China and US enhancing mutual trust

Published on Author crosby

Yang Jiechi, a member of China’s state Council, announced yesterday that he spoke with United States Secretary of State about enhancing mutual trust between Beijing and Washington and work toward establishing a “new kind of big-power relationship” according to China Daily. Kerry responded by saying that the United States values its relationship with China and wants to continue building on that relationship. This is another move from China to establishing better relations in the West. It shows that the country is working to strengthen relationships with other powerful nations.
It is also important because it is a move that is somewhat in response to North Korea’s recent missile tests, and how countries in the East are standing against them. These threats have pushed the US and China to form “good unity” to defuse anxieties about the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. According to the article, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has spoken with Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan promising to strengthen military ties between the countries.
This is a very unprecedented move because China and the United States haven’t been as close in the past, but they are uniting against the threat of one dictator. This shows the continued efforts from China to try and reach out to other nations especially those in the West.

3 Responses to China and US enhancing mutual trust

  1. With the current North Korea situation, to what effect has trade relations strengthened the relationship between China and the US. One would think that the opportunity cost of siding with North Korea would be quite high for China. It is likely that past political differences and distances between the US and China were remnants of a less globalized political economy. Therefore, the mutually beneficial trade relationship is likely to be strengthened along with political relationship as a result of this situation.

  2. I think it will be a long time before China and the US are permanent and strong allies. Of course we have the trade ties with China but there’s little more of a relationship than that. This is definitely a step in the right direction, although the endpoint may be many years down the road.

  3. There is a long history of “confidence building measures” (CMBs) including (at least from time to time) the exchange of One-star-level American officers (generals, admirals) with their Chinese counterparts in various courses in each others countries. There’s the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) and other get-togethers of senior defense types. That doesn’t mean that politicians “get it” and it doesn’t eliminate mutual suspicions – who else could we realistically use as “the enemy” when we do war games? Both sides recognize the danger that such scenario building can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Furthermore, the people involved in this are very inward-looking. I took part in one series of defense conferences; most of the people have worked with each other or at least interact several times a year through conferences and consulting reports and so on, and there’s little turnover and few outsiders. So while they (and Chinese counterparts) may “understand” the game, outsiders … are outsiders. That can include most of Congress and parts of the White House on our side. Mistakes aren’t hypothetical, academics who follow all this can point to lots of examples where the message of what was really going on didn’t get to those who made decisions.

    Finally, it’s hard to detect how “good” or “bad” relations on one front affect what goes on elsewhere. The decision makers on trade policy simply don’t interact with those working on defense policy. Nor do businessmen on either side spend lots of time interacting with Pentagon insiders and the Chinese equivalent. So the private sector does its thing, the Pentagon theirs.