The contradiction of the US policy towards China


The recent visit of US Secretary of State “Anthony Blinken” to China last June 2023 did not calm tensions and stop escalation between the two countries, especially after the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned the United States of America not to interfere in its internal affairs and harm its sovereignty, security and development interests, according to a warning from  Chinese Foreign Minister “Qin Jang” on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in a phone call with US Secretary of State “Anthony Blinken”. According to my vision of the sources of tension in the Chinese-American relations, I can trace a number of them, which confirm the ignition of the situation between the two countries, in light of the state of American insistence on interfering in Chinese affairs internally, regionally and internationally, on top of which are a number of files, such as:

 The most prominent US-Chinese tensions have emerged on the scene in the recent period, through the Chinese rejection of US interference in Cuba’s internal affairs, in response to US intelligence reports, that Beijing is planning to establish a spy base in Cuba, off the US coast.  Reports also indicated that the Chinese spy base would be able to eavesdrop on communications across large parts of the southeastern United States.  Here came the accusations of a number of US officials against China, accusing it of paying several billion dollars to Cuba in exchange for the establishment of the facility.

   The divergence of the positions of the two countries on human rights and development files, for example, China supports development as a top priority for human rights, unlike the United States of America, which interferes in the affairs of China and other countries to impose its agenda on human rights and liberalism, the most prominent of which is the recent hosting of the Chinese capital, Beijing, to the Global Governance Forum  Human Rights Watch, which was jointly hosted by the State Council Information Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the China International Development Cooperation Agency. During which, Chinese President “Xi Jinping” rejected those blatant US interference in human rights files, with Chinese President “Xi Jinping” summarizing during his speech to the (Global Human Rights Governance Forum) in Beijing, that China supports the protection of human rights through security, respect for  Sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, calls on all countries to follow the path of peaceful development, and implement the global security initiative with President Xi’s call that China advocates the promotion of human rights through development, the implementation of the global development initiative, the guarantee of fair human rights entitlements by people of all countries through modernization paths with their own characteristics, the implementation of the global civilization initiative, and the deepening of exchanges and mutual learning between  civilizations.

   The constant Chinese response to the blatant US interference in its internal affairs comes through the permanent Chinese assertion that their country puts the people in the first place, with the constant Chinese assertion that they follow a path of human rights development that is in line with the trend of the times and suits China’s national conditions, as well as promoting  Protect human rights while advancing Chinese-style modernization to advance the development of a community with a shared future for mankind.

   Here we do not miss talking about these successive American alliances and moves in the Indo-Pacific region in the face of China. The declaration of alliance between Japan and South Korea with the United States of America cannot be separated from those new security strategic directions in the escalating international conflict, especially as it coincides with Beijing’s adoption  A bolder foreign policy in the face of Washington and its allies as a result of their interference in its affairs.  Here, the strengthening of security and military cooperation between the United States of America, on the one hand, and Japan and South Korea, on the other, has led to more stimulation of China’s concerns, and the increase in geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific region.  Here, Washington’s new national security strategy in the Indo-Pacific region establishes radical changes in the region’s security and defense policy, as it allows for the first time since World War II that Tokyo possess counterattack capabilities as a precautionary step against any possible attack.  This change reflects Washington’s success in attracting a significant ally for its efforts aimed at hindering the rise of China, especially since the new Japanese strategy approves the establishment of a unified military command for the Japanese and American land, sea and air forces.

   The same applies in Washington’s security and military relations with its ally South Korea in the face of China, especially with South Korea’s pledge to continue strengthening the security and strategic alliance for the Indo-Pacific region while strengthening the alliance with the United States of America and developing it into a comprehensive global strategic alliance.  Despite the calm language towards China, the new US-Japanese strategy with Seoul obliges the Seoul government to oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the Indo-Pacific region vis-à-vis China.  On the other hand, it is expected that China will exert economic pressure on South Korea as much as the practical steps that Seoul will take towards implementing the new security strategy against it.

   Beijing also rejects Washington’s attempts to replicate an “Asian NATO” similar to the “Military NATO” alliance that includes NATO countries.  Despite South Korea’s denial that its cooperation with Japan is within the framework of a military alliance directed against Beijing under the supervision and planning of Washington, there are indications of increasing levels of coordination between the two countries with the help of the United States of America. On top of which comes the signing of an agreement in November 2022, stipulating the activation of a previous agreement to exchange intelligence information between them in the Indo-Pacific region, in order to enhance the ability of the two countries to better confront potential threats, so that both Japan and its South Korean counterpart follow all Chinese moves and alliances in the Asian region.  Close to the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific, enabling them to be Washington’s eye in that region in the face of China, which the Beijing government strongly rejects in its confrontation.

   Also, those Japanese-South Korean moves with Washington anger Beijing, especially with their tendency to coordinate with Taiwan, which China considers an integral part of its territory.  On December 24, 2021, Japan raised the issue of Taiwan and demanded a contingency plan to be ready, and Tokyo put forward a Japanese initiative to include Taiwan in the (Trans-Pacific Partnership Group), with the Liberal Democratic Party and the Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party conducting several online conversations with a number of Japanese officials close to the circles. In which they discussed lifting the ban on Taiwan food imports from five Japanese provinces with the encouragement of the United States of America, including the Japanese Prefecture of Fukushima.  During the election campaign on October 17, 2021, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan led by Kishida pledged in its manifesto to double the country’s defense spending from 1% to 2% of GDP, twice the current level of $50 billion.  This indicates the commitment of the new Prime Minister Kishida to continue the policies of his predecessors, Abe Shinzo and Suga, to play a greater role in the Indo-Pacific region, to strengthen its missile defense capabilities and to consolidate superiority in the new areas of outer space, electronic warfare and cyberspace in response to China’s military modernization, with uninterrupted encouragement.  The counterpart is from the United States of America, which is what the Beijing government and the leaders of the Communist Party of China strongly oppose.

  The Chinese refusal also came to the statements of a number of South Korean officials in 2022, regarding the rapid transition to what is known as operational control, which known as: (OPCON)

  This is the plan approved by South Korea and the United States of America in the face of China, after the South Korean meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kreitenbrink, on November 11, 2021, with the South Korean presidential candidate at the time known for his hostility to Beijing. “Lee Jae-myung” on developing the alliance between South Korea, Japan and Washington into a global partnership in the face of Beijing’s moves, which China responded to at the time strictly.

 As for the Chinese response to those American alliances and moves with Seoul and Tokyo, it is expected that China will stand in the face of any joint Japanese, South Korean, and American moves in confronting them, with assurances that China will carry out a broad and continuous process of modernizing its military forces without submitting to any restrictions imposed by the disarmament agreements and the reduction of arsenals.  Nuclear, missile and others.  For example, we find that in July 2021, US satellite images revealed China’s construction of new advanced military equipment and arsenals in western China, through which intercontinental nuclear missiles can be launched, with the US confirmation that China built them in complete secrecy and away from any international oversight or transparency.  The US Naval Intelligence Office monitored China’s possession of advanced nuclear submarines, as well as the modernization of several Chinese naval fleets, represented by warships.  A high rate that reveals China’s rush to support its war fleets in the face of any US alliances in the region.

   It is also expected that any US alliances with Seoul and Tokyo in the face of China will affect the increase and strengthening of the strategic partnership between China and Russia and the intensification of their joint military exercises in the East Asian region, and the first such case was in June 2016, after the entry of several ships belonging to the Navy  Russian and Chinese at one time bordering the Senkaku Islands. And in July 2019 and December 2020, China and Russia officially announced that their strategic bombers had conducted joint flights from the Sea of ​​Japan to the East China Sea.  Also, from October 14 to 18, 2021, Russia and China conducted joint naval maneuvers in the Sea of ​​Japan, through the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido, south of the Japanese coast on the Pacific Ocean and through the Osumi Strait between the southern tip of Kyushu and the disputed island of Tanegashima in the South China Sea,  Where the Japanese space launch facilities are located. This definitely affects the national security of both South Korea and Japan in the face of China.

   Here we find that Beijing is likely to continue its opposition to the moves of Japan and South Korea with the help of Washington seeking to enhance their military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region, and accordingly, Beijing is likely to impose economic sanctions on a number of Japanese and South Korean companies and prevent them from reaching  The huge Chinese market if Japan and South Korea engage in what China considers unacceptable measures, such as Tokyo’s participation in (the American missile shield system), or participation in a tripartite military alliance that includes the United States of America, Japan and South Korea, which Beijing does not accept.

  Here we find China’s strong opposition to increasing new defense, security and military allocations in the Indo-Pacific region, especially the new US-Japanese-South Korean alliance, which allows them to adopt a new security and defense strategy, and ensures Tokyo and Seoul to increase cooperation with the Indo-Pacific countries that share common goals with Washington.  Such as Australia, the Philippines and Taiwan, which Washington considers crucial in countering China’s influence, in light of the United States’ increasing strategic presence in the region.

   Also, the new Japanese document regarding increasing its defense and security budget in the face of Beijing with the encouragement of the United States of America, considering that the Chinese military activities represent in an unprecedented way the greatest strategic challenge to ensuring the peace and security of Japan, and that it is a source of great concern to Japan and the international community, as the document monitors  New Japan China’s continuous increase in its defense expenditures, and the enhancement of its military capabilities on a large scale and rapidly, including its nuclear and missile capabilities, in addition to China’s intensification of its attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the maritime and air fields in the East and South China Seas, such as its intrusion into territorial waters and space  over the disputed Senkaku/Diayu Islands (Senkaku/Diaoyu).

  Also, the assertion of Japan and the United States of America that the increasing Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace is among the main security threats to Tokyo, as China’s behavior could lead to a major conflict between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan, a conflict that Japan is likely to be drawn into,  Due to its proximity to the Taiwan Strait, with the fact that it includes a large US military base on the island of Okinawa, since it becomes a target for Chinese attacks, according to those Japanese-American moves and plans, which the Chinese authorities are watching with great anger.

  Here, China views South Korea’s new role as an ally of Washington in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the alliance with the United States of America, and as a supplier of weapons as a threat to China’s regional influence, as Beijing believes that the new US-South Korean military alliance will allow other countries, such as (  Vietnam-Philippines-Indonesia-Malaysia), which sees South Korea’s relatively affordable weapons as an attractive option to develop its military capabilities against any possibility of Chinese aggression against it, according to their belief about Beijing.  This angers Beijing in the face of Washington and its allies in the Asian region.   

And here began the Chinese fear of those Japanese-South Korean moves and alliances with the help of Washington in the Indo-Pacific region, especially with the revelation of the intentions of US President John Biden’s administration with regard to China in the Indian and Pacific region. With the Biden administration giving priority to reforming US alliance relations in the Asia-Pacific region, and bringing US allies together in a unified approach, the United States is seeking to build more small (quadruple or tripartite) regional alliances, such as: (The Quadruple Agreement between the United States of America  India, Japan, South Korea and the “Aukus military defense agreement” between the United States of America, Britain and Australia), in order to balance China’s military strength and support the rules-based international order, with the resumption of negotiations for the denuclearization of North Korea.     

 In this context, too, the formation of a new alliance between the United States of America, Japan and South Korea, called (JAKUS).         

   And that is in the Northeast Asia region, which Washington is trying to launch and announce quickly to hinder the growth and rise of China, especially in light of the availability of incentives for the possibility of forming this new alliance, perhaps foremost among them is the new American tendency to form a group of small alliances instead of the large and flabby NATO alliance, with  The increasing Chinese, Russian and North Korean threats to US hegemony in the region, in addition to the occurrence of new changes in Japanese and South Korean foreign policy that tend towards the right and militancy towards China and North Korea with the help of Washington.    

  Here, the likely Chinese response to these US alliances in the Indo-Pacific region will be the formation of an Asian-Chinese axis against the US alliances, consisting of China, Russia and Iran, as well as the possibility of Beijing exploiting those previous and deep-rooted tensions in relations between Japan and South Korea for its benefit.      

 Accordingly, the visit of US Secretary of State “Anthony Blinken” to China will not be sufficient to calm any tensions between the two parties, in light of the US policy of insistence on interference in China’s internal affairs, as well as the policy of US alliances and moves to surround and limit China in the Indo-Pacific region, which is  Which always arouses Beijing’s ire and anger.    

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit


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