China has shown how not to do business with other countries – Community News

One of the many consequences of China’s assertive stance in Asia is the rise of geopolitical alliances that limit Beijing’s prospects for regional dominance. Two new alliances that have received much political attention are the quadrilateral framework comprising Australia, India, Japan and the United States, and AUKUS, which includes Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Until recently, China had quite scorned new forms of politics. It compared the Quad to the existing “sponge”, but disappeared after a second. China’s denial has now given way to condemnation. In Beijing’s diplomatic dictionary, Quad and AUKUS are “small groups”. “Small factions” are not new in international politics; China is no stranger to them. You could argue that forums like the RIC and BRICS – the former bringing together Russia, India and China and the latter also Brazil and South Africa – are “small groups”. Hypocrisy is endemic in international life. “My groups are great – they are promoting a ‘multipolar world’ – but your groups are dangerous because they threaten regional security.” Your location depends on where you are.

Two big factors behind China’s rethinking. One is the surprising increase in domestic political consensus in the United States about challenging China. Beijing is confident that President Joe Biden will reverse his predecessor’s confrontation with China. Beijing believes that Donald Trump is an exception to the longstanding US policy of deeper economic integration with China and continued political engagement. But Biden is simply reinforcing Trump’s strategy. China is perhaps the only issue that is breaking the deeper political divisions in America. Which brings us to the second big factor.

Trump sees alliances as a burden on American taxpayers and has ruthlessly crushed long-standing allies in Europe and Asia. On the other hand, Biden has made alliances an important part of his China strategy. The idea is to create a “power situation” for China by rebuilding US alliances and developing new ones.

In Asia, the Biden administration moved quickly to strengthen traditional security ties with its allies in Northeast Asia – Japan and South Korea. It also elevated the Quartet to leadership within weeks of Biden taking the lead and having a physical summit in Washington six months later. It also announced AUKUS. Washington not only supports Britain’s aspirations to regain its security role in Asia, but also encourages Europeans to focus on China and contribute to the security of the Indo-Pacific. Biden traveled to Europe in June of this year to revive the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Biden also agreed to an early summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva at the conclusion of his European tour. While the idea of ​​the US separating Russia from China still seems far-fetched, Washington now realizes the importance of keeping channels of communication open with Moscow. Only after lining up did Biden have his first summit with Xi Jinping earlier this month.

Biden’s team believes that the United States’ greatest strength is its vast network of allies and partners. And their mobilization is key to rebalancing relations with China. What about China’s own alliances and partnerships?

Although China’s economic influence is now global and far-reaching, political and military alliances are not a traditional part of Beijing. To be sure, Beijing’s relationship with Moscow has never been closer. China also has strong alliances with North Korea and Pakistan. But there is little comparison between the types of power America’s allies weigh with their Chinese counterparts.

Although the United States has more allies and partners, Beijing bets that the geopolitical structure of Asia will not change in China’s favor. This is based on several statements.

First, the United States, far from Asia, will struggle to overcome geographic tyranny in its conflict with China. Second, China’s assertive power – both economically and militarily – against the US is growing rapidly and the local balance of power is shifting in its favor. Third, Beijing’s proximity to China and regional integration in Asia have made Beijing the most important economic partner of the entire region. Beijing believes that few Asian countries will want to break off their trade ties with China and join Washington. If someone makes the mistake of embracing the US, Beijing believes that economic sanctions will make them recover.

Fourth, the large imbalance of military power between Beijing and its neighbors would prevent most Asian nations from considering armed clashes with China.

Fifth, China considers it easier to break alliances than to build them. The nation trying to build an alliance will have to maintain a unity of purpose among the diverse nations. Even under the most favorable circumstances, this is not easy to do in a sustainable way. A potential disruptor could offer valuable bilateral deals to individual members of the opposing coalition.

China is confident, at least for now, that it can trick the United States into entering into a bilateral agreement in the name of great powers that share interests and govern the world together. But China’s policies have pushed the United States toward an unexpected internal consensus to contain Beijing.

Turning a friendly America into an enemy that could soon decline is one of Xi Jinping’s glaring strategic blunders. Despite all the claims of America’s decline, history shows the dangers of underestimating America’s capacity for self-renewal and its will to maintain its position.

China’s belligerent regional policies are driving countries such as Australia, India, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam towards the US. All countries hoping for a deeper relationship with China are now under pressure to seek outside support to face threats from Beijing.

While the balance of military power in Asia is certainly in China’s favor, it has not threatened its neighbours. Many are pushing for stronger national military capabilities to mitigate some of the threats posed by China. In contrast, the United States has begun to strengthen the defense capabilities of Asian countries when receiving China’s military power. China’s expansionism has led to the inevitable militarization of its periphery.

China’s belligerent policies have failed to bring about the political consensus Beijing has come to expect from all of its neighbours. It has even had the opposite effect on key neighbours. China, which has relentlessly emphasized its nationalism, seems to have underestimated the depth of similar sentiment in other Asian nations. In the past, Asian nationalism was easily mobilized against the US and the West. Today, it pushes many of China’s neighbors into America’s camp. Today it is the US, not China, that is speaking out about the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Asian countries.

Meanwhile, China’s diplomacy, once hailed as wise and foresight, has now become a prime example of how not to do business with other countries and societies, thanks to its “wars” wolf soldiers” crude.

In both the West and the East, it is claimed that Chinese hegemony is inevitable, that America’s decline is final, and that Asian alliances are unsustainable. Those conclusions are premature. Because Xi Jinping has squandered many of China’s natural geopolitical advantages.

This column first appeared in the print edition on 30 November 2021 under the title ‘Beijing’s Mistake’. The writer is Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore and International Affairs Editor of The Indian Express. China has shown how not to do business with other countries – Community News

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