Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Whither China?

Last week, after we discussed where Russia might be headed after the Prigozhin/Wagner Group mutiny, we said we might talk this coming Monday (17 July) about “Whither China?” I’d suggest narrowing that topic somewhat, to “Whither the China-US relationship?”

Some of the questions that we could discuss include the following:

After the Prigozhin/Wagner Group mutiny and the performance of the Russian military in Ukraine since last February, is China hedging its bet on its support for Russia? If so, to what extent?

The Biden Administration seems to be trying to take advantage of China’s apparent and tentative hedging on Russia (and other factors affecting China) to reduce mutual tensions. How is the Biden administration doing that? Is there more it should do in that regard, or is it already doing enough (or too much)?

How well is the US coordinating its China policy with our European and other allies? Are their interests in reducing tensions with China the same as ours? If not, how do they differ?

Will the US be able to successfully “contain” China, as it did fairly successfully with the USSR during the Cold War? What would a containment policy toward China look like today? Should we pursue such a policy? Is it likely to succeed? If we followed such a policy, would our allies follow suit? If not, why not?

Here are some links to recent articles and opinion pieces that seem relevant to this topic:

“Xi Jinping may be souring on his ‘best, most intimate friend'” https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/06/opinion/xi-putin-relationship-china.html?smid=em-share

“Biden bets high-level diplomacy can cool fiery relations with China” https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/10/us/politics/biden-china-diplomacy.html?smid=em-share

“EU’s van der Leyen calls for tougher policy on China ahead of Beijing visit” https://www.politico.eu/article/eus-ursula-von-der-leyen-xi-jinping-calls-for-tougher-policy-on-china-ahead-of-beijing-visit/

“Can Europe forge a common China policy?” https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/89580

“Why China has a huge pile of debt” https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/08/business/china-debt-explained.html?smid=em-share

“‘Several things have shocked me’: an ex-insider on business in China” https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/08/business/dealbook/china-economy-desmond-shum.html?smid=nytcore-android-share

“Why China’s young people are not getting married” https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/10/world/asia/china-marriage-rate.html?searchResultPosition=1

A brief description of the development and implementation of George F. Kennan’s containment policy toward the USSR, from the Office of the Historian of the US State Department https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/kennan


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