Monday, April 2, 2012

The above is a link to an article posted February 2012, that provides an insight into the trade relationship between the US and China. The Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping urges a greater cooperation on trade and security issues between the US and China labeling this as "new type of relationship between major countries". These calls were made at a luncheon event that took place in Washington DC. As this was a diplomatic visit taking place in the US and not in neutral territory, the Chinese would be likely to say statements that are aimed at pleasing and appealing to an US audience due to the potential for the two large trading partners to fortify the world economy. Relations between the two sides have said to be ‘fraught with tension over trade and economic issues as well as diplomatic and military issues.’ However as Muhtar Kent, chief executive of Coca-Cola Co. and chairman of the US-China Business Council, a sponsor of the lunch suggests “the United States and China have a tremendous opportunity to build stronger economies and improve the lives of people around the world…There is perhaps no greater opportunity for two nations to develop a mutually beneficial relationship that can have such a profound impact on so many lives.” Which is of particular interest as Coca-Cola in itself is found on a global level ergo view these transactions to enhance their business, on purely selfish terms, in my opinion almost relating to the American use of ‘Soft power’ a brief definition being ‘the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies.’ Thus it seems the Americans either have the options of using these relations to their advantage, or to ignore an up and coming Global superpower.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Firefly: The Alliance

The television program Firefly is set 500 years in the future when only America and China survive and form one super- power called the alliance. The alliance fight the 'brown coats', those fighting for independence. They win and everything becomes regulated by this global super-power. As a result of this everyone can speak Chinese and English but these languages have merged. In Firefly characters fluently chop and change between the two languages.

Although the show does not explain why the alliance is based on American and Chinese power it is an American show and showing America as in decline or defeated by the Chinese super power would probably harm ratings. However I think the concept of America and China forming one super power is interesting and definitely couldn't be ruled out in the next 500 years.

US-China relations: What to expect after the elections. is an interview that I found with Yuri Tavrovsky, the Professor of international relations with the Friendship University in Moscow. In this, he is asked questions about US-China relations and what was to be expected after the forecoming elections. First of all, it is said that the positions between Obama and Jintao were to be quite different due to the fact that Jintao may not stay in office and that Obama has a fair shot of staying in office.

One point that I found fairly interesting was the fact that China is described as a very 'pro-american' country and that 350 million Chinese citizens are actually learning English and that the reasoning behind this is because of America, not England itself. This shows that China as a whole may be preparing to assimilate into an almost Americanised culture, which I found extremely interesting. This may also be because of trade and the fact that a lot of goods are imported to America via China as the labouring of the products are much cheaper and value.

However, despite the fact that China is making bilingual efforts in this way, it is said that America have appointed China as 'enemy number one' and a reasoning behind this may be because the American dollar is under threat by the Chinese yuan. This is in an obvious reference to the fact that the Chinese are becoming the economic superpower of the world and that this threatens America in such a way as their influence will be slightly dulled.

Also, it was said that in the G2 scheme, China does not want to join in a so-called coalition with America or Russia etc but to be a stand-alone country. This does not insinuate that the relations between China and the United States are becoming weak or starting to break down but that China is becoming so influential and powerful, that a coalition would not be needed, and in this case, desired.