V zadnjih tednih sem citiral izjave predstavnikov ameriške administracije, da (navkljub mnoštvu konkretnih nasprotnih dejstev) nikakor ne zaostrujejo odnosov s Kitajsko. Medtem ko je bila Obamova politika še dokaj prefinjena (oblikovanje gospodarskega bloka v Pacifiku prek lansiranja Trans Pacific Partnership proti Kitajski), Trumpova politika groba (trgovinske vojne proti Kitajski), pa je Bidenova politika izrazito agresivna (prepovedi izvoza tehnologij, prepovedi sodelovanja s kitajskimi podjetji, spodbujanje konflikta okrog Tajvana, kopičenje novih vojaških baz na Filipinih itd.). Toda medtem ko te ameriške politike očitno zaostrujejo odnose s Kitajsko, pa je bilo z ameriške strani težko dobiti uradno stališče, kaj ameriške administracije tako zelo moti pri Kitajski. Do lanskega maja, ko je ameriški državni sekretar (zunanji minister) Anthony Blinken na predavanju na George Washington University prvič tako jasno izpostavil, da ameriške oblasti moti to, da so imele tako “malo uspeha, da bi prepričale ali prisilile Kitajsko, da spoštuje ameriška pravila ali pravila mednarodnih institucij.” In naprej, Kitajska je nevarna, ker je “edina država z namenom preoblikovanja mednarodnega reda in ki ima tudi gospodarsko, diplomatsko, vojaško in tehnološko moč, da to stori”. New York Times:
Mr. Blinken said the United States had tried with little success to persuade or compel China to abide by American rules or the rules of international institutions. He described China as increasingly determined to impose its priorities on other nations. “China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do it,” he said. “Beijing’s vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years.”
Preprosto rečeno, ZDA moti, ker Kitajska ne želi sprejeti ameriških pravil igre in ima celo ambicijo ter kapacitete, da bi predrugačila mednarodni red ter s tem ogrozila ameriško hegemonijo (alias “pravila mednarodnih institucij” in “univerzalne vrednote”).
Toda kdo v resnici krši pravila mednarodnih institucij, Kitajska ali ZDA?
Uredniški odbor New York Timesa, ki je danes (že drugič po avgustu lani) objavil javni poziv Bidenovi administraciji k prenehanju zaostrovanja odnosov s Kitajsko, je s prostom pokazal na ZDA. ZDA so tiste, ki so (še pod Trumpom) v nasprotju s pravili Mednarodne trgovinske organizacije (WTO) uvedle enostranske carine na uvoz različnih vrst kitajskih izdelkov. ZDA so danes tiste, ki blokirajo delovanje WTO kot arbitra v trgovinskih sporih, ker že dve leti (v mandatu Bidena) ne želijo potrditi novih arbitrov, ker ne želijo sodelovati v komisijah WTO, ki oblikujejo pravila mednarodne trgovine, ker ne želijo sodelovati v forumu WTO glede oblikovanja pravil o podjetjih v državni lasti. New York Times:
For example, the World Trade Organization operates a court of appeals that was created to adjudicate trade disputes. The court, however, has not operated in over two years, since the most recently appointed judges completed their terms. New judges cannot be installed without the support of the United States, and the Biden administration has declined to provide that support. The United States has also pulled back from committees at the W.T.O. that write the rules of trade, according to Henry Gao, a professor at Singapore Management University and an expert on the organization. When Mr. Xi proposed in November 2021 to use the W.T.O. as a forum for establishing rules about state-owned enterprises, a key American goal, the United States didn’t show much interest, Mr. Gao said in an interview.
Uredništvo New York Timesa meni, da so ameriški enostranski protekcionistični ukrepi in ameriški umik iz mednarodnih institucij velika napaka. Meni, da konfrontacijski odnos z ZDA ni koristen v boju za skupne globalne cilje, kot je omejitev posledic klimatskih sprememb. Meni, da je bilo sooblikovanje pravil mednarodne trgovine eden izmed ključnih dosežkov 20. stoletja Meni, da je mednarodna konkurenca dobra za ZDA, ker so ZDA najbolj napredovale v panogah, ki so bile trgovinsko najbolj izpostavljene. Meni, da bi se namesto na konfrontacijo s Kitajsko ZDA morale fokusirati na konkurenco prek vlaganj v šolstvo in znanost.Meni, da je mogoče ameriške interese maksimirati prek poudarka na konkurenco in z minimiziranjem konfrontacije.
Drugače rečeno, namesto vojskovanja naj ZDA Kitajsko premagajo tako, da bodo hitreje tekle.
For most of the past half-century, the United States sought to reshape China through economic and diplomatic engagement — or, in the case of the Trump administration, through economic and diplomatic disengagement. The Biden administration, by contrast, has shelved the idea that China can be changed in favor of the hope that it can be checked.
The White House has moved to limit economic ties with China, to limit China’s access to technology with military applications, to pull back from international institutions where the United States has long sought to engage China and to strengthen ties with China’s neighbors. In recent months, the United States has restricted semiconductor exports to China, and this week it moved ahead with plans to help Australia obtain nuclear submarines. The administration also is seeking to impose new restrictions on American investments in certain Chinese companies. In treating China as a growing threat to American interests, it is acting with broad support, including from leading Republicans, much of the military and foreign policy establishments, and a growing portion of the business community.
Yet the relationship between the United States and China, for all its problems, continues to deliver substantial economic benefits to the residents of both countries and to the rest of the world. Moreover, because the two nations are tied together by millions of normal and peaceful interactions every day, there is a substantial incentive to maintain those ties and a basis for working together on shared problems like climate change.
Americans’ interests are best served by emphasizing competition with China while minimizing confrontation. Glib invocations of the Cold War are misguided. It doesn’t take more than a glance to appreciate that this relationship is very different. Rather than try to trip the competition, America should focus on figuring out how to run faster, for example through increased investments in education and basic scientific research.
Chinese actions and rhetoric also need to be kept in perspective. By the standards of superpowers, China remains a homebody. Its foreign engagements, especially outside its immediate surroundings, remain primarily economic. China has been playing a much more active role in international affairs in recent years — a new agreement facilitated by China to re-establish relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is the latest example — but China continues to show strikingly little interest in persuading other nations to adopt its social and political values.
There are also signs that China’s leaders are not united in supporting a more confrontational posture. It behooves the United States to reassure those who may be open to reassurance. America and China are struggling with many of the same challenges: how to ensure what President Xi Jinping has termed “common prosperity” in an age of income inequality; how to rein in the worst excesses of capitalism without losing its vital creative forces; how to care for an aging population and young people who want more out of life than work; how to slow the pace of climate change and to manage its disruptive impacts, including mass migration.
The core of America’s China strategy, building stronger relationships with our allies, is sound policy. Over time, the United States ought to seek a greater alignment between its economic interests and other national goals. The president’s budget proposal, released on Thursday, repeats some of the language from Mr. Blinken’s speech last year and proposes several billion dollars of foreign aid and investments to buttress U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region. “We’re trying to make sure that we can outcompete them when it comes to hearts and minds around the globe,” said Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget.
That is a mistake. The construction of a rules-based international order, in which America played the leading role, was one of the most important achievements of the 20th century. It cannot be preserved if the United States does not continue to participate in those institutions.
The Biden administration’s continuation of Trump-era restrictions on trade with China, and its imposition of a host of new restrictions, is also a dubious strategy. Limiting competition is likely to yield some short-term benefits, but American economic growth in recent decades has been driven primarily by increased productivity in sectors that are exposed to global trade. Competition has been both painful and beneficial. The value of the major investments the federal government is making in infrastructure, research and technical education is significantly reduced by measures that limit the size of the market for American goods or that shelter American businesses from healthy foreign competition.
The confrontational turn also makes it harder for the United States and China to cooperate on addressing climate change and on other issues where national interests could plausibly align.
Much of the shift in China policy has been justified as necessary for national defense. National security considerations can provide a legitimate rationale for limiting some types of trade with China. But it can also provide a legitimizing vocabulary for protectionist measures that are not in the interest of Americans. In the long term, the best guarantee of American security has always been American prosperity and engagement with the rest of the world.
Vir: New York Times