We all know that the relationship between China and the US is key to the development of a bipolar economic world system in the 21st century and that the US and China are the main centers of the opposing poles. Historically, the US, as an economic superpower, has dominated world development. China, in the last thirty years, has demonstrated a rate of economic growth never achieved by a capitalist country, even though it remains two-thirds underdeveloped.
The difference is not one of “superpowership”. A superpower is both economic and military. In their domestic and foreign policies, the US and China differ. The US has been in two major world wars, three major Asian wars, and is in the process of developing a military alliance in the Southeast Pacific and China Sea region whereas China is concentrating on economic relations and on boosting economic cooperation to the benefit of developing countries as well as the Western capitalist countries in Europe. China has joined with Brazil, Russia, and India in an organization called BRIC for friendly and economic association. The Premier of China has visited the European nations recently and last week was in India (following President Obama’s visit a few weeks ago).
As for the Korean situation, the United States has a military alliance with South Korea. Furthermore, the real difference between North and South Korea, which is being avoided by South Korea and the US, is the settling of the boundary between North and South, which is the cause of the tensions since the 1950s (particularly the islands in the undecided border areas between South and North). No doubt North Korea has been influenced by China not to react to the military maneuvers as we learned from the press this week.
The difference between the US and China’s foreign policy are the military alliances and the program of the US pentagon, which appears to be usurping the primacy of presidential control of foreign policy. China’s approach is not one of a developing superpower since there is no threat of military occupation or confrontation. It is a historic character of China for over thousands of years. It therefore functions in international relations without a military threat. A good example of their foreign policy techniques can be found in an article on Eurasian exchanges from the Beijing Review of late October which we attach. We welcome exchanges on the subject since we are planning an extended piece on the question of superpower and US and China foreign policies. We always appreciate your comments and are particularly interested in developing understanding of the difference between the two poles.