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

1. From diplomatic recognition to tension
• New partners in the 1970s
- The ping-pong diplomacy: in 1971, a US-Chinese ping-pong match paved the way for Nixon’s 1972 visit to China to meet Mao.
=> The normalisation of Sino-American relations: on 1 January 1979 the USA and the People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations => the USA transferred diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the RPC (UN Security Council permanent seat).
+ Deng Xiaoping's 1978 ‘Reform & Opening’ to modernise the economy => China from a developing to an emerging country.
• New tensions today
- China an emerging power =>Less low profile (Deng) & more assertive diplomacy by President Xi Jinping since 2012: territorial claims in China sea at the expense of US traditional geopolitical allies (Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines).
=> Obama’s strategic shift from Europe & Middle East to Asia-Pacific to strengthen US allies + Donald Trump's threat of economic war (new tariff on Chinese imported goods).

2. Competing hard and soft power
• 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
• 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

3. Between economic competition and interdependence
GEO notions: globalisation, transport rv, free trade, IDL, TNC.
• 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)
=> The US and China strongly reliant on each other’s economy => a way to reduce tensions