Essay, Research Paper: Living With China


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This is a book Summary I did for an International Polictics Course. I do not
wish to have my name published, because if the teacher found out I submitted it
I would be expelled. I attend SUNY in NY, USA. I recieved an A on this paper.
The only comments she made was that I needed to replace the Whichs with thats
& I needed to have a page for siting. Book Summary : Living With China
Living With China: U.S. -China Relations in the Twenty-First Century is a book
edited by Ezra F. Vogel which assess the political, economic, and human rights
issues which the U.S. must consider in developing a consistent and mutually
beneficial foreign relations policy toward China in the twenty-first century.
Tension between U.S.- China relations date back to World War Two. Additionally,
the Tienanmen Square incident in 1989, further aggravated U.S.-China relations.
Since the end of the Cold War, and especially since 1991, the United States has
had no consistent foreign policy in regards to China. This book is a compilation
of background papers, from numerous authors, which were written for the November
1996, American Assembly meeting whose purpose was to discuss and work to reach a
consensus on U.S.-China relations. The essays deal with the issues that will
mold future relations with China. The book consists of an Introduction, eight
chapters and an Address to The American Assembly given by Senator Sam Nunn. The
introduction gives a brief overview of political events and history which have
led to the then current (1997) state of relations between the United Sates and
China. In addition, it gives a concise, clear summary of what issues China and
the U.S. agree upon and which issues they do not. The most notable disagreements
between U.S. and China are over Taiwan and Tibet, and human rights. The
introduction further goes on to include a summary of each chapter in the book.
The eight chapters include topics on issues over Tawain, Tibet, Hong Kong, the
Tiananmen Square incident, international commerce, Chinese economics,
environmental concerns, and commercial diplomacy. The first chapter, written by
Michelle Oksenberg, evaluates the distinctive problems that U.S.-China relations
face in regards to Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Oksenberg explains the
conflicting perceptions that the U.S. and China have on these issues. The United
States is worried about what effect Chinese control over Hong Kong may have on
global economy, interested in maintaining acceptable treatment of Tibetans, and
wishes to guard Taiwan from possible Chinese threat or Force. China sees these
as "unwarranted intrusions into its domain," [pg. 94] and a strategy
to keep China weak. Oskenberg opines that the United states and China must have
more talks to remedy these differences while having more empathy and
understanding of the other's view. Chapter two is written by Douglas H. Paal and
examines China's increasing economic and military influence and how it is likely
to affect the entire East Asian region. There is a delicate balance between the
U.S.'s protection of other Asian countries and not provoking China. Again, the
need for increased, consistent communications between the U.S. and China are
emphasized. Paal advises that China is willing to work with the U.S. as long as
it comes from a rational base, rather than whims and emotional reactions. In his
conclusion, Paal opines that "to some degree tensions and perceived
provocation will be necessary and inevitable component of a policy intended to
dissuade China and others from counterproductive paths."[118] Chapter 3 is
written by David Lampton, and discusses the undoubted need for China's, and
especially Beijing's, involvement in world organizations. He makes clear the
U.S. and the world organizations should avoid alienating China. This is because
China is one of the rising global powers and it's strong sense of nationalism
cannot be injured without suffering a negative effect on the rest of the world.
Chapter 4 is written by Dwight Perkins, and as its title states, analyzes
"How China's Economic Transformation Shapes Its Future." [Pg. 141] The
author goes into long discussion about the changing economics and increasing
wealth in China and what effects this may have globally and the United States.
It is concluded that, even though, the United States has little control over how
China chooses to grow into becoming a global power, it is in the U.S.'s best
interest to encourage China to do so within the global economic system and join
the World Trade Organization. Chapter 5 is written by Harry Harding and focuses
on the major issue of human rights. The major conflict is in that the American
public views China's treatment of rebel, labor unions, child labor, and
illegality of religion are innately wrong and most believe, via the press and
Tiananmen Square, that human rights in China have diminished. China on the other
hand, sees that it has made great progress in this area including giving more
power to the legislative bodies, and popularizing the local elections, and feels
slighted by America's inability to recognize this. It sees America's pressures
through sanctions and removing its priority nation status as nothing more than
to keep China weak. The basics are that the two country's innate political
values and ideology conflict and make resolving this issue quite difficult. The
author's conclusion is to mange the issue by China taking on a program of
gradual political reform and understand the rest of the world's concerns about
its human rights activities and the United State's creating an open-minded
definition of human rights and that the two should learn to cooperate with each
other to resolve this issue. Chapter 6 is written by Julia Chang Bloch and focus
on business and economic relations between the U.S. and China. This is one of
the areas where the U.S. and China get along quite well, but is often
dynamically affected by other issues such as human rights. To keep these
relations from being negatively affected the author believes that the U.S. must
recognize China as an emerging world power, involve China in the global
community and coax China to follow the political and economical rules set in
place, encourage China to be involved in global decision making including
joining the WTO, and promote trade and investment between China, to bind and
build ties with China. Chapter 7 is written by Michael McElroy and Chris Neilson
and centers around the challenges China faces in regards to air pollution and
their climate. The Chinese government realizes how important these are to their
future, but faces many economic restraints in doing so. Having the largest
population of all the countries, causes it to consume a large amount of energy,
and hence almost two thirds of its energy needs are satisfied through the
burning of coal, despite the environmental consequences. Working with China in
developing long term solutions to these problems will politically and
economically benefit both countries. Chapter 8 is written by Kenneth Lieberthal
and reviews what has affected the policies of China and the U.S. from 1989 to
1996, which have consequently resulted in the current state of foreign relations
between the two. The ongoing theme of the chapter is that by the two countries
misunderstanding each others policies a vicious web of increasing distrust has
been formed. Again, the need for more communication to work out the
misunderstanding is stressed. One of the things that gleams at me after reading
this book, is how similar China and the U.S. are to Germany and Eastern Europe
prior to World War 2, and the U.S. and Russia during the Cold War. China is a
proud country which is eager to become a global power. The united Sates,
recognizing this, wishes to guide China into a place which will be beneficial
and non threatening to the U.S., but China sees this as interference and angered
by it. In addition, the U.S. wants to see China become a more democratic nation,
and by attempting to force its views, has caused China to believe that the U.S.
wishes to weaken them. Although the current state of relations, in regards to
Taiwan, is not at the degree it once was it does mimic some cold war politics. I
chose this book because of my interest of the United State's future foreign
relations with China. I did not have a clear understanding of the dynamics of
the foreign polices of the two until I read this book. I am now able to fully
understand the complicated web of issues which affect the foreign policy making
decisions for the United States in regards to China. Furthermore, I was unaware
of the U.S. involvement with Taiwan, so I learned something there too. My only
complaint is that at times it is often redundant, due to the numerous authors.
The same information could have easily been given in 100 fewer pages. Overall I
found Living With China, to be very informative. I would recommend it to anyone
who wishes to better understand U.S.-China relations.
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