Magazine article Chicago Policy Review (Online)

Competition or Cooperation: The Complicated Diplomatic Relationship between China and the United States

Magazine article Chicago Policy Review (Online)

Competition or Cooperation: The Complicated Diplomatic Relationship between China and the United States

Article excerpt

Sino-American relations have long been fraught with complexity. Although fundamental economic, security, and foreign policy differences persist, there is a deep financial relationship between the world’s two largest economies. Currently, the United States and China share a common interest in the Asia-Pacific region where a unique dynamic-part cooperative and part competitive-is on display.

As China’s military and economic power continuously increase, some scholars argue that the U.S. is concerned about China’s ability to diminish American influence in South Asia. A new study by Wu Xinbo explores the complicated relationship between China and the United States as it relates to their shared interest in the Asia-Pacific region.

The U.S. and China have vested interests in the stability of both the Asia-Pacific and Chinese periphery regions, with particularly in the Korean peninsula and Afghanistan. With the collapse of the Agreed Framework between the United States and North Korea, and the withdrawal of North Korea from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Beijing and Washington have begun collaborating to address denuclearizing the peninsula. Additionally, North Korea’s third nuclear test has hardened China’s once-mild attitude towards the matter and has led China to act more cooperatively with the United States. Secondly, the two countries’ overlapping interests and concerns over terrorism in Afghanistan has further increased their cooperation; as the United States attempts to assist Afghanistan militarily, China supports their economy through financing and labor.

The unrest in Afghanistan has impacted the stability of China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region, and the possibility of the Taliban’s return to power led China and the U.S. to agree on an extensive collaboration during the fifth Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which addressed political stability and economic revitalization in Afghanistan. The presence of American and Chinese economic assistance, despite the significant withdrawal of U.S. military support in 2014, led to talks in July 2015 over the promotion of peace in Afghanistan between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

However, the fact that competition and conflict exists between the U. …

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