Friday, 30 March 2012

U.S. and China

The U.S. - China Policy Foundation was founded in 1995 and 'is a non-partisan, non-profit, non-advocacy organization that promotes a greater understanding between American and Chinese policymakers, researchers, and government officials.' Based in Washington D.C. the organisation aims to provide accurate information on the relationship between the U.S. and China, therefore the website is likely to be reliable, although a donation page is present.
The website contains a news section and the most recent 2012 story states that both the U.S. and China were among the fifty countries who attended the 'Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.' The presence of both countries demonstrates how nuclear war is not encouraged by either side and both countries realise the devastation that nuclear weapons could potentially cause. This viewpoint is likely to have occurred due to the impact that the Cold War had on both nations, as paranoia became extreme and the end of the world was a possibility.
However, the relationship between the U.S. and China is by no means perfect. 'Obama has repeatedly called for China to take a firmer stance on North Korea, accusing China’s government of “rewarding bad behavior [and] turning a blind eye to deliberate provocations."' If China were to take a 'firmer stance,' it worries that as a consequence, it would 'cause a flood of refugees to cross the border into China.' This concern represents a strict, communist China, seeing as their population growth is controlled by the one child policy. This prevents freedom of immigration which America exercises to a certain extent. The United States claims to obey human rights and civil rights more so than countries such as China, which will happily trade with countries that abuse human rights. Therefore, America is much more concerned with democracy and freedom compared to China, who is more concerned with profits and their own well-being. If America is unable to persuade China to take stronger action against North Korea, this will show the lack of influence that America now has in foreign affairs.
The USCPF also holds events that strengthens the relationship between the U.S and China. For example, in February 2012 Washington D.C welcomed the Chinese Vice President XI Jinping. Xi states that the relationship between the two countries is beneficial for both sides, as it enables 'increased bilateral investment in each other’s economies and more people-to-people exchanges.' Both America and China are superpowers and in order to attain these positions, both nations must trade with each other. However, America would prefer China to buy products more than they produce them, as this would help America during its economic crisis. The United States is more frequently relying on others for financial aid, as most of its debt is owed to China, therefore their relationship must stay strong for America's sake.
The USCPF offers more than simply providing information. It has a 'China Forum' which is an 'educational television program devoted exclusively to China.' This demonstrates the demand for online resources and suggests that the organisation is highly devoted to gathering accurate information and spreading this worldwide. They also offer programs which allow American teachers to go to China in order to 'study the Chinese education system and learn about Chinese history and culture.' One is not able to accurately inform others about a country in which they have not visited. This program shows that Americans are keen to gain a deeper understanding of China, by analysing its 'soft power' as well as its 'hard power.' These teachers will also be able to take advice from China which could help them to improve the educational system in America, as public schools are declining. However, as this site is from an American perspective, it would be interesting to see whether or not China is as keen to gain more knowledge of America.

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