China at its peak; what is the strategy of the White House to contain Beijing?
The interview date is August 16, 2022
Declining America, faced with domestic economic problems and self-made international crises, has resorted to various mechanisms to slow down the train of China’s comprehensive development.
According to Mashregh, the tension between China and the United States intensified with the visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives of this country, to the island of Taiwan. But, the dispute has always cast shadows on Washington-Beijing relations in various fields in recent decades. So the observers evaluate the 82-year-old Pelosi’s trip to this island, which has always been a challenging region, intending to escalate tension and also in line with advancing the project of containing China in the Far East.
America’s fear of China becoming the top of the world economy
The production volume of the global economy reached 94 trillion dollars in 2021, and only four countries, the United States of America, China, Japan, and Germany, accounted for more than half of the world economy.
Last year, China’s economy ranked second in the GPD, with a Gross Domestic Product of nearly 17 trillion dollars. It remains the world’s largest producer by output, with steel, electronics, and robotics extensive production values. Also, China was the only major world economy with 8.1% growth in 2020.
Therefore, the acceleration of China’s economic growth in recent years and decades has challenged America’s economic and military superiority in Asia and the world. To reach the position of a Superpower, the People’s Republic of China has prioritized effective influence in regional organizations to use their capacities to provide energy and maintain its national security. Because in recent months, America faced severe crises in the energy sector, so the inflation in the energy sector has reached 40%. In the food sector, it is 10%. According to experts, inflation in America has broken the record in the last 40 years.
“Joseph Nye, a distinguished professor of political science at Harvard University, in his book, “Is the American Century Over?” He believes that China is the only country with the potential capacity to overtake America and continues: Among BRICS members, China is a power with an economy equal to the result of the combination of other members. This country has the largest army, the largest military budget, the highest rate of economic growth, and the most internet users.
From his point of view, China quickly recovered after the 2008 economic crisis, and many analysts expect that the overall Chinese economy will surpass the American economy soon. Also, a Nobel Prize-winning economist has predicted that in 2040, China will have 40% of the world’s gross domestic product (America, Europe, and Japan only 21%).
Beijing leaders focus on strengthening the military.
Many observers believe that from a military point of view, China will become a military power in the world by 2049. According to the “Stockholm International Peace Research Institute” (SIPRI), although Beijing always publishes these data in its official reports, the Western estimates about China’s financial support for its armed forces are significantly higher than the published statistics. Found by the Chinese government. Currently, China spends more on its armed forces than any country except the United States.
China ranks in first place in the world’s population
If we consider “population” as one of the components of power, one of the concerns of the West, especially the United States, is the increasing growth of China’s population compared to the decrease in population and the aging of their people. China’s transition from a one-child policy to a two-child and finally to a three-child policy has placed this country at the top of the world population ranks. China’s population of 1.4 billion is more than four times that of the United States, which has a population of about 330 million.
The White House is concerned about China’s global influence, especially the privacy zone of America.
The Chinese efficacy in different parts of the world is so much that it has raised the concern of various officials and experts in the United States. Currently, China is even the first strategic partner of Latin America, and in the last few years, it has surpassed America and Europe in this regard.
The “Council on Foreign Relations” of the United States recently reviewed China’s activities in Latin America in an analytical report and examined various aspects of this activity.
This council stated in its report that since 2000, China’s role in Latin America developed significantly, which promises economic opportunities for this country. State-owned enterprises were among China’s investors in Latin America, operating in the energy, infrastructure, and regional space fields. Hence, China has overtaken the United States as South America’s largest trading partner.
Of course, with the wide spread of the corona disease, China has used its support in the fight against covid-19 and has sent medical equipment, loans, and a large amount of corona vaccine to this region.
In 2000, China’s market share in Latin America was less than 2%. The rapid growth of China and the resulting demand increased the prosperity of regional goods. In the next eight years, trade with this region grew at an average annual rate of 31%.In 2010 the value was 180 billion dollars, and by the end of 2021, the amount of trade reached 450 billion dollars. According to experts, by 2035, China’s trade with this region will exceed 700 billion dollars.
America’s options for confronting China
The increasing power of China in various fields has created a platform for providing expert views on the confrontation between Washington and Beijing; As in last year’s article by the US Congressional News Service (Hill) considered China as the biggest threat, he presented four strategies to the White House to confront Beijing, which is:
The 1st strategy
Return to comprehensive US cooperation with its partners against China and continuing the policy of containing Beijing adopted by previous Democratic and Republican presidents.
The second strategy:
Direct military act against China by destroying its illegal military bases in the South China Sea. Helping the Filipinos to reclaim some of their islands and, if necessary, a resounding military response to Beijing for violating the laws and the maritime territorial limits of other countries, the airspace, and the integrity of Japan and Ivan.
The third strategy:
The continuation of the Trump administration strategy. Active containment and a more stubborn response to China’s violations in trade, human rights, freedom of navigation, and Taiwan than previous US administrations.
The fourth strategy: implementing information and financial programs to weaken the Chinese Communist government, which can eventually lead to a peaceful change of the Chinese regime and the establishment of a democratic government, and regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Mongolia can gain their independence.
Therefore, Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is within the framework of the fourth strategy, previously proposed by the US Congress News Agency.
Advancing China’s containment strategy in the heart of Asia and the Pacific
One of the most important strategies of the United States in different governments is to limit Beijing in the vast continent of Asia and build an alliance in this geographical area against China, which was recently reported by the “Israel Defense” news site a report titled The Big Game between China and the United States in Asia. These coalitions have pointed out to secure the powerful China.
China’s containment strategy in the heart of Asia and the Pacific
Four-way mechanism (four-way security dialogue);
Another informal strategic alliance with the participation of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States of America
“Five Eyes” (FVEY);
An intelligence alliance with the participation of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, and the United States of America
Tripartite Security Treaty between Australia, Great Britain, and the United States
Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF);
It is a plan to invest and strengthen trade ties to increase US presence in the region and counter Chinese influence.
– An example is an alliance called the Aukus, The trilateral security agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. It was formed on September 15, 2021, to contain China. ECOWAS supports Australia in building nuclear submarines and developing hypersonic weapons, raising the risk of a regional arms race and world war.
– The “Five Eyes” group is also an intelligence alliance with the participation of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, and the United States of America, which plays a significant role in confronting China’s rise to power.
– The quadrilateral mechanism (quadrilateral security dialogue) or QUAD is another informal strategic alliance formed with the participation of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States of America. Its purpose is to contain China in the Indo-Pacific region.
With all the strategies and mechanisms that America has taken to contain China, it has not been able to slow down the development train of this global power. The US domestic economic problems and the involvement in the crises like Ukraine and Middle East tensions have turned the United States into a declining actor.
The elements of declining America are evident in examples such as the failure to build a Middle Eastern coalition, the failure in Iraq, the escape from Afghanistan, and the sinking into the swamp of Ukraine. Therefore, instead of taking a step toward progress, the White House is clinging to mechanisms with the hope of slowing down China’s speed and, in other words, restraining this great rival.
* Hassan Shokohi Nesab: an expert on international issues