We’ve seen how the Obama Administration has dealt with China. If he’s the president for the next four years, we can anticipate a continuation of those policies.
China has been actively supporting President Obama (financially and politically) because it doesn’t like what it sees in a potential Romney Presidency. So it is to that Romney Presidency that we should look in our examination of national direction.
Henry Kissinger, who endorsed Mitt Romney for President in 2012 said, “Each generation of Chinese leader . . . reflected the mission and the conditions of his period.” Mao Zedong was a revolutionary. Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, was a reformer with a vision that became Modern China. Jiang Zemin, the leader after the Tiananmen Square massacre spent most of his 12 years restoring China to the international system. Hu Jintao, was the first leader that actually had to operate China as part of a globalized system.
The next president, Xi Jinping, will have to focus on daunting internal issues that China faces. He will attempt to move 400 million people (peasants) from the countryside into the cities. Over the next decade, this will likely mean an end to the Communist Party in China as we know it today. I think the Chinese leadership, who are well educated and pragmatic will find a uniquely Chinese solution to the problem. I don’t think that even know what that will be today.
China is a country that is returning to what it believes it has always been, namely the center of Asian affairs. It is investing huge resources to create a military that will be able to challenge the United States both in the sea approaches to China, in space, on the Internet and in an air defense zone extending out from China several hundred miles. The People’s Liberation Army’s Navy (PLAN) purchased an aircraft carrier from India that is now operational. They will continue to develop aircraft carriers in their perceived (and actual) leader of Asia. They are developing and fielding a very capable blue water navy.
A Romney Administration will find itself confronting a China that is in a state of internal flux, which is why China is unlikely to engage in confrontations with the United States either in space, on land or sea, and in the Internet. That being said, the Romney Plan to rebuild the US Navy, which has been in severe decline during the Obama Years centers around ships designed specifically to counter the anti-aircraft carrier weapons that China has developed and is in the process of deploying.
Americans will make demands, but we need to be aware of Chinese sensibilities and that China will respond (as always) in a Chinese fashion.
A Chinese General that I know told me that to him, the mysterious East was in Washington DC. Chinese leaders remind Americans who associate with them that China has managed to make it through the past 3,800 years without American help.
Now, it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles, and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white, with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: ‘A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.’ – Kipling
America gains more from working with China than it does by working against China, and despite what future-President Romney says on the campaign trail, he will have to face this absolute fact that every other American President has had to face.
How do the Chinese feel about Mitt Romney’s attacks, calling China a ‘currency cheater’?
China-bashing, many Chinese news outlets argue, has simply become par for the course in U.S. elections. Romney may be trying to “curry favor with hard right-wing elements in the Republican Party” with his proposals on China, a recent op-ed in the state-run China Daily noted, but the Chinese people, “have become inured to such campaign talk from American politicians. Since the end of the Cold War, both Democratic and Republican politicians have cited former US policies toward China in attempts to rake up unsavory parts of each other’s pasts.” The campaign rhetoric is “just meant to win votes and would prove disastrous if pursued,” the writer adds. (China Daily – link above)
So to sum it up, the Chinese understand that it’s good politics in America to bash China, but that they expect that pragmatic actions will result from even the most strident rhetoric. I think that they’re right.
–I’ve spent time in China, I was an adjunct professor at the People’s Public Security University, lecturing to senior police officials throughout the People’s Republic of China and am a principal manager in a policy oriented think tank on the subject of Asia based in Maryland.