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International Relations In One Simple Essay China/usa Case Study by Umennajiego(m): 12:28pm On Apr 25, 2017
Why don't the United States and China form an alliance?

In 1972, when President Nixon made the surprise visit to China, following Dr. Kissinger’s grand plan of breaking the Russia-China alliance, he proposed to Mao to form a formal US-China alliance. Mao refused, pointing out that when the two countries have common interest, they will naturally work together. What he left unsaid, and what Dr. Kissinger was very aware of, was that all what it took for him to get China to the table at that time was a promise that the US would not seek to form an anti-China alliance with Russia.

So you see, the two countries have fundamentally different understanding in international relations. China basically said, I don’t need allies. I just need you to NOT treat me as an enemy. The U.S., to paraphrase President George W. Bush,

"Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

'You are either with us or against us'

From China’s perspective, be it terrorism, ideological struggles, or drug abuse, they are all mostly domestic issues, so why is the US running all over the world for them? The U.S. has an unfortunate habit of exporting its domestic politics to the whole world. Take drug abuse, for example. Big problem. Yuge problem. Got to jail 1% of the total population for it and start wars on two continents. Got to put the CIA/DEA/FBI/ATF/IRS/various alphabet soup on it. Well, China sits next to the Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia), the biggest drug den in Asia. She’s also neighbor to Afghanistan, currently producing 96% of the world opium. All China did, was to tighten the border and implement strong anti-drug policy domestically. The most she has ever done, outside of her border, was to ask Myanmar, “Pardon me, but could you please move your drug dens a couple of kilometers away from our border? That way we can see them when they are coming?” And that’s it. And she gets very low level of drug abuse in the country.

(Obviously, if you are asking for other countries to lend a hand, you should only ask what they can actually do, without too much trouble. Asking Myanmar or Thailand to clean up the Golden Triangle would be too much, because if they can, they would. Who wants to live with ruthless drug lords in their midst? They can’t. So it’s useless to ask. )

Compare this approach with the US, with the military and DEA agents running from Washington to the southern tip of Peru, invading Panama and kidnapping their president to face drug trial in the US, causing massive level of criminality all over Latin America and pissing all of these countries off. That’s how the US deals with its domestic drug problems. And with all that effort, the level of drug abuse is much higher in the US than in China.

Let me give you another example. The War on Terror. When China had terrorism in Xinjiang, it closed the border, shut down the internet, beefed up local police force, and yanked everybody’s passport, until it went through one village at a time to tease out the terrorists and tried them in court. Then they re-open the border and restore the internet, and that’s that. The most they asked from their neighbors like Afghanistan and Pakistan was to do joint border patrols, and that’s with Al Qaeda and ISIS sitting next door.

One funny thing was that when the US invaded Afghanistan, it captured 22 terrorists-in-training from the Al Qaeda camps, and sent them to Guantanamo Bay. Those guys cried out “but we only wanted to bomb the civilians in China! We are not training to bomb the Americans!” “Oh, OK, then you are not our terrorists then. You freedom fighters can be released.” Chinese Detainees Are Men Without a Country So the US released them, but wouldn’t pass them to China, ’cause they’d be executed. So the US passed them to Europe. Like Europe doesn’t have enough terrorists running around. China expressed sympathy, “Poor you. One Ben Laden is not enough. One Al Qaeda is not enough. One ISIS is not enough. You are still saving up your little pile of ‘good terrorists’. What are you waiting for? Another blow-back?”

In the meantime, the US is invading a bunch of countries and bombing a bunching of countries and droning a bunch of countries, for like 30 years. Pissing off everybody in the Middle East and everybody in Europe. To fight Terrorism. When the US is protected by two oceans and two friendly neighbors. With all that, the risk of a violent death is much lower in China than in the US.

So when President Obama was going around calling China the “freeloader” for not participating in these US-led campaigns, China’s President Xi shot back,

"China does not export revolution, hunger, poverty, nor does China cause you any headaches. Just what else do you want?"

China's 'next leader' in hardline rant

So you ask why the US and China don’t form an alliance - well there is an alliance in those areas with overlapping interest, such as trade, climate change, fighting infectious diseases like Ebola, cultural exchange, etc. But the other things? China’s definition of being a good global citizen is “we don’t cause you trouble”. This is not how the US defines “alliance”. Take a step back, and ask yourself, how much of these kind of problems are due to “the evil foreigners”, when most of the US citizens don’t even have passports, can’t speak a foreign language, and think Africa is a country?


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