June 19, 2024

America Has Awakened a Sleeping Giant

Hysteria about China has reached epic proportions.  The latest sanctions to try and isolate China from obtaining microchips is very analogous to the oil embargo imposed on Japan in the early 1940’s and we all know how that turned out.

We may hinder the Chinese, but we will not stop them.  Here is an interesting take from Bloomberg.

China’s tech sector has a new obsession: competing with US titans like Google and Microsoft in the breakneck global artificial intelligence race. Billionaire entrepreneurs, mid-level engineers and bureaucrats alike now harbor a remarkably consistent ambition: to beat the US in a technology that may determine the global power stakes. Right now, China is said to be three years behind Silicon Valley, with AI investments in the US dwarfing China’s. But the gap is closing.

With a vastly superior work ethic and large number of STEM graduates China will ultimately win the game.  But why endanger world peace by constantly poking China in the eye?

We are making enemies where there are none.  Would it not be better to seek diplomatic solutions with China instead of inciting hysteria and hatred and imposing sanctions which accomplish nothing but creating more ill will.

This from Responsible Statecraft:

The disagreement over sanctions reflects a larger failure to understand how the Chinese government sees the world and how it interprets U.S. actions.

Rohan Mukherjee recently wrote in Foreign Affairs about what he called China’s status anxiety: “For a rising power such as China, an intolerable sense of inequality is created when an established great power bends or breaks international rules without allowing Beijing the same privilege. China wants to be recognized as an equal of the world’s preeminent great power, the United States.”

One recurring problem in U.S.-Chinese relations is that China perceives a wide gap between what the U.S. says it wants from the relationship and what it does. Washington professes to value the status quo, but it takes actions vis-à-vis Taiwan that seem to erode it. The U.S. and its allies claim that they don’t seek to harm the Chinese economy while the U.S. implements export controls that are clearly designed to kneecap China’s technology sector.

The administration then says that it wants to stabilize relations, but then it turns around and produces a communique with its G-7 partners that attacks China in the sharpest terms and faults China for coercive behavior that the U.S. and its allies also engage in.

It is natural that the Chinese government sees U.S. policy as an effort to contain and “suppress” China, because that is what the U.S. has been seeking to do. Under these conditions, repairing ties becomes much more challenging if it is even possible.

The Biden administration frequently likes to pose as being open to diplomacy with other states while putting the burden on the other state to take the initiative. In negotiations with Iran, the standard line from U.S. officials for most of the last two years has been that the “ball is in their court.” The administration has said the same thing about possible talks with North Korea. This week U.S. officials repeated it in connection with China.

This creates the impression here at home that the administration is the reasonable party willing to talk while making no effort that might involve politically risky concessions. Diplomatic outreach is rarely successful without sustained effort and at least some risk-taking, so it is no surprise that this approach has been fruitless in every case.

The administration is also very stubborn in its refusal to offer any sanctions relief, no matter how minor, to facilitate diplomatic progress. As they see it, sanctions relief should only be granted after the other side yields. The trouble is that the other side just digs in its heels and refuses to budge, and the administration refuses to show the sort of flexibility that might end the impasse. The administration can blame the other government for the lack of progress, but the reality is that the U.S. chooses stalled diplomacy over making any goodwill gestures that might lead to reciprocal moves.

Treating an advanced nation like China so poorly does nothing to stabilize the world.  There are tremendous problems facing humanity and planet Earth – working together with other nations instead of inciting potential wars should be the goal of every nation.