Ever entering 21st century, the tension of international politics has increased gradually, not expected from the end of Cold War, when the Soviet Union was collapsing (Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to withdraw troops from East Germany and let the United Germany join the NATO and the U.S. won the Cold War (President George Bush signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, START, 7-31-1991, Gorbachev resigned as Soviet Communist Party Secretary and later the Presidency, 12-25-1991) . The victory of the Cold War was a major achievement for the Reagan-Bush Administration. However, the U.S. winning strategy must trace back to the Nixon-Kissinger era when they formulated a strategy to invite China (economically sanctioned by the U.S. and Soviet Union in the 1960's) into the West to confront the expansionism of the Soviet. The strategy worked eventually making the Soviet Union collapsed under economic woes.
When China was allowed to enter the world economy, she was single-minded in focusing on developing her economy and lifting her from extreme poverty. Her priority diplomatic objective was to be accepted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) which promotes world economy giving a developing country access to capitals needed for economic development. While the U.S. was not willing to give China that entrance ticket, but she was too occupied by the Terrorist War triggered by the 9-11-2001 tragedy, the first time the U.S. was attacked in its homeland since WW II. China worked very hard in developing bilateral trade with many developed and developing countries, hence, on December 11, 2001, China was admitted into the WTO. Under a clear trading rules slightly favoring developing countries, China accelerated her economic and trade development emerging as one of the principal manufacturers for the world. Today China has trade relationship with 137 countries making her the world second largest economy next to the U.S.
In the 21st century, the U.S. led the world fighting terrorism, but her foreign policies were mingled with geopolitical, religious and resources control (oil) objectives. Hence, the Middle East Wars (Iraq, Libya, Iran and Afghanistan) protracted two decades and drained the U.S. energy and resources from her domestic nation building needs. In the meantime, China continues with her non-stop five-year economic development plans and lifts her population out of poverty line. The 2008 world financial crisis triggered by the collapse of mortgaged backed securities (US deregulation on mortgage lending and hedge fund trading on these loans) brought the world to her knees. China with her vast amount of foreign reserve came to the rescue; when the world recovered so did China financially. When Trump became the President, the Administration has the right slogan, “America First”, but it attempted to fix the U.S. problems (mainly domestic issues and causes) with foreign policies. Targeting China became Trump's central diplomatic policy. When Biden becomes the President, he essentially sustained the anti-China foreign policy, although, his Administration is also making attempts to fix the U.S. domestic issues such as infrastructure and restoring manufacturing.
As the strongest power in the world facing a rapidly rising China, focusing on China in diplomatic policies is necessary. However, whether the current U.S. anti-China foreign policy is correct and effective in helping the U.S. is questionable. Even though the media is tilted towards a hostile anti-China narrative, there are a number of experienced political analysts (Alfred Kissinger, Kevin Rudd, and the like) giving warning messages. First, one noticed there were very few experts anticipated Biden's anti-China policy (such as accusing China performing genocide in Xinjiang, a far cry from the truth). Some Congress members (such as Lihan Omar, D-Minn and Jamaal Bowman, D-NY) voiced concerns that bi-partisan unity on China might be repeating American foreign policy mistakes, like Islamic phobia, increased military spending, and missing opportunity of cooperation. The author feels that we Americans must understand China, differentiating justified criticism from Cold WAR mentality.
To understand China, foremost, we must understand the diplomatic terms that China uses and dear to her heart. As Americans, we must clearly understand the following terms:
I. One China Principle: China believes historically there is only one China, before the WW II and after the WW II. The separation of China across the Taiwan Strait is due to an internal dispute between two political parties which were separated since 1949. When PRC replaced ROC representing China in the U.N. (1971) and recognized by the U.S. (1979), this principle was honored and held as one of China's red-lines as solemn as sovereignty.
II. One Country Two Systems () : China is a big nation thus she embraces multiple systems in governing the nation. In principle, this is no different from the federal government of the U.S. where multiple state governments with their state constitutions function under a federal government. The necessity of such a principle is obvious when Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao, Xinjiang, etc were governed under the one country principle.
III. One China with Different Voices () : This political term was uniquely created by the politicians in Taiwan. These politicians although believing in one China principle desired to have their own ideas of what the one China system should be. It was not acceptable to the Mainland government because this voice or expression violates the true one China principle.
IV. One China Avoiding Different Expressions ( ) : This is a desired de fecto position Mainland China maintained 'to keep peace with Taiwan and let time resolve the reunification issue'. If both sides avoid expressing antagonizing positions, two sides will focus on trade and economy. Peace and time will drive two sides to work under one nation two systems principle.
V. One China and Same Voices () : This is ultimately desired situation when two sides peacefully reunited such as like the united Germany. China has maintained a policy of peaceful reunification without a clearly stated timeline which is consistent with her national strategy of “rising peacefully” in the world arena. Taiwan has progressed into a multiple political party system, although the current Administration is promoting independence (which the U.S. opposes out of international obligation) but there are other parties desire to move to one harmonious nation.
VI. Governing System with Chinese characteristics () : Chinese characteristics is a proud inheritance from Chinese culture in many areas (Chinese human traits, written and spoken languages, customs, moral principles, peace loving, cuisines, family values, patriotism, etc. etc.) Politically, China believes they can evolve into a system most suited for Chinese people, hence termed it as a system with Chinese characteristics.
VII. Rise Peacefully () : This is China's national strategy which she adheres to faithfully. Indeed China never initiated war except when she had to defend herself from territorial invasion. For strange logic, almost all third world and developing countries (except powerful nations) believe that China is adhering to this principle just like she declares that she will never use nuclear weapon first nor to a country with no nuclear weapon. That is why it has puzzled the international community that the U.S. forms AUKUS and offers Australia nuclear submarines with an obvious purpose of targeting China.
VIII. Harmonious Language and Harmonious Race () : China actually has 56 ethnic groups as a nation but she is proud that she has a unified language and all ethnic groups are governed under the principle of harmonious living. China's founding father has coined the phrase that China will pursuit a world of harmony. It is written into both Mainland and Taiwan's constitutions.
If Americans understand the above diplomatic terms that held dearly to China's heart, we would not equate China to the Soviet Union, hence it did not make sense we apply the Cold War mentality towards China. As a great nation, one must stand up against competition, however, the ultimate goal can not be mutual destruction or having no positive gain. The current anti-China policy is border-lining declaring war leading towards WW III. From both odds and justice points of view, Americans must think clearly and compare Chin's foreign policy and ours to guide our government away from solving U.S. domestic problems by launching wars. There will be no survivals in WW III.