The following article integrates some of the ideas written by our members on the issue in the last two years. It takes a look at the role that the transatlantic alliance can have in balancing Beijing's power in the international arena. If you wish to read the authors' articles in their entirety, click on their hyperlinked names.
This is only representative of a fraction of the cutting edge writing that our members brought to the community on this topic. To read more articles on the subject, click "China" under the "Issues Navigator" tab on the left-side panel of our home page.
Managing the Rivalry
As China joins ranks with other great powers, its rapid rise has raised serious concerns about an unavoidable, even existential, threat to the West. Unsurprisingly, there has been much commentary on the coming (current) rivalry. Among the authors is Greg Randolph Lawson, who wrote in July 2011 that some form of hedging is essential as China's military capabilities grow and its role in the South China Sea continues to expand.
In September 2010, Frans Paul van der Putten argued that as a result of China displacing Europe as the second most influential actor in international affairs, the appeal for political and economic liberalism is dangerously declining. Consequently, this will negatively affect the global standing of the United States.
Others contend that the hype about waning American power and the emergence of China as a global player is in fact a gross exaggeration. By viewing China as a threat, the West will miss opportunities for future cooperation with Beijing. For example, what was considered by many as Chinese economic aggression two years ago when Beijing adopted new environmental regulations on the mining of rare earth metals (after hoarding most of the reserves), thereby jacking up the prices, essentially overlooked the point of China's policies: an attempt to clean up China's industry. This, argued Jason Naselli in October 2011, could have provided an avenue for the West and China to seriously discuss environmental policy and the scarcity of global resources. Instead, it was viewed as economic bullying.
For all the talk about a creeping Chinese hegemony and Obama's pivot to Asia, what might be of greater significance to the US and EU is for the two sides to strengthen their ties and together balance their interests in the Asia-Pacific, as claimed by Chris Ogden in November 2011. This can only be achieved, wrote Dr. Mai'a K. Davis Cross in March 2011, if Americans overcome their misconceptions about a weak Europe and if Europe realizes that they are not only capable but responsible to lead in the 21st century.
Written by Ramin Daniel Rezai