The Paris climate accord, signed by 175 countries in April, was a high point of success for the United Nations. The U.N. has also managed to focus governments around the world on sustainable development goals. Yet, on the security side of the equation, for which the U.N. was principally founded, the record is largely one of failure. (continued)
In March 1946, Winston Churchill famously declared that an "iron curtain" had descended across the European continent, casting a decades-long chill between East and West known as the Cold War. A new chill is in the air once again as China and Russia seek to draw a new "digital curtain" across the world in a joint effort to thwart the Western web from penetrating their cultural space.(continued)
Washington still reaches too quickly for its gun over its purse to solve problems abroad. With the notable exception of sanctions, the U.S. still debates its largest geostrategic challenges in overwhelmingly politico-military terms. But this is the era of geoeconomic statecraft, and the contest for leadership in Asia is being waged in primarily economic terms.
The summit bore fruit with a joint China-U.S. communique, plus five separate action plans from different participants. In The Hague in 2014, President Xi put forward a Chinese approach to nuclear security for the first time, which provided an important and useful perspective to promote international nuclear security. At the 2016 summit, President Xi delivered a speech that fully demonstrated China's policies and initiatives.
BEIJING -- Debates are going on the two sides of the Pacific, in China and in the U.S., about the future world order. On the part of the U.S. the core issue is how to maintain its world dominance. Out of its natural fear of the traditional model of power transition, the U.S. is deeply concerned whether it can remain strong and whether the newly rising powers will compete for world dominance with the U.S.. So some suggest that the U.S. may need a new grand strategy.
America is still the world's only superpower, but China is gradually catching up. China's economy has become the second largest in the world, and the leadership is speaking with a louder voice in international affairs. And while historically China has eschewed building formal alliances with other countries, even that policy is slowly shifting: Beijing is courting new partners, including allies of Washington like President Park and others.
BEIJING -- During his visit, Xi repeatedly mentioned cybersecurity and the digital economy. His remarks on one hand indicated that taking advantage of information technologies to facilitate economic transformation, improving the government's governance capabilities and making information technologies benefit people are the Chinese government's firm priorities; on the other hand, they conveyed the Chinese leadership's idea that "national security is out of the question without cybersecurity."
BEIJING -- The most pronounced aspect of difficulties between the U.S. and China is America's rejection of China's political system. In the eyes of many Americans, China values collective interests and lacks democracy and human rights, while in the eyes of many in China, Americans, who believe in individual rights, have a natural tendency to engineer political evolution in other countries, and therefore we need to be on guard. These oversimplified perceptions have put the two countries at two ends of the world, running parallel and never seeming to converge.
BEIJING -- I just returned from a trip to the United States during which I met with some U.S. lawmakers and esteemed professors, touched base with seven think tanks and talked to a number of media professionals. It struck me that their views toward China are diversified and their signals mixed. In my view, China watchers in the U.S. can be divided roughly into three schools of thought.
Is the prevalent understanding of world order amongst Americans [that of] a world dominated by U.S. rules and power? Is it only centered on American values and interests and supported by U.S. alliances? Does that mean that, from the U.S. perspective, rising powers only have two choices: to submit or to challenge? What would you do if you were in our situation?
The U.S. chose a policy that could be called "integrate and insure." China was welcomed into the World Trade Organization, but the U.S.-Japan security treaty was revived to insure against China becoming a bully. If a rising China throws its weight around, it drives neighbors to seek to balance its power. In that sense, only China can contain China.
The recent announcement in Washington and Beijing that Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States in September underscores the continuing momentum in the improvement of bilateral relations since the landmark U.S.-China climate agreement reached in Beijing last November. In the months leading to President Xi's U.S. visit, however, both countries will need to work hard to create favorable conditions for a productive summit.