China-US trade talks have reached a deadlock. US President Trump publicly declared on television on Sunday (19th) that China will eventually reach an agreement with the United States that cannot be “50-50”. “Because they were killed by tariffs, China will be completely killed.” Chinese President Xi Jinping went to Jiangxi Province on Monday (20th) to inspect a company that produces and processes rare piles of earth.
One country does not hide the attempt to contain and defeat another country, while the other country demonstrates the will to long-term resistance. At a time when such a relationship of big powers is suddenly changing and turbulent, it is difficult to predict the direction of the future situation. Will it reproduce the dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, that is, the cold war and the arms race including nuclear weapons?
Cold war over the US
After the China-US trade negotiations suddenly ran aground, the Chinese authorities and the media changed their previous relatively low-key attitudes and launched a public opinion counterattack. The official media “Global Times” in an article to count the United States in recent years against China’s various words and deeds said that the Cold War has been in the past 30 years, but history seems to start a new round of repetition: US Vice President Peng Si issued a “new iron curtain speech”, accused China intervened in the mid-term general elections of the United States; US intelligence agencies frequently attacked China and even claimed that Chinese students were spies and were described as the resurrection of McCarthyism; Trump announced the establishment of a space army to create a new version of the “Star Wars” plan…
It must be said that what is happening in the United States is indeed very similar to that during the Cold War, or that it is repeating the route that it has traveled that year. This may also be an inertial force that is easy to emerge in the United States in the face of China’s rise.
However, this time the United States is no longer targeting the disintegrated Soviet Union, but China with a population of 1.4 billion and slowing economic growth but still developing steadily. As the only superpower after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has never relaxed its potential challenge to its authority. It was only once trapped in the Middle East. Today, China has been unable to cover its huge body after 40 years of reform and opening up. The extremist terrorist organization “Islamic State” has been destroyed. The United States has become a net exporter of oil due to the shale gas revolution. Russia, Japan, and the European Union are still deeply immersed. Emerging developing countries have also been weak, and China has naturally become the target of the United States.
Meili plans to stop China from becoming stronger
In January 2018, the then US Defense Secretary James Mattis said, “Our actions against terrorists will continue, but the current national security of the United States gives priority to big country competition, not terrorism.” From the perspective of foreign policy, China has indeed been listed as a top priority.
John, a famous American political scientist who is regarded as the spokesperson of “offensive realism.” John J. Mear-sheimer believes that regardless of China’s development prospects, the United States will “play” in accordance with the rules of competition among major powers, regard China as an opponent, and try to prevent China from becoming stronger and prevent China from becoming stronger. China and the United States may have dangerous conflicts.
Nowadays, in the US political arena, although the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have great differences in many domestic and foreign policy, their opinions on the Chinese issue are surprisingly consistent. In early May of this year, the House of Representatives passed the “2019 Taiwan Guarantee Law” and the “Reconfirmation of US Commitment to Taiwan and the Commitment to the Implementation of Taiwan Relations Law” resolution by 414 votes to 0.
What is more worthy of attention is the latest developments in the military. After Trump took office, military spending rose sharply to about $700 billion. In October 2018, Trump announced plans to withdraw from the 1987 Treaty with the Soviet Union and said that the United States will continue to expand its nuclear arsenal. Trump also explained that China should be included in the treaty. Recently, the House Military Committee voted to support the Trump administration’s plan to increase nuclear weapons in its nuclear arsenal.
It can be seen that in recent years, the United States is undergoing a strategic shift with China as its main rival and even enemy. This kind of turn is all-round. Officials accuse, media criticism, economic and trade negotiations, military deterrence, and drums. The deterioration and radicalization of the US attitude toward China has gradually become an irreversible process.
After further extremes, will it repeat the situation of the US-Soviet Cold War and the nuclear arms race? In fact, as long as the US side returns to the Cold War, China will have to passively play the opposing role of the other side of the Cold War. This seems to be exactly what China is doing.
China has prepared for war
In fact, the US strategy has begun to take shape when the 2011 Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy was introduced. China has been preparing for the future China-US conflict since then.
After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, anti-corruption, economic restructuring, and upgrading, military reorganization, and reform, as well as strengthening the leadership of the Communist Party and the central authority, in fact, have the significance of stabilizing China’s basic disk. During the China-US trade negotiations, China encouraged local cultivation of soybeans and initiated national grain depot inspections. It also has the motive to cope with the further deterioration of China-US relations and maintain China’s security.
In fact, during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, China under Mao Zedong also had the experience of coping with the threats and threats of the two countries. At that time, China launched the “three-line construction” aimed at preparing for the reserve. Although these preparations constitute a huge burden and consumption, as a precedent, China is not lacking in its determination to deal with the Cold War situation. Of course, in the case that China has formed a political and economic system that is open to the outside world, there should be very different ways of coping.
More importantly, China currently has a nuclear arsenal that is quite difficult to compare with the United States and Russia. At the same time, it has considerable economic and scientific strength. In the face of the US Cold War pressure, it will be more calm than it was.
Different from the Soviet Union in the past, China is a deep participant in the global market. It is deeply intertwined with the US economy. Before the US officially enters the Cold War, the US will have to undergo a process of divesting the Chinese factor. The US economy will not be light. Injury, this is one of the important pillars of China-US relations that have not completely collapsed.
The tension between China and the United States is a long-term trend
The United States and the Soviet Union have finally entered the Cold War. Apart from the close proximity of the strengths of the two countries, they are also inseparable from the instigation of speculativeists who are keen to create traps and confuse people. For example, in 1999, NATO’s “mistaken bombing” of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia has not been revealed. The former US President Bill Clinton wrote in the autobiography of “My Life” that he believed that the US Department of Defense or the Central Intelligence Agency was there. Dissatisfied with the close relationship between China and the United States, deliberately doing things on the map, expecting the split between China and the United States.
Ezra Feivel Vogel, who was a national intelligence officer at the Clinton administration and responsible for East Asian affairs, believes that the “mistaken bombing” of the Chinese embassy due to a misplaced map is not a fact. It should be a tragedy caused by a series of mistakes. He believes that the “accidental” incident that caused the extreme tension between China and the United States is indeed possible. China-US relations may continue to deteriorate under the impetus of a series of artificial or non-human “accidental” events.
Regardless of whether the Cold War will repeat itself, China’s increased national strength and rapid military strength will be a long-term trend. As an instinctive reaction, the US’s vigilance and the strengthening of military spending to maintain its military superiority are justifiable. China-US relations will continue to deteriorate in the future, and it will remain within the controllable range. It remains to be proved by time.