The Good: It’s a great relationship that has lasted through more than 200 years. The United States is the most powerful economic country in the world, and China is currently the Number 1 Economy of the World. In 1784, America was pretty much just 13 colonies on an island to China. Fast forward to now and it’s two of greatest economies in the world coming together despite their differences. As a history student this is something that fascinates me about us china relations.
The United States was founded on many things like freedom, civil rights, etc., but another important thing we were founded on was trade! Our first president George Washington wanted our nation to be one where free trade could flourish in America because he believed it would help strengthen our economy and bind us closer with other nations around the globe (Check out this website for more information). So far so good! Since then both countries have had their ups and downs but I think overall they will continue having a positive future relationship as long as they understand each other’s differences. I want to study international relations in college, so this is something I have a lot of passion for.
The Bad: The current relationship between the U.S and China has been rocky because they are such different countries with two completely different cultures. The Chinese culture is very conservative and quiet while the American culture is very open and loud! Since both nations are so different, it creates misunderstandings which can lead to issues in our foreign policy or economic policies. For example, China doesn’t believe in democracy like we do in America, but they want to be treated equally on international stage.
This is something that America has trouble understanding. They want to be friends with China, but they want to be treated like America and not “The World’s Largest Red Communist State”, which is the Chinese belief of things (according to this book). In addition, China believes in a “one-China policy” for Taiwan and doesn’t believe in free trade like America does so there are many more issues that could occur if these misunderstandings aren’t worked out!
The Ugly: There has been a lot of tension between the U.S. and China over the last few years due to several international issues including climate change, trade tariffs, currency manipulation, human rights violations/concerns about Chinese government’s actions towards their own citizens (like people protesting against them), etc… I’m not going into detail on each issue here because there are so many big ones right now it would take me forever! Instead I’ll focus on my favorite one which is related to climate change: The Paris Agreement. In 2016 President Obama signed an agreement with other countries around the globe called The Paris Agreement or COP21 which was created in order to limit global warming through carbon emissions reduction.
The goal was reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a certain amount by 2100 and if everyone participated everyone would benefit from cleaner air etc. The United States has been the world leader in environmental issues and carbon emissions reduction since the 1970s, but President Trump withdrew the U.S from the agreement which was a huge controversy among environmentalists around the globe. Although many energy companies supported President Trump’s decision and felt it was a good idea for America to withdraw from an agreement that could have hurt American businesses, but American scientists, leaders of other countries (including China), and many others criticized him for withdrawing because they felt it would be a huge mistake for our nation. It’s not clear whether or not America will change their mind about leaving this agreement or if we’ll remain absent, but this is definitely an issue that all of us should be aware of!
The Present: Currently there are lots of problems between both nations although I do believe that relations have improved over the last few years. Since President Obama left office things seem to have gotten better as far as international policy goes even though we’re having some major problems with North Korea right now! Most recently our current president Donald Trump had his first meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago estate on April 6th 2017 which created a lot more positive news surrounding these two countries than any other time during his presidency so far.
I know that this was a long one, but I hope you all enjoyed it. There’s so much to talk about when it comes to US china relations and history so I decided to focus on these three points. This is the very first post on my website, so I hope this is helpful for anyone who reads it! Please follow me on my blog because I plan on posting more articles in the future!