Friday, August 1, 2008

China and the US: Geostrategic Partners, Competitors or Adversaries?

Guests: Professor Michael Chambers, Chair, Political Science Department, Indiana State University (Assistant Professor of International Relations and Asian Politics) Summary: The 2005 US trade deficit with China eclipsed $201 billion and overall US current account deficits reached $900 billion, while China enjoyed a current account surplus of $150 billion. Much of this difference is linked to aggressive currency manipulation practices and unfair trade policies. Similarly, China is increasing its security posture in Asia, building its offensive military capabilities. As US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld noted, “…many countries with interests in the region are asking questions about China’s intentions.” China also fosters strong working relationships with Venezuela, Iran and Cuba to help feed its growing appetite for oil. And human and civil rights issues remain constant sore points in US-Sino relations. Yet moving beyond macro-economic and security concerns, the relationship between American and Chinese citizens is as robust as ever—education, cultural, and business links abound. And, in the final analysis, despite trade deficit figures, China provides for the American consumer low-cost electronics, clothing and other merchandise that they might not otherwise afford. Is China a friend, competitor or adversary in its relationship with the US?

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