Histoire CS4 - US-China relations today
In what way has China become both a partner and rival of the USA?

1. From recognition to tension
• New partners
- The ping-pong diplomacy: in 1971, a friendly encounter between the US and Chinese ping-pong teams paved the way for Nixon’s 1972 visit to China.
+ Deng Xiaoping ‘Reform & Opening’ to modernise the economy
=> The normalisation of Sino-American relations: on 15 Dec. 1978 the USA and the People's Republic of China announced that they would establish diplomatic relations on 1 Jan. 1979, when the USA would transfer diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the RPC.
• The geopolitical shift
- Less low profile (Deng) & more assertive diplomacy: territorial claims in China sea at the expense of US traditional geopolitical allies (Taiwan, Japan, Philippines).
=> Obama’s strategic shift from Europe & Middle East to Asia-Pacific to strengthen allied links.
• US unrivalled hard power?
- US hard power still leading with world’s larger military spending, world allies, technological supremacy and troops experience => unique global projection capability
- But weakened by inconclusive operations since 2001, budget cuts versus China’s nearly 100% increase in military spending => match the US by 2050

2. Between competition and interdependence
• US unchallenged soft power
- American Dream more attractive than communism because better standard of living and more freedom
- China not yet a challenger: produces US goods but has no global appeal & even Chinese are influenced by the US way of life
• Economic competition
- China’s economy soon to overtake US economy with its fast economic growth, and leading trade
- But still far behind in terms of GDP per inhabitant, much lower standard of living => still an emerging country (BRIC)
• But interdependence
- US and China economies strongly interlinked through trade in goods (US trade deficit imports >> exports), foreign direct investment (US FDI in China >> China FDI in USA) and public debt (China = major US debt holder) + TNCs IDL
=> The US and China strongly reliant on each other’s economy => a way to reduce tensions