Response to Classmate #1(EW)
These decisions cover the three main areas of contention in the U.S.- Chinese relationship: values, economics, and security respectively.The decision I chose to talk about is the admission to the World Trade Organization, the case study is the Clinton administration’s decision to support China’s admission to the WTO and to grant China Permanent Normal Trade Relations. The US Trade representative Robert Lightizer’s report to congress stating that it seems clear that the United States erred in supporting China’s entry into the WTO on terms that have been proven ineffective in securing China’s embrace of an open, market-oriented trade regime.3 It states that they aren’t sure if they are wanting to allow China into the World Trade Organization back in 2001. They are having to figure out a way to allow China into the WTO.
It is a hard decision to know what is best for your country when it comes to relations with other countries. They made a valid point about China’s entry into the WTO is that they had to agree on two terms on an economic front, China had destroyed millions of jobs in America. They couldn’t have known that they were planning on doing that, they had to put their trust into a foreign country and hope for the best. China had also decimated the United States manufacturing industries and created a massive trade deficit. China ruined all of this for the United States but they weren’t willing to do the same that they did to the United States they failed to allow the U.S. firms and U.S. exports by denying the United States. That was a huge lesson that the United States had to figure out because they trusted China but it didn’t have the outcome they were hoping for.
Response to classmate#2 (BY)
In his article, Steinburg highlights three decisions that he believes embodies the key mistakes that US policymakers have made pertaining to China over the last 30 years. The first of these is President H.W. Bush`s handling of the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. During this event, democratic protestors were brutally targeted as the communist party flexed its muscles over its internal adversaries. Being a nation that fights for democracy, many thought the US should have done more to stand up against this atrocity of civil liberties. However, H.W. Bush decided to prioritize the stability of US-China relations, mainly from an economic standpoint, and did not not impose any tough sanctions against China. "Bush himself argued that continued engagement with China, including through trade, would foster the values agenda as well: “As people have commercial incentives, whether it’s in China or in other totalitarian countries, the move to democracy becomes inexorable"." As a result of this decision, China went unpunished for their attack on democracy, and a precedent was set that gives China the confidence to proceed at will without interference from the US. Had the US been tougher on China for Tiananmen, China could look much different today from an economic and power standpoint.
Steinburg highlights three alternative scenarios for how US-Chinese relations might be different today had H.W. Bush implemented a tougher foreign policy on China for Tiananmen. "First, under the economic pressure of losing most favored nation status, and the political pressure of diplomatic isolation, China’s leaders might have opted to move toward political reform." Critics of H.W. Bush`s policy on China at the time thought that the possibility of removing China`s most favored nation status would benefit the fight for human rights and force China`s hand into respecting the US and its efforts for democracy. Going tough on China to begin with could have promoted democracy to begin with and avoided the stronghold the communist party has on China and its affairs today. The second alternative feeds off of this narrative but points out how if China would have resisted US influence, how the economic hardship`s felt as a result could have eroded support for the communist party and led to a regime change. Finally, the last alternative that Steinburg throws out there is the possibility of China developing a hostile attitude towards the US, leading to direct confrontation in the early 1990`s as opposed to possibly imminent confrontation today. Regardless, H.W. Bush could have chosen to place tighter sanctions against China for the Tiananmen massacre but instead chose not to in an effort to protect trade over advocating for democracy, contributing to the scenario the US finds itself in today with an emerging rival.