Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States of America felt like the master of the world.
Their dominance in the international arena was undeniable, as well as a fairly stable economic growth andthe support of the allies gave them confidence in their rightness in all directions. However, with thebeginning of the 21st century, the hegemony of the United States began to be threatened by a new growingforce – the People’s Republic of China. China’s rapid growth could not be ignored, it literally struck. In theworld, people started to say that the new era will be the era of China. I must admit, it is not groundless.
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TheAmerican question faced the American elites. What to do? Try to crush the growing power in all possibleways, or recognize that the whole world in one hand can not hold, and start looking for common ground? Ifthe first option guaranteed a difficult future, as well as a very likely military conflict until the nuclear war,then the second scenario came to the liking of many, especially supporters of realism in the United States.From the second scenario, the idea of G2 was born. The idea of the division of the world between China andthe United States. What is behind this idea? Does it make sense? Is it beneficial for China? Many people askthis question.
Interesting fact. The idea of dividing the world between the two super powers is not new, butChina’s participation there is a new trend. For example, Nikolai Berdyaev foresaw a similardevelopment of events as early as the beginning of the 20th century. After the weakening anddisintegration of Europe and Russia, there will be reign of Sinology and Americanism, two forcesthat can find points of rapprochement among themselves, the philosopher wrote in the collectionright after the revolution.
“Then the Sino-US kingdom of equality will be realized, in which noascents and ascents will be possible.”1 However, in the 21st century this theory became especiallyrelevant. She was nominated in 2005 in the book by Fred Bergsten, director of the Peterson Institutefor International Economics, “The United States and the World Economy”2. Outside of academicreasoning, the idea came after the financial crisis of 2008, when it was supported, among others, byHenry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
It was Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was an adviser toBarack Obama during the election campaign, proposed in January 2009 to create a big deuce. What is primarily behind this idea? Why did the US decide to share, or rather say, just give apiece of the pie called the world to China? First and foremost, the matter is naturally in the rapidgrowth of the Chinese economy. China has already reached the second place in the world in termsof nominal GDP, as well as the first GDP at purchasing power parity. 3The United States will not beable to fight the economic power of China and definitely lost this war. China has already becomethe largest external creditor of the United States. The second aspect is the armed forces. At themoment, the preponderance is unequivocally on the side of the United States, but, according to thedata, China is in second place in spending on the army around the world4.
Given the economicpotential as well as the population of China, it all looks even more sad for the United States.What are the advantages of such a union could get two countries? From the point of view of theUnited States, there are many of them. Washington and Beijing could jointly participate in thesettlement of the Middle East crisis, the Iranian and North Korean nuclear problems, to reconcile India and Pakistan, to send joint contingents to the states covered by the civil war under the UNflag. Against the background of the decline of the activity of the European allies of the UnitedStates, which are clearly reluctant to send their contingents to joint peacekeeping operations, Chinacould replace them. However, this is at odds with the Chinese “Peace Way” development.
In otherwords, the initiative coming from the US will always put the United States first. And what about theposition of China? Will they want to enter the game, the rules of which the US has created? Duringthe formation of this idea, the PRC, headed by Hu Jintao, does not get involved in such anadventure. According to the opinion, this idea implied less involvement in the problem thanresponsibility.
In other words, the US simply wants to shift some of its responsibilities to China.This could damage the reputation of China and also goes against the idea of staying in the shadows.The PRC continued to follow the foreign policy ideas of Deng Xiaoping, urging compatriots to saveforces and not particularly demonstrate them on the international arena. 5After the rise of XiJinping, relations between China and the United States began to decline after several attempts togain a foothold in the disputed islands in the South China Sea. The idea of G2 was rapidlydeclining. With the coming to power of the administration of President Trump in the US and didtalk about the economic war with China. Trump’s slogan “America first” implied the announcementof an economic confrontation with China.
However, shortly after the onset of the service, RhetoricDonald Trump changed. Reflections on this topic can be summed up by the conclusions of a researcher from HarvardBusiness School Jeremy Friedman. He states that today it is impossible to confront both Russia andChina for America at the same time. Therefore, one has to choose one of them as allies. The idea ofmaking friends with everyone for some reason in the United States is not very popular, one mustalways resist someone. Therefore, a dilemma arises: which ally is best for the United States.
Trumprather actively advocated the restoration of partnership relations and the resumption of constructivedialogue with Russia, but the scandal with Russia’s interference in US elections put an end to thisidea. Continue to establish a dialogue after it fell on him all the sleep was tantamount to a voluntarysurrender of power. Impeachment in this case would not have found itself waiting long. Here thenTrump and went on the path of the second plan – a return to the idea of G2. However, the wordsspoken before can not be returned back. For example, the statement of the senior adviser to the USpresident at the time, Steve Bannon – “We are in a state of economic war with China. <..
.> They donot hesitate to talk about what they are doing. One of us will become a hegemon for 25 or 30 years.And it will be they, if we get stuck on this way “- it’s hard to forget. It was he who fought for thefact that the White House had a tougher stance towards the PRC. “We must be manically focused onthis. If we continue to lose, then in five – a maximum of ten years we will reach the point of noreturn, after which we can no longer recover, “- this is how he did not hesitate to call things in hisown words an adviser to the US president.
The Chinese side, as always, was restrained respondingto such attacks. “The path of the trade war has no future. It does not serve the interests of eitherparty. No one will be able to get out of the trade war as a winner, “said the official spokesperson ofthe Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chuning. In any case, the denial of Donald Trump from his promised tough line of conduct towards China,which was manifested in the negotiations with Xi Jinping, gave impetus to speculation about a new edition of the American initiative G2. However, China is no longer interested in this initiative.
Currently, China’s unconditional foreign policy priority is not the mythical “big deuce”, but the “onebelt, one way” project in the Eurasian space.6In this project, Russia plays a big role, which the UScould not like. China’s rapprochement with Russia also made it clear that China will not dance tothe tune of the United States. Russia is a more convenient ally for China. Rich in natural resourcesand under pressure from Western sanctions, Russia turned completely to China and is ready to go todeals that are not always beneficial to itself. Many believe that China did not abandon the idea ofG2, but just decided to change partner. In the case of the tandem, China and Russia, China will playa leading role, not the United States.
For China, this is a more pleasant scenario. It is also worth noting the rather unequivocal position of the Chinese authorities in relation to theconflict in Syria as well as the nuclear problem of the DPRK. Beijing officially condemned theunilateral use of force in Syria outside the framework of the UN Charter and the decisions of theUN Security Council, clearly implying here an American missile strike against the Syrian militarybase.7Similarly, China unequivocally reacts to the prospect of a military solution to the problem ofthe DPRK, showing that it is ready to defend its allies quite resolutely. China, like Russia, is againstmilitary intervention.
8 However, it should also be noted that China does not go to confrontationopenly. In conclusion, I would like to add that China has not yet expressed its political ambitions to thefull, it still prefers to keep aloof. However, according to his actions, we can already say thatambitions clearly do not fit into the American idea of the G2 led by the United States. The idea ofG2 under the initiative of China and Russia as number two is getting more and more precise lines,the project of a new silk way clearly states to the whole world that China claims to be leading in thefuture.
However, China is not the US, and what will lead to its strengthening in the future can onlybe guessed. China’s friendly relations with Russia are temporary in my opinion. Now it isconvenient for China to take a weaker player as a partner, but in the future, China’s policy towardsRussia can become more rigid and selfish.
However, the idea of dividing the world between theUnited States and China is now farther and farther from the incarnation. Too different these twocountries. Too different mentality among peoples. A different approach to solving problems andgoals.
There are fewer and fewer points of contact. On some economic relations, a durable alliancecan not be built. Under the current administration in the US, China clearly will not go onrapprochement itself. China prefers stability, which no one from the Trump administration iswaiting for. One thing we can say for sure, the modern world is changing at a tremendous speed.And today’s cooling of relations between the US and China does not mean anything.
The situationcan change very quickly. It remains to be hoped that neither the US nor China will choose the firstway to solve the problem – an open confrontation.