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

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs