China–United States relations

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China–United States relations, more often known as U.S.-Chinese relations, Chinese-U.S. relations or Sino-American relations, refer to international relations between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China, the countries with the two largest economies in the world.




  • I do think that the central political ideas articulated in Chinese culture ought to serve as the standard for evaluating political progress or regress in China. And I do think those values are different from the liberal ideas embraced in the United States. There is a huge gap between the ideal and the reality-that is always the case. But the more fundamental question is what should serve as the standard?
  • But the other achievement of China is that it has not fought a war since 1979. Just compare that record with that of the U.S. So although there are those in Washington D.C. who worry about China emerging as a threatening military power, there is not much basis for that speculation in China’s recent historical record... But the sense of insecurity in China, however, is real. China thinks it is literally surrounded by American military bases, and there are some grounds for that concern. In the long term that sort of a build up, considering China’s desire to engage the world in trade and finance, is simply not sustainable for the long term... It is hard to imagine that the United States will remain the dominant military power in the region in thirty, forty, fifty years’ time. From the perspective of history, such anticipation simply does not make sense. It is natural that China will want to exercise more weight in this part of the world, meaning East Asia... Not only does the United States claim that their democratic model is best for them, but it's that it is best for the rest of the world. Some Americans assume that alternative systems are fundamentally illegitimate. Naturally this attitude upsets many Chinese... They think, who are you to lecture us about political systems, with only a few hundred years of history? You are bound by a constitution that is not fully appropriate for dealing with contemporary challenges. To my mind, both sides should work on areas of common concern while allowing that there may be justifiable differences regarding forms of government in different political contexts.
  • A 'superpower' is a country that wields enough military, political and economic might to convince nations in all parts of the world to do things they otherwise wouldn't. Pundits have rushed to label China the next superpower, and so have many ordinary Americans, but the rumors of America's decline have been greatly exaggerated. In the key categories of power, the U.S. will remain dominant for the foreseeable future... Facts show why America is still the world's only superpower, and why that won't change anytime soon... Little of China's dramatic economic growth is finding its way into the pockets of Chinese consumers; the byproduct of an economy driven by massive state-owned enterprises rather than private industry. China's headline growth may be higher, but it's the U.S. economy that's allowing its citizens to grow along with it.
  • The United States of America and the Emperor of China cordially recognize the inherent and inalienable right of man to change his home and allegiance, and also the mutual advantage of the free migration and emigration of their citizens and subjects respectively from the one country to the other, for purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents. The high contracting parties, therefore, join in reprobating any other than an entirely voluntary emigration for these purposes. They consequently agree to pass laws making it a penal offence for a citizen of the United States or Chinese subjects to take Chinese subjects either to the United States or to any other foreign country, or for a Chinese subject or citizen of the United States to take citizens of the United States to China or to any other foreign country, without their free and voluntary consent respectively.


  • I'm not one of these people that believes that conflict with China is inevitable or likely. It's certainly not desirable. But there is a tendency in parts of Chinese thinking which says, ‍'‍We need not only to be an important power in the region, we need to dominate the region!‍'‍. That's an impulse that the United States naturally will as it has in so many ways over the last seventy years, provide a counterweight to. Because we're the anchor there... The American approach is not to dominate... The system that we have promoted for security and also commerce in Asia for seventy years is one in which everyone gets to rise and prosper. Think about the history, there... Think about the history in which Japan recovered from World War II and became a great economic powerhouse, then South Korea, then Taiwan, then Southeast Asia. Today, China and India. Now, why was that? What was the security anchor underneath all of that. The answer is it has been the pivotal role of the United States and that's a role we intend to keep, to continue to play and if the Chinese actually think about it and many of them do, they know that's the environment in which China has gotten to find it's own way from poverty and isolation back in Mao's day to where they are today.


  • It is a national disgrace that having excluded Chinese immigration by law, the hundred thousand Chinese who are so unlucky as to be caught in the country are outraged by foreign mobs, while the government politely regrets that it can do nothing.


  • China faces a worrisome imbalance of intellectual trade with the United States. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Chinese know less about the United States than Americans know about China. Most Chinese students and scholars interested in the United States concentrate either on English language and literature or on Sino-American diplomatic history and policy studies... By contrast, Americans have done surveys, oral histories, and archival research in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences all across China, including such sensitive areas as Tibet and Xinjiang. Since China's opening to the West, 30 years ago, Americans have acquired remarkably detailed insights about nearly every aspect of traditional and contemporary China... The relative thinness of China's grasp of the American way of life should not be surprising. The serious study of the United States is still young, and China has lacked the resources to look beyond practical and immediate issues such as language, business, law, and diplomacy.



  • From a Chinese point of view, an electoral system that produces somebody like Trump — utterly inexperienced in governance but a skilled demagogue — is an absurdity, the equivalent of picking a major company’s CEO through a horse race. In China, leaders need to be carefully chosen, groomed, and pushed, gaining experience at every level of the Communist Party system before being anointed for the top job. That comes amid a flurry of brutally nasty and corrupt internal struggles at each level, mind you... Although China regularly trashes the US, the country’s growth has been dependent, ironically enough, on a strong, stable and prosperous United States willing to trade with the world. Globalization, as Chinese authors have repeatedly argued in the last few months, is vital for a country that needs the markets of others to keep pushing its population into the middle class and achieve the dream of being a “moderately prosperous” country by 2020... China and the United States have often been compared to the two wings of the global economy; if one goes, they spiral down together.
  • When the thirteen stripes and stars first appeared at Canton, much curiosity was excited among the people. News was circulated that a strange ship had arrived from the further end of the world, bearing a flag 'as beautiful as a flower'. Every body went to see the kwa kee chuen, or 'flower flagship'. This name at once established itself in the language, and America is now called the kwa kee kwoh, the 'flower flag country', and an American, kwa kee kwoh yin, 'flower flag countryman', a more complimentary designation than that of 'red headed barbarian', the name first bestowed upon the Dutch.


  • We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of un-warlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.


  • If the Chinese come here, they will come for citizenship or merely for labor. If they come for citizenship, then in this desire do they give a pledge of loyalty to our institutions; and where is the peril in such vows? They are peaceful and industrious; how can their citizenship be the occasion of solicitude?

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