h1

US-China Relations Outlook 2010: 什么样的关系?

January 13, 2010

A hearing on recent security developments in the People’s Republic of China provided a somewhat bleak outlook for the near future of US-China relations, echoing the wary sentiments of pundits and academics in recent weeks. Meeting at one of the House Visitors’ Centers’ many committee rooms this morning, the House Armed Services Committee heard testimony from top Department of Defense, State, and PACOM officials on what we can expect this year from the growing strength of China in the global arena.

In unusual agreement with pundits’ (see Robert Cohen’s recent NYT Op-Ed) and academics’ recent warnings concerning China’s military and economic might, Pacific Command Admiral Robert F. Willard, USN, expressed him uneasiness at China’s PLA capabilities. He said that China’s stated goals of peace and stability in the region and world are unmatched by their recent military buildup.

Building on issues of military might, Department of Defense A/S Wallace C. Gregson describes current US-Chinese relations as operating in a “dynamic environment with little historical precedent.” Positives in the relationship, which include China’s support of UN Security Council Resolution 1874  and anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden are matched by negatives such as an overall lack of transparency  and the pace and scope of their military buildup.

Concluding remarks came from Department of State Deputy A/S for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David B. Shear, who seemingly tried to re-prove to the House members how State officials have tried to engage the region in a dynamic and cooperative manner, bring up the numerous POTUS and Secretary trips to the region. However, his recap of the last year of efforts in Asia was darkened by a statement on the recent near-decision by Google to pull out its operations in China in light of an apparent cyberattack perpetrated by China against various Chinese human rights activists who use GMail. He reiterated today’s remarks from Secretary Clinton that State was briefed on the matter by Google previously and that a scheduled press conference on internet security and openness scheduled for next Thursday was scheduled prior to this fact.

The overall tone of all testimonies given seemed to parallel the feelings of many China watchers these days – although China is becoming more accountable to global norms of transparency and responsibility, this is only a natural change due to its increased presence on the global stage. Stated goals and dreams of peace by the PRC seem to be what they’ve always been – lipservice – and the PLA military buildup’s actions speak louder than these words. Wariness seems to be the best posture to be taken by the US at this point – wariness and preparedness. Within the next few weeks, China’s moves on the Google issue and on Iran sanctions could prove as a good litmus test to actions in the rest of 2010.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: