The British magazine “The Economist” said that the competition between America and China is characterized by strangeness and contradiction. America’s presidents tried to isolate and contain the Soviet Union, but America is economically linked to China, which represents the current dominant power in the economy, and Washington’s policy towards Taiwan represents strategic ambiguity, which is a confusing expression. So much so that President Joe Biden stuttered as he pronounces it several times.
Differences within the US administration regarding China
Jake Sullivan, an adviser to the US president, met Wang Yi, a senior Chinese State Department official, for more than eight hours in Vienna last week, indicating a mutual desire to prevent the world’s most important bilateral relationship from getting worse.
That meeting came after two speeches made by Sullivan and Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, in which they outlined the administration’s ideas on China, but the differences within the US administration on China are clear, and while Sullivan represents Washington’s consensus to create a policy that may be tough with China, Yellen says that America She simply advocates the same international order that helped make China’s economic transformation possible, while Sullivan sharply criticized the trade liberalization policies of the 1990s, and Yellen says nothing of the kind about a healthy economic engagement that benefits both countries.
Doves and hawks
The magazine pointed out that the two sides are on opposite sides of the US administration’s swinging approach to China, and Yellen is considered one of the doves, while Sullivan represents one of the influential hawks in the White House, yet both are trying in their own way to implement the administration’s policy, which fears letting relations with China deteriorate very quickly. , and is publicly trying to back down from hardline policies, despite its concern about increasing Chinese influence.
deterioration of relations
The deterioration point in relations came when last January a Chinese balloon was seen in US airspace, near sensitive nuclear weapons bases, before Biden ordered it to be shot down off the coast, while US military leaders could not reach their Chinese counterparts through hotline channels, which It was in regular use during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The incident also canceled a trip to China that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was planning to meet with President Xi Jinping, after the thaw that occurred following Biden’s meeting with Xi, in Bali, November 2022.
The magazine pointed out that there is now a desire to return to something like the “spirit of Bali” and repair relations, but members of the US administration have complex goals, such as preventing China from invading Taiwan, maintaining trade but taking into account national security, and leading the world in managing climate change and crises. Emerging market debt, and they think America and China might be able to work together on Ukraine.