Economics remains a big dimension of the US-China relationship
A supposedly scholarly opinion on covid-19, authored by Louisa Lim appeared in the SMH on 28 June 2021. The reported opinion is somewhat disappointed when written by an academic, and is full of Western bias. In our opinion a clearer and balanced view of the subject can be seen in Prof Kishore Mahbubani’s video.
This week the SMH also featured a two-page spread on “Inside the tussle for economic supremacy” by Eryk Bagshaw 29 June 2021. This is a must read for all interested in the tense US-China relationship.
Mr Bagshaw should be complimented for writing an article concentrating only the economic aspect without bias compared to a similar article with Louisa Lim.
This article together with most Western commentaries on economics, predicted that the Chinese will be on par with or overtake the US economy (based on GDP) by 2028.
It is interesting to note that the top five members of the top 30 on the Forbes global Rich List are Chinese businessmen. Ten years ago, we would never expect to see any Chinese billionaires in the top ranks now.
We believe this economic competition and the successful Chinese penetration into the world market, is the trigger for the current cold war status. A timeline of US-China relations can be viewed on “Fifty years of friendship and feuds” by Tom Tom Compagnoni.
The trade war started around 2017 between US and China. The SMH article “How to win friends and influence nations: China and the US battle it out” made a comparison of the two Presidents speeches:
“We will build a circle of friends across the whole world,” Xi said in January 2017. “China will never seek expansion, hegemony or sphere of influence.”
China’s President Xi Jinping, January 18, 2017 UN Switzerland
“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power,” Trump declared. “A new vision will govern our land from this day forward: it’s going to be only America first.” US President Donald Trump, January 21, 2017
Trump was speaking to his domestic audience whilst, in our opinion, Xi was speaking to the world.
Many expected the new President Biden would change tack and ease the US-China tension, started by his predecessor. Not only did President not reverse any of Trump’s policy but instead strengthened it.
The US-China trade war is now a new Cold War between the two superpowers. It also ratchets up the war drums, on the South China Seas in general and Taiwan in particular. Although war is not imminent, many pundits fear that an accident is waiting to happen that would trigger the hot war and MAD. We must pull back on this cliff because the potential nuclear holocaust will destroy the planet and all human endeavour.
If you google Prof Kishore Mahbubani videos on US-China relations or Western commentators, most of them would suggest that it is impossible at the moment, for any US President to go soft on China because the ordinary Americans have successfully been brainwashed and created China as the enemy. It would be political suicide for any US political leader to change tact. Hence, US foreign policy cares more about retaining domestic power, America First than international wellbeing! We hope that there will be some brave souls to take over the political leadership from US and her allies who can rise up to turn the tide round for the good of all global citizens
China diplomatic offensive is formidable as the as the SMH sowed these figures on China’s diplomatic posts globally. As of 2019, China has 276 diplomatic postings slightly more than the 273 diplomatic missions of the United States. They should treat each other as equal with respect.
Several articles have appeared to say why it is futile for the US to stop the economic rise of China.
Despite the difficulties the US has, in this current climate, to reverse policy on China, we still hope good leaders on both sides should be able to bring forward ideas that can bring the two superpowers to work together.
This commentary is supplied by the Chinese Community Council of Australia Incorporated: Founding President, Dr Anthony Pun OAM, President, Mr Kingsley Liu. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors.