Opinion: Where should Sino-US relations go?

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Dec. 14(Greenpost)– When Donald Trump announced that he won the general election on November 8, 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent congratulations immediately to show China’s friendly attitude. The  Chinese leader was prepared to deal with America no matter who is in power.

This was based on a good intention that America has two parties and no matter who is in power, the relationship between China and the US are still one of the most important relations because that decides the world situation.

I felt very relieved at the beginning of 2014 when the third world war didn’t happen. I was observing the situation because I thought 100 years ago in 1914, the first world war took place and many people died of gun power. I wondered if mankind as we in the 21st century have drawn any lessons from those barbarian wars.  We, mankind as so-called high class animals, have we become more civilized than 100 years ago?  I thought we do become more civilized because the third world war didn’t happen.

Of course, some people said the war without smoke indeed happened and it was won by the west because the financial and economic situation in Russia under Putin’s rule was in very difficult situation.

However, I don’t think Russia failed because the country has been stable under Putin and people didn’t experience the volatile situation like in the 1990s.  The west has been celebrating those days because of the collapse of the Soviet Union. But for Soviet Union, it was like Qing Shihuang in China, it was a failure.

Anything when it doesn’t have resilience, it will break.  So tention is not a good word. When a body has tention, it will be sick. When relations between two countries become tense, they will have problems.

Due to its 150 years war and conflict inflicting history and its cultural revolution chaos, China has drawn its lesson and been trying its best to have a good peaceful environment for economic development.

Although it was a mistake to reinvest too much after 2008 financial crisis in the west as a remedy to cure the problem,  people’s mind is still in the right track.

Why do I say it is not a right remedy? Because under that situation, due to the financial crisis in Wall Street, it spilled over to Europe and caused Iceland and Ireland to collapse, China was affected because the order from the west shrank.  In normal thinking, when the demand decreased, production should relatively decrease. That is right logic. But Chinese government worried that the production decreased, workers would be laid off and when workers  were laid off, the society might not be stable.

Therefore, the government allocated 4 trillion yuan to further invest.  With the crazy trend of real estate development, investment was reinforced in the manufacturing and material production.  So the demand was low, we invested more for production.  That was on the one hand, rescue some jobs, but on the other hand, the huge side effect was to cause the over capacity of production.  For example, so many iron and steel factories were established and so much coal was produced and used.

So from 2008 to 2013, overcapacity of coal and iron and steel and manufacturing of cars caused huge amount of emissions and air pollution.

On the one hand it is a remarkable achievement that Chinese household car ownership more than doubled than previous five years from 7 per 100 household to 21 per 100 household. That was a huge progress.

On the other hand, the city capacity of Beijing was certain. When it held12 million people in 1980s, Beijing was full of blue sky and white cloud, it was very beautiful.

Then in  2013, Beijing held at least 20 million people and 6 million cars.  Plus large transportation vehicles to transport goods every night to Beijing and those who were passing by, Beijing’s sky couldn’t cope with so much emissions and it flipped over.

The black smog could be seen and even felt if one was  aware of this problem.  I felt it was wrong because on Jan. 28-29,  I was attending my brother’s wedding near Beijing Radio Station, the sky was cloudy and it was like having a screen in the sky.

Still I praise China because it made a mistake with good intention. It was too eager to earn more money and not to lose jobs. But it was indeed a mistake.

Compared with some countries which were easy to use the gun and shell to attack other countries, China was far better.

During the water week in Stockholm, I heard water expert said China’s way of dealing with all countries with peaceful means was very good.

In other words, the US’ attack in Iraq, in Afghanistan were not welcomed. It was not welcomed by the local civilians.  It was not welcomed by the international society either.

I dare say it was due to that Iraq war from 2003,  American economy and many other aspect was dragged down because you gave people an impression that as long as you have the gun, you will be the NO. 1.  But except people are afraid of you, what else can you gain?

When I interviewed Bates Gill, former SIPRI director,  he said only military power means not much because we are in peaceful environment.  Therefore, many people suggest that the US should invest more money in other areas like infrastructure than in weapons production.

Back to Sino-US relations,  I like to say that China has been trying to learn from America a lot. In private sector, it was really like primitive accumulation of capital in any industrialised country at the early period.

That means everything was under the market rule.  The exploitation was based on so-called contract system.  But in state-own sector, the welfare was very good.

But since 2000, state-owned sector shrugged off many surplus workers and compete together with private sectors in real estate, in oil and petroleum and many other important sectors.  Thus it caused the increasing gap between rich and poor.

Real estate makes many people become rich immediately.  The late comer of course couldn’t gain much. So a lot of social problems arose again. But in general, still great progress made in many ways.  People’s awareness in rights has been greatly improved.  Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has experienced fighting with corruption and shown to us and to the world that China is getting better and better. And he seemed to be serious in managing the gap, in improving the environment.

His experiment of limiting cars on the road proved to be very successful.  Xi also tried an expansion strategy that is to develop further both along the silk road on the land and silk route along the sea.  On land China can export fast train technology and equipment. On the sea, China can manufacture ships.  They like to help build a better world through these expertise which has proved to be very successful inside China.

Now when Trump ran president, he said he wanted to increase the tariff.  He wants to realize the great revitalization of the great American dream.

Xi told Chinese that he wants to realize Chinese dream.  Trump told Americans to realize American dream.  How to realize those dreams?  By working together, not fighting each other.

What Trump did was to contact Japan, Taiwan leader, the Philippines and so on, which let Chinese really feel not very good.

But what China can do? China can only be even better in dealing with these relations.

I think if mankind is really stupid and wanted to commit suicide on earth, then they will choose war and conflict.  Otherwise,  they should always draw lessons from the past and avoid the so-called third world war.

Some people said the Syrian civil war was almost a world war because all the big  powers were involved.  I will give some more analysis later in a separate article.

———————————————————————————Xuefei Chen Axelsson is founder of Green Post aiming at promoting peace and development, communication between east and west and becoming a good link between the east and west, namely China and Sweden, China and US and China and EU.

Chen Axelsson has studied international relations from Renmin University of China and Leadership for Sustainable Development in Middlesex University in London and has been a visiting scholar at Canterbury University in New Zealand’s Christchurch.

She has widely travelled around the world such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique, Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, France and Germany.

She cares about our mother earth and promotes peace and sustainable development.  If you like to have an feedback about the article, you can write to chenxuefei@greenpost.se

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