Is the U.S. seeking to contain China?
PRO: Yes, the U.S. is seeking to contain China
1.1. The U.S. has demanded for China to block cyber attacks and adhere to the set rules and regulations.
2.2. China has materialized its influence in the region of the Far East and gained support of several countries in the region.
3.3. Increased deployment of U.S. military troops down under
4.4. The U.S. has interest in arbitrating and mediating in disputes arising between China and its neighbors and partners such as Japan and North Korea
5.5. New rules and regulations governing interests to invest in new technologies such as unmanned aircraft
CON: No, the U.S. is not seeking to contain China
1.1. China is not open to internationalizing its issues and does not give room for foreign interference
2.2. Efforts to contain China may annoy the Chinese nation and interfere with peaceful relations between these countries
3.3. The U.S. and China hold annual military meetings aimed at improving communication networks between the two regions
4.4. President Barrack Obama confirmed that the U.S. is interested in cooperation with China and not containment
5.5. The U.S. and China are involved in various trade operations and would not be interested in containment
PROS: Yes, the U.S. is seeking to contain China.
Tom Donilon, the national security adviser of President Barrack Obama issued a statement earlier this year, which publicly confronted with China over cyber espionage. This came two days after Yang Jiechi; Chinese foreign minister rejected increasing evidence that their military had connections with cyber attacks on American government agencies and corporations. He also mentioned that the white house is looking for three things for China: public recognition of the level of urgency of the issue; a crackdown of Chinese hackers; and most importantly establish standard goals. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said the Chinese government is not willing to take part on such negotiations, However, she maintained that their government is in support of cyber security.
Secondly, China’s materializing ability in protecting power is leading to rampant change in diplomatic and military configurations in the Far East. The White House administration decided to pivot its foreign and defense policies in the Far East. China has formed a coalition with its neighbors in a move to combat the strength of the U.S. military that they view intends to contain it. In the region, there is only one permanent ally to China, North Korea, but according to Winston Churchill, there are no permanent allies, but only permanent interests. The U.S. has interest in containing the Chinese military and that of its neighbors that are members of its coalition.
Additionally, in 2011, the U.S. intended to establish permanent military down under in a move to contain the Chinese rise in the Pacific. This included the stationing of around 250 marines at an Australian Military base in the Northern territory. This meant the U.S. forces would us the Australian military than it used before. The deployment of the massive military would help the U.S. in building cooperation capacities with countries in the region to counter those that are deployed by China. However, China does not support this alliance of the U.S. and Australia saying it is against the interest of the countries in the region. Even though president Obama refutes fearing and excluding China, the above discussion indicates that the efforts made by The U.S. government are aimed at containing China.
The fourth evidence of the United States efforts to contain China is evidenced by the intentions of the U.S. government in the inclusion in conflict resolutions involving China and its neighbors. An example is on the conflict rising from the dispute over the island in the East China Sea. This broke the peaceful relations between China and Japan; the U.S. government intended to be involved in resolving this dispute citing that the tension would interfere with operations in the region, however, the policies that were laid down by the U.S. in the view of the Chinese people, only favored containment of China. The containment policy also interferes with the politics in the Chinese state, which has made it receive criticism from the Chinese people.
Finally yet importantly, the U.S. is the first to use unmanned aircraft with fitted missiles. This was after the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York. China has also adopted this technology and has displayed unmanned aerial vehicles. According the U.S. government, it is appropriate if it sets standards for the international community in relation to these technologies. The U.S. government seeks to contain China and Russia in relation to this phenomenon. These rules are thought to favor monopoly with regard to this technology.
CON: No, the U.S. is not seeking to contain China
Following the live-fire drills performed by the Vietnam in the South China Sea in June 2011. Tension between them further intensified that depicted them as a show off with an aim of defying Beijing. In his statement, Philippine President, Benigno Aquino, called for help from his country’s long-time enemy, the U.S. the Vietnam also echoed this and called for an international involvement in settling this dispute. When Hilary Clinton in her speech in July 2010, suggested that the U.S. be involved in helping resolve this dispute, China declined to her request. In addition, the South East Asia has an extremely strategic environment that is very complex and does not favor conventional strategies for containment. The Chinese influence in the ASEAN bloc is high since it is considered one of the top five trade partners. The U.S. would require such influential members in order to increase its participation in this region rather than contain China.
The other evidence that shows that the U.S. is not seeking to contain China is evidenced in earlier this year; there occurred a soaring dispute over the island in the East China Sea. Economists project that this dispute could lead to war between China and Japan. These tensions might trigger intentions of containment. Prof. Jin Canrong publicly declared the efforts of the United States to contain China do not have any achievements but only annoying China. He rubbishes the move as very stupid. The U.S. and China both declined to Clinton’s request with the views that considering China as an enemy would lead to endless enmity between the two states, however, treating China as a friend implied future peaceful relations, which is beneficial in terms of trade and development.
In addition to the above reasons, in December 2011, a senior Defense Department official clarified that the moves to increase the presence U.S. military in the Asia-Pacific were not aimed at containing China. The U.S. and Chinese defense officials held annual meetings in Beijing with the agenda of enhancing military-to-military understanding and communication to minimize miscalculations. The defense Undersecretary, Michele Flournoy also clarified that the deployment of 2,500 marines to Australia, and the increased links with various armed forces such as Philippines, Japan and Vietnam are aimed at demonstrating the commitment of Washington to the region and not limit Chinese development. The United States does not view China as an opposition, but as a partner. Flournoy also mentioned that both governments agreed to set a new date for the senior level military visits that had been delayed by China in September 2012.
Additionally, While addressing students at a town hall in Shanghai in November 2009, president Barrack Obama said that the notion that the United States and China are adversaries is a wrong presumption and not pre-destined. He also said while answering questions from the audience as well as Chinese in the internet that the United States does not seek to contain China. He said the U.S. welcomes China as a strong prospectus constituent of the community of nations. He also said the United States intended to discuss the sensitive concerns of human rights, and sometimes-unfavorable trade ties with China and its Yuan Currency, which is seen by the U.S. industry as undervalued, in order to create an economic balance.
Finally, in October 2010, Hilary Clinton, the U.S. secretary refuted claims that the U.S. is seeking to contain China. She singled out U.S. and Chinese clashes over currency and sale of arms to Taiwan and exiling of the Tibetan leader. Nevertheless, she said that China and the U.S. have favorable relationships. The two countries would wish to continue their trade activities even though few amendments were required on the regulations.
Despite the U.S. refuting seeking to contain China, several evidence show from the action that it has done in the past that it is interested in containing the Chinese nation. As mentioned earlier in the discussion above, there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests; the U.S. has an interest in containing China due to the increased interest of the Chinese nation in the Technologies that the U.S. intends to monopolize by forming global rules that favors its interests.
Even though the U.S. might intend to contain China, this would eventually interfere with the peaceful relations between these nations. China is an independent nation that would wish to carry out its operations in accordance with the laws that govern them according to its constitution and not serve the interests of the United States. If they try to contain China, the Chinese nation would rebel to this action, supported by its neighboring nations and this would interfere with the operations of the United States at the region.
However, despite the above disadvantages of the Chinese containment strategy, there are certain benefits attached to containing China. For instance, the rate at which cyber crimes are sprouting in China, such as the number of hackers and crackers from China is a phenomenon that requires containment. China is also aware of the dangers related to such crimes and if they cannot deal with them considerably, it would call for containment by countries that are adversely affected by these irregularities. Cyber attacks paralyze operations in countries that majorly conduct their operations online. Cyber offenders like hackers interfere with the smooth running of processes since they divert the normal behaviors of certain phenomenon. Therefore, containment would be beneficial in such scenario.
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