The idea seems to have taken shape or is finally taking shape right before our eyes: the “divorce” of the first two economies of the world turned out to be impossible, and if so, America must forcefully return China to the past, when it was not yet one of the superpowers.
The starting point for reflection here is the news about the trade between the United States and the PRC for 11 months of this year: $ 694 billion. The results of the whole year, apparently, will mean a record. And this is after the trade war launched by Donald Trump, which mainly boiled down to prohibitive duties on the import of Chinese goods. Banned, banned, but Chinese exports amount to almost 529 of the same 694 billion. And the Chinese foreign exchange reserves, because of the resulting surplus, therefore grow again obscenely quickly.
And at the same time, the United States is introducing more and more sanctions against Beijing, but if you look closely, they concern something related to high technologies. What does all this mean? The answer from the Chinese magazine Global Times : they are hoping that China will continue to supply the United States with middle and low-price goods, but America will regain its leadership in high technologies, blocking the access of relevant Chinese technologies to the markets of West-ern countries, so that maintain its own dominant position in the world economy.
That is, we have before us the dream of returning not only China, but the whole world to the realities of the 1990s, when the Chinese and American economies began to merge more and more inextricably according to the scheme described above.
We can safely say that we have before us the essence and meaning of what can now pass for the Chinese policy of the Biden administration (for lack of a better one). And since the relations between the first two powers of the world are about the same as in the second half of the last century the competition between the USSR and the USA, we have before us a key supporting structure of the whole world for an indefinite future.
We have repeatedly said that Trump’s Chinese policy was an amateur improvisation on his knee (or on a stool). This was so if only because the Republicans did not have and do not have a powerful thinking and bureaucratic apparatus in terms of foreign affairs. Biden has it. And now we see: the US-China ties are slowly thawing. All the facts of this kind are listed by the famous Hong Kong analyst Frank Chin since the 1980s: here and the renewal of contacts on the trade and military lines, and “a general improvement in the atmosphere.” The process began after the video summit of Xi Jinping and Joe Biden on September 9. And now, at least, the bottom of the relationship, which used to be in free fall, has emerged.
But at the same time, the opposite process is going on: an absolutely fake conflict in the Taiwan Strait, with accusations that China is going to seize this island, and a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing. So the whole picture strongly resembles the process launched after the recent similar conversation between Vladimir Putin and the same Biden: both the improvement of the atmosphere and the confrontation at the same time. This is now a corporate American style. Which should not only be studied as a technology, but also understand what is behind it.
And there is weakness and fear. Here is a report on one of the many conferences taking place in the United States on the topic of “where our foreign policy is heading.” It said that it was good in the 1990s and even in the early 2000s: China was still a controlled competitor, not a “civilizational adversary,” in addition, transatlantic ties (that is, NATO) seemed unbreakable. Today everything is worse: America can no longer simultaneously set Europe against Russia, keep troops in the Middle East – and confront China. Not to mention the fact that the ideological influence of China is felt even on the territory of American universities.
But – and here we turn to last year’s interview with the famous analyst, John Mearsheimer – the problem is that it is too dangerous to seriously conflict with China.
This is a famous person who has long predicted the rivalry between the United States and China as a substitute for the confrontation between the USSR and the United States. His ideology is devoid of idealism, it consists in the fact that the state is a wolf, it has always been so and will always be. No one in the world ever believes in the good intentions of very strong countries (hello to the geopolitics of the USSR during the times of Mikhail Gorbachev). Therefore, each is trying to become omnipotent, if not on the world stage, then in its own region, and China, as Mearsheimer predicted back in 2001, will achieve its goal at least in Asia. Accordingly, the United States will not like it. But now, when the weight of the two countries on the world stage has become practically the same, America simply cannot bear it.
And nowadays (although still in the Trump era) this person is asked: so what, after the confrontation between the USSR and the United States, the world has returned to the starting point of the fight between the superpowers, but only now we are talking about China? And he answers: yes, but everything will not be so. First, the Soviet economy was not very efficient, because it was socialist and in terms of GDP it never made more than a third of the US economy. China is a fundamentally different enemy. There are four times as many people as in the United States, and they are employed in a dynamic capitalist economy. As a result, America may have to deal with a country much stronger than itself.
But there is also secondly. Mearsheimer says the situation with China is more dangerous than with the USSR in the last century. Follow the logic: the United States did not really want to fight with Moscow, because a key part of the military confrontation would unfold in the territories of Central Europe, and this is not very good for Atlantic unity – one of the Europeans might be offended. But the limited conflict with Beijing is somewhere far away in Asia. Some of the generals might be thinking: who cares about this Southeast Asia ? The threshold of conflict has been lowered and that is why such a situation must be feared.
What conclusion will the old superpower draw from all this? So far – see above – it has been decided to end Trump’s trade war, but to prevent China from strengthening its technological superiority. That is, to cooperate and fight at the same time. (With Russia, they also want to eventually come to such a formula of love).
But the captivating frankness of this approach strongly dislikes China, and who will. Plus, Trump’s trade war has been sabotaged by American businesses, whose prosperity is largely dependent on “medium-low-cost” Chinese imports.
But at the same time, there is interdependence in terms of high technologies. Just now, another scandal of this kind is unfolding in the United States. Apple is under attack as bad people have just stolen and published the tech giant’s documentation of its $ 275 billion – not million – dollar deals with the Chinese (indefinitely). I wonder how many more global technology leaders have actually merged in an unbreakable embrace with their Chinese counterparts?
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