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Why the US-China duo is the most important and dangerous bilateral relationship in history

The United States and China represent the most important and potentially most dangerous bilateral relationship in human history. Given that reality, neither side manages escalation with the right skills and lasting strategies.

That’s the way Stephen Heinz A member of the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation talked to me a few days ago. This is also a subtext of a conversation with world leaders who visited Washington, DC for a meeting between the IMF and the World Bank this week.

US-Soviet relations defined the Cold War, and both sides defended the unprecedented nuclear capabilities that devastated each other. Before that, the relationship between Britain and the United States was decisive. Fierce US-UK competition In 19NS A century into an alliance that prevented fascist victory during World War II in 20 yearsNS century.

Nevertheless, Heinz’s claim is convincing that Sino-US relations have historically unique importance based on their multifaceted nature that touches on almost every aspect of current and foreseeable future world affairs. there is.

That’s true even if you’re concerned about World War II, the world economy, climate change, human rights, the struggle between democracy and authoritarianism, the future of space, or intensifying competition for the pinnacle of technology. Few countries around the world have relied so much on the ability of two countries to manage relationships across an array of fast-paced domains.

The accuracy of data related to the Chinese economy, which has been the largest driver of global growth for many years, was central to this week’s IMF-World Bank conference. The controversy called on a colleague when IMF Managing Director Cristalina Georgieva was CEO of the World Bank to find a way to raise China’s position in its flagship 2018 Doing Business report. Focused on the claim.

Georgieva denied cheating.The IMF Board, which was convened eight times to think about her destiny, Conclusion A review of the allegations “did not conclusively prove that the managing director played an inappropriate role.” The board reaffirmed its confidence in Georgieva’s leadership, but the controversy may continue.

The subtext must manage the reality that leaders of international organizations are increasingly acting to influence, lead and replace China’s most important multilateral institutions in the world, in this case the lender of last resort in the world. It means that you have to.

Meanwhile, this week, a senior Washington, DC government official representing the world’s most important economy has many other concerns, including an ongoing energy crisis, rising inflation, slowing growth, and growing concerns about climate change. Was there. 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Or COP26 will begin on October 31st in Glasgow, Scotland.

One of the most important U.S. allies speaking anonymously said that the increased volatility of Sino-US relations, caused by both the differences and domestic reality, made it more difficult to control all of this. Stated.

China is lurking in a more authoritarian direction domestically and more confrontationally abroad as it bends its regional and global muscles. In a turbulent and polarized U.S. politics, withdrawal from Afghanistan has been severely implemented and U.S. strategy for Beijing has not been clarified. I’m wondering.

Allied officials said the country’s greatest medium- to long-term economic risk was rising tensions between the United States and China boiling into a conflict involving it. “Few people can afford to make a decision between the United States and China,” he said. “So don’t ask us to do that.”

The US allies are not naive about the unfortunate course that President Xi Jinping has set for his country. So many people, including the entire European Union, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, only have China as their largest trading partner.China accounted for almost 30% of global growth between 2013 and 2018, twice that of the United States

Much of the latest analysis of China has surrounded two pressing issues. After decades of double-digit growth, there are rising signs of China’s economic vulnerability and rising saber rattling and threats to Taiwan.

You can connect the two.

Analysts insist on an increasing chorusNS It may be China’s weaknesses, not China’s strengths, that pose the greatest danger. There is logic that President West may choose to stimulate nationalism by escalating confrontation with the United States with Taiwan as the most attractive target in the event of growing economic difficulties.The most direct cause of financial concern, except for new ones Power shortage,It has been Unravel Chinese real estate giant Evergrande has missed bond payments and received a $ 300 billion loan.

“If Chinese policy makers can make their economies more productive and dynamic, the risks to Washington are real,” wrote Michael Schumann, a fellow at the new Atlantic Council. “But if China turns out to resemble Evergrande, that is, if the core turns out to be a rotten and shiny growth story, Beijing’s ambitions unleashed like real estate company ambitions. Will be. “

Bonnie Lynn and David Sax Discuss this week “China’s increasingly aggressive behavior” against Taiwan is “prone to cross-strait emergencies,” the Foreign Ministry said. But the risk of crisis is not due to the possibility of an immediate invasion of China, rather than an accident or a fatal miscalculation. Mid-air collision between Chinese and Taiwanese jets. “

It all has a sense of a dangerous beginning in an uncertain era that lacks established rules and behavioral patterns. The United States is not accustomed to such challenges to its role, and China is not accustomed to managing global tensions.

It is worth remembering that US-Soviet relations were probably the most dangerous from 1945 to 1962. In the 17 years following World War II, the two overcame a series of crises, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, after which the relationship evolved into a more predictable contour.

The top executives of the Biden administration, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Asia’s top coordinator Kurt Campbell are impressive. Their layout I’m thinking about how to navigate US-China relations in diplomacy in 2019.

That was before they knew they owned the challenge within the White House. They are currently working towards a virtual US-China summit by the end of the year, and both sides are moving towards working-level talks on some important issues.

Under the heading Catastrophic competition, Sullivan and Campbell wrote in 2019: “The starting point for the right approach for the United States must be humility about the ability of decisions made in Washington to determine the direction of long-term development in Beijing … (US) is decisive. You should try to achieve it, not the final state of the Cold War, which is similar to the final conclusion of the Cold War, but in a steady state of clear coexistence in favor of US interests and values. “

Whether they succeed or not will shape the global future.

Why the US-China duo is the most important and dangerous bilateral relationship in history

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