时间：2023-01-25 10:10:03 来源：天一资源网 本文已影响 人
Preliminary Understanding of the Changing Sino-U.S. Relations
Director and Researcher of Institute of American Studies, CASS
Since the Trump administration came to power, the Sino-U.S. relations have undertaken broad and profound changes. With Trump"s first term coming to an end, looking back, these changes are fundamental, reversal and even subversive, which may mark a major turning point in the historical process of the Sino-U.S. relations. For these major changes, we can make observations from the horizontal and vertical dimensions.
From a horizontal perspective, first is the change of the temporal and spatial background of Sino-U.S relations. After the end of the Cold War, the whole world entered an era of economic globalization. The two parallel markets disappeared, capital, technology and personnel were flowing around the world, and the boundaries between countries became increasingly blurred. This is the basic situation after the end of the Cold War. However, since 2016, marked by Brexit and Trump"s coming to power, this development trend has reversed. At the moment, the basic trend of the world is that economic globalization is on the ebb, the flow of various factors is encountering more and more resistance, and the boundaries between countries are becoming clear again. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020 is further blocking the interconnections among the world, and the trend of "bastion" is further highlighted. This is the basic time-space background of the current Sino-U.S. relations, which has undergone fundamental changes compared with the previous stage.
Second is the change of the basic logic of the Sino-U.S. relations. Corresponding to economic globalization, in the past, we often used the term "deep interdependence" to describe the Sino-U.S. relations, and the two countries are each other"s largest economic and trade partners. Converged interests are the basic logic to promote the development of the Sino-U.S. relations in the past. With such interests’ ties, we in the past confidently believed that the Sino-U.S. relations will get neither very good nor very bad. But what are we discussing most now? It"s “decoupling”. This is obviously the reversal, from deep interdependence to "decoupling", and the process is accelerating. Meanwhile, the continuous separation of material interests relations between the two countries is accompanied by the intensifying ideological struggle and geo-strategic game-play between the two countries. Especially since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, ideological conflicts and geopolitical strategic competition have overwhelmed economic and trade frictions and become the main thread of the two countries" struggle. If there is still room for bargaining and win-win cooperation in economic and trade friction, then the essence of ideological and geo-strategic conflict is zero-sum. This shows that the basic logic of the Sino-U.S. relations is undergoing a reversal change.
Third is the change of the basic paradigm of developing the Sino-U.S. relations. Talking about the development process of the Sino-U.S. relations in the past, we usually said that there were contradictions, competition and cooperation, with cooperation greater than competition. This is our basic understanding and judgment of the Sino-U.S. relations in the past, which is also a fact. Otherwise, there would be no relatively healthier development of the Sino-U.S. relations in the past. Why is it healthier? Because cooperation is greater than competition. Today, however, this judgment is no longer valid. Now, the competition at points and surface between China and the United States far exceeds that of cooperation and leads the basic development direction of the Sino-U.S. relations. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Sino-U.S. relations are in a free fall.
Finally, the changes of China"s strategic environment. The U.S. push for strategic competition with China not only seriously poisons the atmosphere of the Sino-U.S. relations, but also brings many negative impacts on China"s overall strategic environment. With the competition between China and the United States becoming the main contradiction in the major powers game-play, the United States is accelerating its geo-strategic layout targeted at China. In the early days of assuming the presidential office, Trump tried to imitate Nixon"s approach to the Soviet Union and drew in Russia to balance China in the great triangle consisting of China, the United States and Russia. However, Trump"s efforts were almost successful but were subdued by the aversion of the American domestic establishment to Russia. We can call this triangle the "North Triangle" against China. Since 2020, although the United States has made slow progress in the "Northern Triangle", it has made a breakthrough in the "Southern Triangle", that is, the great triangle of China, the United States and India. With Trump"s visit to India and Sino-Indian border frictions, the progress of the U.S.- India Relations in the direction of alliance is progressing fast. Meantime, all kinds of force in the world are looking for their own interests in the game-play between China and the United States in the century. Some fish in the troubled waters, some gloat over calamities, some seize on an incident to exaggerate matters, some wait for the price to sell, and some watch in safety while others fight. China"s strategic pressure will be more multi-directional and diversified.
Vertical overview, first of all, the current changes in the Sino-U.S. relations are the most extensive and profound since Nixon"s visit to China in 1972 and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States in 1979. The current big game-play between China and the United States has made the Sino-U.S. relations "impossible to go back to the past". Kissinger"s "past" I believe is the one since 1972. This shows that an era of the Sino-U.S. relations may have come to an end. Secondly, viewing from the development of the Sino-U.S. relations since the founding of new China, the current big game-play between China and the United States means that the Sino-U.S. relations have entered a new historical period. During the years 1949 to 1972, the relations between China and the United States based on the Cold War hostility background was the first stage of the development of bilateral relations; then during the years 1972 to 2016, the cooperation based on common interests between China and the United States was the second stage of the development of bilateral relations; yet the current Sino-U.S relations have entered a new stage different from the previous two stages. At this stage, the "contention" between China and the United States may be accompanied by the whole process of the Centennial rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Finally, from the perspective of the start of the exchanges between the two countries, there are 236 years of exchanges between China and the United States since the U.S. merchant ship "Queen of China" sailed to China in 1784. During this period, there are separation and reunion, interweaving love and hatred, sometimes adversaries, sometimes friends, difficulties to manage the relations. However, in these complicated relations, the two countries never regarded each other as the primary strategic competitors at the same time. This present situation is unprecedented in the 100-year exchanges between China and the United States. Therefore, the Sino-U.S. relations have entered unknown waters, and both countries may be going through a difficult debugging process. This is a brand-new major issue in the Sino-U.S. relations in the context of great changes unseen in a century, but presently the writing of an answer may not begin yet.
In a word, the Centennial changes and the Centennial rejuvenation are mutually promoting, and the Sino-U.S. relations have entered a grand strategic era of huge game-play. Competition is of great significance for the goal of interests. It is not only related to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the protection of American hegemony, but also involves the fundamental transformation of the relationship between the West and the non-West and the reconstruction of the whole world strength system. Competition has a long-term nature in terms of time, which may be accompanied by the whole process of century-change and -revival. Competition is comprehensive in scope, which is not only related to interests, but also to strategy, power, system and ideology. Competition has an overall impact, and its outcome will determine the final trend of changes unseen in the century. Whether the giant ship of the Sino-U.S. relations can continue to maintain the correct course is not only closely connected with the interests of the two peoples, but also with the common future of the world and mankind.相关关键词： Understandings: Understanding misunderstanding