download file to see previous pages Given the importance of Sino-American relations, this paper examines important issues in the bilateral relations between the United States and China.
To understand Sino-American relations, it is important to comprehend the parties' perception of each other. China has for long viewed the United States as its biggest foreign policy problem because, as the only global power in the post-Cold War and post-9/11 world, the latter more than any other country, has the ability to faciliate or hinder the fulfillment of vital Chinese foreign power objectives. These objectives range from coopting Taiwan into its territory, expanding economic prosperity and securing international recognition of China's status as a great power (Levine 91).
While China's policy towards the United States is an area that engages the country's leaders and many of its citizens, the reverse is not true. Since the United States currently enjoys unipolarity, and will possibly continue to do so in the next few decades, the challenge for America is: how to preserve and promote American unipolarity (Zhang 686). Thus, while the United States is aware of the rising clout of the PRC, China is not on the top of Washington's foreign policy agenda (Levine 92-93), and probably only captures American attention insofar as it affects American hegemony.
Taiwan and Japan
In the shadow of this asymmetry in levels of interest, major conflicts of interest or real cooperation between the two giants unfold. Generally, such issues are connected with developments in Asia because it is in this region where the United States is most likely to come into contact with China (Wang [2]). A major worrisome security problem for China in Asia is the Republic of China ("ROC") on Taiwan. American interest in Taiwan is both historical and multi-faceted. For the first 30 years of the PRC's founding, the United States did not formally recognize the PRC. Rather, it recognized the ROC as the sole legitimate government of all China and maintained diplomatic relations with it. Although the United States transferred its recognition from Taipei to Beijing in the 1979's Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations ("Joint Communique") (Wikipedia, Sino-American relations), Taiwan's claims on American sympathies, which originated in Cold War anticommunism, have continued to be reinvigorated by the transformation of the island into a vibrant plural democracy (Levine 101). Besides, American commercial, cultural and other unofficial contacts with Taiwan have continued since 1979 and indeed were acknowledged by Beijing in the Joint Communique. The United States is also a larger exporter of weaponry to Taiwan (Sino-American relations).
In short, American interest in Taiwan is very much alive. To complicate matters, this interest is tied in with the United States' relations with Japan - one of its important allies in Asia. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S.-Japanese securities alliances have strengthened instead of weakened. The relationship between the United States and Japan has grown stronger after 9/11 with Tokyo's dispatch of troops to support the occupation of Iraq and provision of substantial reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan and Iraq ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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