The end of Chimerica

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The end of Chimerica

*The author is a Beijing correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.


“The latest conflict between the United States and China is not trade. The United States has changed its China strategy,” Li Ruogu, former head of the Export-Import Bank of China, said as he concluded a U.S.-China relations seminar hosted by state-owned CITIC Group’s think tank last month. The following are his opinions.

First, the United States’ perspective on China has changed fundamentally. The distinctions between China experts and pro-China figures, the Republicans and Democrats, the blue and white collar have all disappeared. Everyone is hawkish.

Second, China’s goal of creating the world’s best military does not correspond with the demand in defense. China has the political intention of building a global armed forces like the United States.

Third, trade issues have been intentionally left unresolved, and only verbal promises have been made. The U.S. market cannot compete with China’s state-initiated socialist market economy. It is unfair that the Chinese government intervenes with the market. Also, it is against the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles.

Fourth, the United States’ level of understanding regarding the One China policy is lowest it has been in 40 years. The United States wants to support Taiwan’s democracy. China’s military capacity has grown excessively in the western Pacific. The United States would want to help Taiwan keep a military balance with China. It is a challenge to change China’s system for fair competition. Li concluded that the latest U.S.-China dispute is a contest over the direction of China’s development.

If China does not accept the market order expected by the United States, the United States can disable the WTO and create a new trade system excluding China.

China — which imports $26 billion worth of semiconductors and $20 billion worth of petroleum — will be kicked out of the global trade system. The European Union prepared a 400-page document on how China is not a market economy, and the United States a 900-page document.

In 2007, American historian Niall Ferguson coined the term “Chimerica,” combining China and America, where both countries take the role of production and consumption, cooperates and is dependent on each other.

But after 10 years, Chinese leaders have realized America’s fundamental changes. Chimerica has gone bankrupt.
The United States has taken reckless offensives. The South China Sea is filled with smoke. On May 27, the U.S. Navy carried out its 11th freedom of navigation operation. For the first time, two warships were mobilized.

A U.S. assistant secretary of state is attending the dedication ceremony for a new complex of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei on June 12. It is the age of U.S.-China discord. Not much time is left for Korea to prepare.

JoongAng Ilbo, June 12, Page 30
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