Wang enbao

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Evaluating the George W Bush Presidency 2009 Conference

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Wang enbao

  1. 1. The Cold War Thinking and Bush’s China Policy By Enbao Wang University of Hawaii at Hilo Abstract The Cold War thinking played an important role in Bush Administration’s China policy- making. In its first year, the Bush administration launched a new Cold War toward China. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington shifted its containment policy to a contradictory one. On the one hand, Washington established strategic constructive relations with China and the two nations cooperated with on war on terror, trade, and North Korea nuclear issue. Washington appealed China to be a stakeholder of the United States. On the other hand, China continued to be perceived as a “Communist” nation, ignoring its transition toward capitalism. Washington checked China by continuing its Cold War alliance in Asia and by strengthening its ties with Taiwan. The aspect of the Cold War policy continued because a portion of American politicians, scholars, and populace lived with the Cold War thinking and distrusted “Communist China.” This paper attempts to argue that the Cold War thinking----a portion of Americans continued to view China as a “Communist nation” and judged China from traditional cold war perspective----played an important role in Bush administration’s China-policy- making. In its first year, the Bush administration believed that China would be major rival of the U.S. in the twenty-first century and launched a new cold war against China. After the 9/11 event, the Bush administration began to adjust its containment policy. The U.S. was supported by Beijing in America’s war on terrorism. However, Washington did not entirely abandon its cold war thinking and formed a self-contradictory policy:
  2. 2. Washington engaged and cooperated with China and appealed China to be a stakeholder of the United States while maintaining Cold War policy toward China on geopolitical issues. Bush’s China Policy: from Confrontation to cooperation The development of President Bush’s China may be divided into two periods. First period (2001): launched new Cold War against “Communist China”; Second period (2002-2009): formed a constructive relations with China on trade and many other issues while containing “Communist China” on geopolitical issues. The First period (2001), the New Cold War toward China When President George W. Bush came to office in 2001, his primary strategic objective was to resurrect the permanent-dominance doctrine spelled out in the Defense Planning Guidance document for the post-Cold War era. According to this document, which was drafted by Paul Wolfowitz in 1992 and implemented from 1994 to 1999, the primary objective of U.S. strategy was to prevent the rise of any future competitor that might challenge America’s military dominance in the world.1 The Bush administration strongly believed that China will be chief rival of the United States and the United States should confront this “communist” nation. Bush asserted that China was a strategic competitor 1 The document reads, “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival . . . . that poses a threat on the order that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. . . . We endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.” See Michael T. Klare, “Containing China: The U.S.’s Real Objective,” Asia Times Online, April 20, 2006. The Defense Planning Guidance was unofficially called the Wolfowitz Doctrine.
  3. 3. of the United States and downplayed the importance of relations with China.2 In an earlier article published in 2000 in Foreign Affairs, Condoleeza Rice, foreign policy adviser to presidential candidate Bush and later national security adviser and secretary of state in the Bush cabinet, suggested that China, as a rising power, would eventually challenge America’s superiority. “What we do know is that China is a great power with unresolved vital interests, particularly concerning Taiwan and South China Sea. China also resents the role of the U.S. in the Asia-pacific region.”3 To contain China, the Bush administration strengthened “U.S. relations with key allies,” particularly Japan, South Korea, and Australia, and also U.S. relations with other nations around China, such as Russia and India.4 In addition, the United States developed the theater missile defense system in East Asia to weaken China’s nuclear deterrence. U.S. Department of Defense actively implemented the new cold war policy against China. Chief Cold War warriors in the DOD include Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, Douglas Feith, undersecretary for policy, and Steven Cambone, Rusfeld’s new intelligence chief. Under the DOD’s direction, Washington intensified its spy activities against China.5 In April 2001, three months after Bush came to office, U.S. spy airplane EP-3 collided with China’s airplane near China’s Hainan Island. Chinese airplane crushed and the pilot of Chinese airplane died. 2 Wu Xinbao, “Bush Should Act Now to Get Ties With Beijing Back on Track,” International Herald Tribune, July 7, 2001. 3 Condoleeza Rice, “Promoting the National Interest,” Foreign Affairs (January/February, 2000): 56. 4 Robert G. Sutter, Chinese Foreign Relations: Power and Policy since the Cold War (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008), 172. 5 Jeff Stein, “Defense Officials Tried to Reverse China Policy,” CQ Politics.
  4. 4. Bush also used the Taiwan issue to contain China. For the Chinese, the Taiwan issue has been always the biggest issue in U.S.-China relations because it involved China’s “core interest.” However, over China’s objection, the Bush administration deliberately promoted U.S.-Taiwan relations by permitting Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, who was directing Taiwan to independence, to make an unofficial visit to the U.S. and to meet Congressional members in June 2001. The White House approved an arms-sale package of billions of dollars for Taiwan—including, for the first time, submarines. Most importantly, Bush abandoned America’s decade-old policy of ambiguity on the Taiwan issue and unequivocally asserted that the United States would defend Taiwan with "whatever it takes."6 Furthermore, Washington shifted a large portion of its military forces to the Asian-Pacific region and strengthened military ties with most countries surrounding China.7 To encourage the pro-independence forces in Taiwan, the Defense Department dispatched “a person to Taiwan every week, essentially to tell the Taiwanese that the alliance was back on,” referring to the pre- 1970s U.S.-Taiwan military relations.8 Therese Shaheen, the outspoken chief of the American Institute in Taiwan, which took on the function of the American embassy after the ending of U.S.-Republic of China relations in 1979, happened to be wife of Lawrence DiRita, Rumsfeld spokesman, openly championed Chen Shui-bian and the 6 John Pomfret, “China’s Growing Uneasy about U.S. Relations,” Washington Post, June 22, 2001, A01. 7 Robert Sutter, “China’s Rise in Asia: U.S. Concerns,” Asia Times Online, March 13, 2003; Cheng Yawen, “Land in The Middle: America’s Journey to Holy War,” Asia Times Online, November 2, 2002; and Jim Lobe, “America’s Confused China Policy,” Asia Times Online, January 9, 2003. Reviewing China-U.S, relations, Chinese President Hu Jintao added that the United States has “strengthened its military deployments in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthened the U.S.-Japan military alliance, strengthened strategic cooperation with India, improved relations with Vietnam, inveigled Pakistan, established a pro-American government in Afghanistan, increased arms sales to Taiwan, and so on. They have extended outposts and placed pressure points on us from the east, south, and west. This makes a great change in our geopolitical environment.” See Robert Sutter, “China’s Rise in Asia: U.S. Concerns,” Asia Times Online, March 13, 2003; and Melinda Liu, “War of Wills,” Newsweek, April 24, 2006. 8 Jeff Stein, “Defense Officials Tried to Reverse China Policy,” CQ paper online.
  5. 5. independent movement. She even publicly reiterated America’s one-China policy, saying that the administration “had never said it ‘opposed’ Taiwan’s independence.”9 Generally, in the first year of the Bush administration, the U.S, conflicted with China in many areas and a new cold war seemed to start. However, Washington seemed also to recognize that make China an enemy will not be in the interest of the United States. Therefore, the U.S. publicly maintained “one China” policy and one step short to conflict China in another cold war. The Second Period (2002-2009), (2002-2009): formed constructive relations with China on trade and many other issues while containing “Communist China” on geopolitical issues. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington’s priority was the War on terrorism, and the containing of China was not the urgent issue. Washington needed assistance from Beijing and Moscow in the War on terror. As a result, Washington readjusted its policy toward China, and Beijing actively supported America’s War on Terrorism. Washington no more mentioned China as a threat or a peer competitor. Bush seemed to agree that China’s rise under economic freedom and globalization was on the right track and encouraged China to further reform its political system. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick warmly reacted to China’s peaceful rise policy. On September 21, 2005, Zoellick gave an important speech on China’s rise and U.S.-China relations at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He praised Zheng Bijian, who proposed China’s peaceful rise policy, as “a thoughtful man who has helped influence … the 9 Ibid.
  6. 6. outlook of many officials during a time of tremendous change for China.”10 Zoellick stated that, during the past twenty-seven years, the United States had been successful in encouraging and helping China to develop a market system and become a member of the world system. He proposed that China as a new economic power should be a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system.11 He continued, “… I have suggested that the U.S. response should be to help foster constructive action by transforming our thirty-year policy of integration: We now need to encourage China to become a responsible stakeholder in the international system. As a responsible stakeholder, China would be more than just a member—it would work with us to sustain the international system that has enabled its success.”12 In the last few years of the Bush administration, U.S.-China relations have steadily improved. On the Taiwan issue, Washington clearly opposed President Chen Shui-bian’s attempt to lead Taiwan toward independence. President Bush also actively supported the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games by attending its opening ceremony and by appealing to other Western leaders to attend the games as a gesture of support for China’s participating in the world system. Economically, in 2006, President Bush and President Hu Jintao launched the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) “to manage both immediate tensions and the expanding relationship between the two countries over the long term.”13 The work of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue from 2006 to 2008 proved to be effective for America’s direct engagement with 10 Robert B. Zoellick, “Whither China: From Membership to Responsibility,” www.state.gov/s/d/rem/53682.htm. 11 Ibid. 12 Ibid. 13 Henry M. Paulson, Jr., “A Strategic Economic Engagement: Strengthening U.S.-Chinese Ties,” Foreign Affairs 5 (September/October, 2008): 60.
  7. 7. China. U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue meetings were led by members of the vice-premier level in China and by the leading economic cabinet secretary in the United States. Cabinet-level representatives of all ministries with responsibilities for economic issues of both nations attended the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue meetings twice a year. Henry Paulson, U.S. Treasury Secretary and head of the SED team, noted: “Thanks to the SED, Washington has worked steadily to help Beijing open China’s financial sector, creating new opportunities for Chinese institutions to invest abroad and for U.S. banking, securities, and insurance companies to operate in China, including by enabling them to invest in China’s stock markets.”14 The 2008 world economic crisis further convinced both Washington and Beijing that the real threat to both nations is an economic recession effecting either party because the United States and China are economically interdependent. Indeed, because of Bush’s engagement policy, a new U.S.-China constructive partnership emerged when President Barak Obama succeeded George W. Bush as U.S. president. However, it seems that there have been two contradicting China policies in Washington after September 11.15 On the one hand, as discussed above, Washington engaged with China and cooperated with China on many fronts. In other words, engagement and cooperation were Bush administration’s major policy toward China. On the other hand, Washington did not completely abandon the concept of containing China, and it seemed that the U.S. policy on preventing China’s Rise continued. Hawkish U.S. officials in the Defense and State Departments perceived that the rising 14 Ibid., 68. 15 Jean A. Garrison discussed the two conflicting China policy-making groups: the pragmatic engagers and hawkish hardliners within the George W. Bush administration. See Jean A. Garrison, Making China Policy: From Nixon to G.W. Bush (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005), 172–74.
  8. 8. China would eventually be a rival of the United States and containing China should be the long-term strategy. Washington was suspicious of the modernization of China’s military force and of the increase in China’s military spending. The containment policy clearly was resurrected in 2005. In that year, the Bush administration strengthened U.S. strategic relations with Japan by adopting a Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee. According to the agreement, the military forces of the two countries will have greater collaboration in the conduct of military operations in an area stretching from Northeast Asia to the South China Sea. The two countries also agreed on close consultation on policies regarding Taiwan, implicitly suggesting that Japan would assist the United States in the event of its involvement in military conflict with China because of Taiwan.16 The United States continued to sell sophisticated arms to Taiwan, while its leaders were quickening their steps to independence from China. The Bush administration also strengthened its ties with India for the purpose of containing China. In May of 2006, when President Bush visited India, the two nations signed an agreement in which the United States agreed to transfer nuclear technology to India for civilian use, in spite of India’s refusal to join the world’s nuclear non-proliferation system. It seems that the United States was trying to establish an East Asian NATO—including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and India—in order to isolate and contain China.17 16 Michael T. Klare, “Containing China: The U.S.’s Real Objective,” Asia Times Online, April 20, 2006. 17 Ibid. See also: Conn Hamilton, “The U.S. and India: A Dangerous Alliance,” Asia Times Online, May 9, 2003; Henry C.K. Liu, “How the U.S. Will Play China in the New Cold War,” Asia Times Online, April 19, 2002; Michael T. Klare, “New Moves on The Tripolar Chessboard,” Asia Times Online, June 17, 2006; Zhiqun Zhu, “China and the U.S.: Moving Beyond Talking,” Asia Times Online, April 18, 2006; and Paul Richer, “In Deal With India, Bush Has Eye on China,” Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2006.
  9. 9. In its 2007 annual report to Congress, “The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China,” the Pentagon wrote: “The U.S. welcomes the rise of a peaceful and prosperous China, it encourages China to participate as a responsible stakeholder by taking on a share of responsibility for the health and success of the global system.” But the United States worried, the report continued, that “much uncertainty surrounds the future course China’s leaders set for their country, including in the area of China’s expanding military power and how that power might be used.”18 The Pentagon paper clearly expressed suspicion of China’s modernization of its military under the policy of peaceful rise and indicated that China may yet be a threat to the United States. China’s political ideology and its one-party political system were another justification for the U.S. containment policy. For some Americans, there is an equation between China’s political system and its human rights violations. President Bush frequently showed his support of China’s pro-democracy forces by receiving Chinese pro-democracy and human-rights activists in the White House. Bush also challenged China on the Tibet Issue and frequently received the Dalai Lama in the White House. The U.S. Congress adopted resolutions criticizing China’s human rights violation, and it opposed Beijing’s hosting of the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games because of China’s record of human-rights violations. In 2008, U.S. Congress passed a resolution requesting President Bush and other public officials not to attend the August 2008 Beijing Olympic Games because of human rights violation in China in general, and in the Tibetan region in particular. Washington’s distrust of China will continue to be the most important factor effecting U.S.-China relations and China’s peaceful rise. 18 The Pentagon, “The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China,” (An Annual Report to Congress, 2007), www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pdfs/070523-China-Military-Power-final.pdf.
  10. 10. The Model of America’s China Policy-Making for Each Administration: from Confrontation to Compromise Washington’s China policy has been unstable because of the ideological difference between the two nations. In the history of U.S.-China relations from 1979, when the two nations established diplomatic relations, to the present, It seems that each U.S. administration followed the same model in China policy-making: when a new president came to office and its predecessor was from a different political parties, the new administration usually criticized its predecessor’s China policy and chose to conflict with China. Reagan came to office and criticized Carter’s China policy. He attempted to promote U.S. relations with Taiwan. When Beijing threatened to downgrade its relations with Washington, Reagan proved to be a paper tiger and began to improve relations with Beijing by dropping his Taiwan policy because the U.S. needed China’s cooperation to contain the Soviet Union. President Clinton followed the Regan’s steps and criticized his predecessor’s China policy. He asserted that President George Bush’s China policy was to kowtow to Beijing after the 1989 Beijing incident. Clinton chose to contain China by linking China most-favored-nations status in China-U.S. trade with the country’s human rights condition—if China could not satisfy certain U.S. human rights requests, China would lose its MFN status. Clinton continued America’s sanctions on China imposed by George Bush after the 1989 Beijing incident. However, Clinton’s containment from 1992 to 1995 did not work; he reluctantly shifted to “engage” with China in his remaining years.
  11. 11. Washington’s suspicion of China continued as it emerged as a rising power. For realists and new conservatives, the rise of China was certain to be a strong challenge to American hegemonic power, and China will be the real rival of the United States. In fact, beginning in the early 1990s, Washington frequently chose to contain China. Mention of the China Threat spread among policy makers, scholars, and the media. As discussed above, George W. Bush followed the footstep of Reagan and Clinton. He launched a new Cold War with China in his first year when the Cold War was over for ten years. Why did Bush continue the cold war geopolitical policy while cooperate with China on many other issues? The fundamental issue for Washington’s policy-makers is China’s ideology and one-party political system----In China, history was not ended when the Cold War was over, the Chinese Communist Party survived and continued its rule in China. Also, in the post-Cold war era, China has grown has a new economic power of the world under its own development model. For many Americans, communism is evil and should be eliminated; China’s growing power under the CCP’s rule will naturally be a threat to America’s hegemony, political ideology, and social system. In the United States, any criticisms on “Communist China” and analysis on China’s foreign relations, including China-U.S. relations, would be political correct. More importantly, Americans have been educated by books, newspapers, and televisions program among this ideological line. Presidential candidates and politicians easily got votes by criticizing the alienness and the “darkness” of CCP’s rule. Once elected, the new presidents began to conflict with “Communist China”; later they had to readjust their China policy because they have to live in the real world. In other words, Bush’s confrontation with China in his first year of
  12. 12. presidency was not only his personal choice. He was supported by a large portion of the American populace. The concept of “Communist China” occupied the hearts of many Americans. Americans’ View on China Bush’s view on China was not personal. It was the view of a portion of Americans in the government, the military, academia, and society. Since the 1990s, when the Cold War ended, Americans have been divided over China policy—some favored containment against China, while others favored engagement with China. American Academic Circles’ Views on China’s Peaceful Rise Realist scholars argued that rising China will challenge U.S hegemonic power. John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago, articulated his theory of “offensive realism,” and believed that “the existing power structures in Europe and in Northeast Asia are not sustainable through 2020” and that a “wealthy China would not be a status quo power but an aggressive state determined to achieve regional hegemony.”19 He maintained that, due to the size of its population and its economy, China will finally be the most destabilizing force of the world order and “the most dangerous potential threat to the U.S. in the twenty-first century.”20 As such, the United States should retard China’s development and weaken China, whether it is a China with a Communist system or a China with a free market economy.21 Mearsheimer concluded: “China is likely to try to dominate Asia the way the U.S. dominates the 19 Ibid., 385 and 402. 20 Ibid., 362. 21 Ibid., 360–402.
  13. 13. Western Hemisphere. …… Gaining regional hegemony, I might add, is probably the only way that China will get Taiwan back.22 But liberal scholars, China’s peaceful rise is possible, and the United States should accommodate to China’s peaceful rise in its foreign policy. Zbigniew Brzezinski maintained that China was rising peacefully and “conflict is not inevitably or even likely. China’s leadership is not inclined to challenge the United States militarily, and its focus remains on economic development and winning acceptance as a great power.”23 Joseph S. Nye argued that China’s peaceful development is on the right track for national rejuvenation. He said: “As long as China’s development is peaceful development, the development will not be achieved at the cost of neighboring countries and the United States.”24 G. John Ikenberry, a professor of international politics at Princeton University, also disagreed with the realists’ view and believed that “not all power transitions generate war or overturn the old order.” He maintained that, in the early twentieth century, Britain “ceded authority to the United States without great conflict or even a rupture in relations.” Also, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Japan emerged as the second largest economy in the world, but “Japan never challenged the existing international order.”25 Ikenberry envisioned: “The rise of China does not have to trigger a wrenching hegemonic transition. China does not just face the United States; it faces a Western- centered system that is open, integrated, and rule-based, with wide and deep political 22 John L. Mearsheimer, “Can China Rise Peacefully?” This is Mearsheimer opening statement in his debate with Brzezinski (Sept. 17, 2004); a copy of this paper is available at http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu. 23 Brezezinski and Mearsheimer, “Clash of the Titans,” Foreign Policy 146 (Jan/Feb): 46–49. 24 Ibid. 25 G. John Ikenberry, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West: Can the Liberal System Survive?” Foreign Affairs 1 (January/February, 2008): 27.
  14. 14. foundation.”26 Robert G. Sutter, Sutter believed that the United States will continue to be the leader of the Asian region, and that Washington should continue to encourage China to move toward a constructive and cooperative policy with the United States, while “deterring Chinese and other aggression and assertiveness disruptive of U.S. interests in regional and global peace and stability.”27 In conclusion, American scholars are divided on China’s peaceful rise. Some realist scholars believe that China should be contained—even if it continues a peaceful rise strategy. Many American scholars seem to be optimistic about China’s peaceful rise and believe that engaging China, not containing China, will best serve America’s interests. American Public Opinion on China U.S. research institutions have investigated U.S. public opinion about China in the past two decades. A large majority of Americans perceived that China was on the way of increasing power. The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations polls conducted in 1994, 1998, and 2002 consistently found that over 70 percent of respondents believed that China would play a greater role in the world in ten years. A May 1999 Washington- based Pew Research Center survey found that 67 percent of Americans thought that China would “become a rival superpower to the U.S.” A May 2006 Pew poll found that 52 percent of respondents said favorable (12 percent very, 40 percent somewhat) and 29 percent said unfavorable (10 percent very, 19 percent somewhat). But, the February 26 Ibid., 24. 27 Ibid., 408.
  15. 15. 2006 Gallup poll found only 44 percent saying “favorable,” while 49 percent indicated unfavorable.28 Americans were concerned about the relations between a growing China and the United States. Harris Poll consistently studied American perceptions on China’s relations with United States, and its August 2005 poll found that 38 percent of respondents said China was “not friendly, but not an enemy,” and 15 percent said China was “unfriendly and an enemy of the U.S”—while 36 percent of them said China was “friendly but not a close ally,” and 5 percent said the country was “a close ally.”29 A 2006 Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey on the rise of China confirmed the above poll findings: “36 percent perceive it as a critical threat, relatively unchanged from 2004, but substantially lower than it was in the 1990s through 2002.”30 In its 2007 study of China’s rise, the World Public Opinion Center polled Americans on how they foresaw the growth of the Chinese economy. It found 60 percent of respondents believed that “China’s economy will grow to be as large as the U.S. economy,” while 35 percent said that “the U.S. economy will always stay larger than China’s.” But American respondents were concerned about the consequences “if China’s economy were to grow as large as the U.S. economy”: 33 percent of them believed that it will be negative development, while 54 percent said it will be neither positive nor negative and only 9 percent said that will be very positive.31 However, a poll made by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, on the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, found that “Americans now clearly perceive China 28 The Data is from www.americans-world.org /digest/regional issues/china/china1.cfm. 29 Ibid. 30 The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, “The U.S. and Japan: Responding to the Rise of China and India: Results of a 2006 Multination Survey of Public Opinion,” www.thechicagocouncil. org/ UserFiles/File/GlobalViews/Global%20Views%202006_ Japan%20 FINAL.pdf. 31 The World Public Opinion, 2007 poll on “Rise of China,” www.thechicagocouncil.org/UserFiles/File/POS%20Topline%20Reports/WPO_07%20full%20report.pdf.
  16. 16. as a rising global power, with profound consequences for the United States. A large minority of Americans (43 percent) think the development of China as a world power is a ‘critical threat’ to the vital interests of the United States. But a large majority of Americans (64 percent) oppose active efforts to limit China’s rise, instead favoring friendly cooperation and engagement.”32 China: a semi-capitalist state and its core interest It is clear that thirty to fourth percent of Americans reviewed China negatively. America’s ideological education strongly influenced Americans’ perception of China It seemed that Americans continued to perceive China as a “communist state” they believed that it is impossible to be harmonious between “Communist China” and the capitalist United States. As U.S. scholar Warren Cohen argued, “Americans will never again trust a communist dictatorship that denies basic freedom to its people.”33 However, is China really a “Communist state” in the twenty-first century? It is true that China is still ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. However, China has experienced profound changes in the past thirty years. In ideology, although China’s constitution says that the country is guided by “Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Concepts of Development”; in practice, China’s ideology today is Deng Xiaoping Theory only while Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Though are considered the ideology for 32 “Aware of China’s Rise, Worried Americans Still Prefer to Engage,” www.thechicagocouncil.org/UserFiles/File/POS_Topline%20Reports/POS%202008/2008%20POS _Chinas%20Rise.pdf. 33 Warren I. Cohen, America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations, 4th ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 240.
  17. 17. Chinese communist revolution.34 What is Deng’s theory? Economic development and modernization are the first priority of the nation; Building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since the 1990s, China has been in transition to free market and capitalism. The practice of China’s development is self-evident that Deng’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics” can also be interpreted as “capitalism with Chinese characteristics.” Socialism seemed disappeared in today’s China. Many Chinese are suffering with the “disease” of primary stage of capitalism: growing income inequality between the rich and the poor and between the cities and the countryside. In 2007, Gini ratio reached .47, compared with .45 of the United States and around .30 of South Korea and Taiwan. Most of the newly emerged billionaires and rich people had connections with government officials or they were relatives of government officials. Indeed, China is ruled by aristocracy capitalists. Mao’s socialism was dead. The human rights of the workers and peasants are not protected under the capitalist system. The wages of workers are lower and their life was not well protected in the working environment. Chinese workers lived in the primary stage of capitalism. The CCP itself has been in transition from a revolutionary party to a constructive party. Before 1949 and during Mao’s years, the CCP was considered the vanguard of the working class, which was the leading force of the Communist revolution while the enemy of the revolution was bourgeois class, the capitalists and the propertied class. However, under Jiang Zemin’s theory of “Three Represents,” economic elites and capitalists emerged under the market economy were considered as “advanced productive forces.” These economic elites and capitalists were not only qualified to join 34 See Enbao Wang, China’s Quest for National Rejuvenation (Lewiston, NY: Mellen Press, Forthcoming), Chapter Four.
  18. 18. the Communist Party, but also occupied important government positions or became of the leaders of the business community. According to a study, about 40 percent of the capitalists joined the Communist Party. As a result, the nature of Mao’s CCP has been dramatically changed from a party of the working class to a party with all social classes. Inclusion, China in the twenty-first century is no more a “Communist state” of the Cold War years. It is a semi-capitalist state. The CCP is in transition to an elite party with all social classes. Government corruption and income and development inequality are major issues of the nation. In foreign policy, Deng’s China abandoned Mao’s policy of world revolution and actively joined the western-dominated world system in the past thirty year----it maintained policy of peaceful development for creating a peaceful international environment for China’s own development. Under this policy, China focused on two issues in foreign affairs. First, China must maintain good relations with the United States; otherwise confrontation with United States will destroy China’s opportunity of peaceful rise. Beijing stressed the importance of U.S.-China relations for China’s modernization and made its best endeavor to reduce its differences with Washington. The other focused area is to create peaceful relations with all neighbors under the good- neighbor policy. In conclusion, China had no strategic plan to challenge U.S.-dominated world system and only wanted to grow and modernize under this system. Zoelick’s appeal of China to be a stakeholder of the world system is based under China’s this strategic decision. However, though China and the U.S. shared many common interests, such as war on terror, economic interdependence, global warming, and proliferation of weapons
  19. 19. of mass destruction, but the two nations still have many differences. First, the U.S. used the Taiwan issue to contain China. The Chinese people have struggled for China’s reunification for one hundred years. Though Washington has continued its one China policy, the U.S. is the only nation that has continued to sell military weapons to Taiwan. For the Chinese, the Taiwan issue is in the core interest of China; but the U.S. has been using the Taiwan issue to contain China. Second, China is still ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. The U.S. has no plan to really normalize relations with China under the CCP’s rule. Third, the U.S. supported Tibetan and Uighur separatist groups which tried to make Tibet and Xinjiang independent from China. Fourth, the U.S. continues the Cold War policy of export restriction that high-tech products and products may be used by the military are not allowed to be exported to China while these products are exported to other nations. And finally, the U.S. has continued the Cold War geo-political structure in the Asian-Pacific region that alliance with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia, and recently strengthened its ties with India and the Vietnam to check “Communist China” and also a rising China. Most probably, the U.S. will continue these policies. Conclusion The Bush administration launched a new Cold War toward China in its first year. After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration shifted its containment policy toward China to a contradictory one. On the one hand, the Bush administration established strategic constructive relations with China. The two nations cooperated with on war on terror, trade, and North Korea nuclear issue. Washington appealed China to be a stakeholder
  20. 20. of the United States. On the hand, the specter of Cold War and Communism still bothered Washington’s decision-makers. China continued to be perceived by some Americans as a “Communist” nation. The U.S. checked China by continuing its Cold War alliance in Asia and contained China by its ties with Taiwan. These aspects of the Cold War policy continued because a portion of American politicians, scholars, and populace favored checking and containing “Communist China.”

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