News / Asia

US-China Relations Turbulent in 2010

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan attend a joint news conference for the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 25, 2010 (file photo)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan attend a joint news conference for the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 25, 2010 (file photo)

Multimedia

William Ide

U.S - China relations faced a wide range of challenges in 2010 as ties between the world's two biggest economies were tested more broadly than ever before.  Regional experts say that managing one of the world's most important relationships is getting tougher and that the trend will likely continue.

2010 began with a downturn in U.S.-China relations.  Beijing cut military ties with Washington, following a U.S. arms deal with Taiwan and the Internet search firm Google announced that it was the target of a sophisticated cyber attack that originated in China.

In February, U.S. President Barrack Obama met with Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, despite strong protests from Beijing.  That raised questions about whether Chinese President Hu Jintao would attend Mr. Obama's Nuclear Security Summit in April.  But in the end, Mr. Hu attended.

Relations between the two countries are increasingly intertwined, complex and far reaching.  Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution here in Washington, calls U.S.-China relations "a paradox."  

"It is a paradox of hope and fear; it is a paradox of progress and tremendous problems, a paradox of confidence and possible disaster," Cheng Li said.

Although the two nations found ways to cooperate in 2010 on alternative energy, they clashed over the value of China's currency and other trade issues.

Bonnie Glaser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington says it was difficult for the United States and China to find ways to cooperate.  It was a year, she notes, replete with incidents that caused friction between the two countries.  

"I think that both sides have found it very difficult to manage the relationship and really keep the tone positive," Glaser said. "And with Hu Jintao's visit coming up in January [2011], [it] really raises a big challenge for both countries.  What is the positive story that we can now tell about this relationship?  What are the issues that we can cooperate on?"  

Glaser says tensions on the Korean peninsula, and finding a way to deal with North Korea and its provocative actions during the past year is an example of that lack of cooperation between China and the United States.  

"Ever since the sinking of the Cheonan, the South Korean vessel in March, China's unwillingness to point a finger at the North Korea, to condemn North Korea as the provocateur; it's unwillingness in the U.N. Security Council to name North Korea,I think that was a negative story for the U.S.-China relationship," Glaser said.

The South China Sea, an area China claims as its own, was another point of contention.  The United States offered to facilitate territorial disputes between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors.  China rejected the offer.

One month later, Beijing announced it had sent a manned submarine to the bottom of the South China Sea and planted a Chinese flag.

Glaser says it served as a reminder of China's growing military status and as a subtle message to countries that also have claims in region.  

"The fact that the Chinese have the capability to do that is a signal to their neighbors that they are far more advanced than all of the other claimants and that, therefore, other countries should take that power imbalance into account when they talk with the Chinese about these issues," Glaser said. "

Largely unaffected by the global financial crisis, China has becoming more assertive about its global intentions, raising concerns internationally.

According to Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution says China and the United States are on a dangerous course.  

"When you think China's threat is real and then it becomes real.  At the same time, if you think U.S. policy is anti-China, [that the United States] wants to contain China, sooner or later you will want to reinforce that kind of thing," Cheng Li said. "It will become real.  So that is a danger.  And that danger certainly escalated in a fast way in 2010.  I think the outside world needs to come to terms with China's rise because the era of China serving as a student to be lectured by the West, is coming to and end."  

Analysts note that as China's global influence grows, so does its responsibilities as a player on the world's stage.

Sophie Richardson is the Asia Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch in Washington.

"The kind of progress that we have seen in China, infrastructure, economic, and to some extent social freedom, many of these are remarkable, and they are a clear choice on the part of the Chinese government," she said. "But there hasn't been a commensurate increase in basic civil and political rights.  And that too is a very clear choice."

Analysts note that as China's economic and political power increase, so, too, do expectations of the country, at  home and abroad.  That leaves Beijing with a choice, analysts say, to meet those expectations or to ignore them.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid