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Unformatted text preview: Professor Hindery Third World Countries Research Paper 12/11/06 The Future Of US and China Relations in the 21 st Century When the average American citizen thinks of China, they remember the backwards communist country that only President Nixon could visit. In actuality, China is quickly becoming one of the worlds fasting growing economic and military powers. China is currently the second largest economic power in terms of purchasing power parity. 1 Furthermore, China has the third largest defense budget in the world. 2 Facts like these and other international issues, such as Taiwanese independence, are making China the last capable opponent to US world hegemony besides terrorists. Pending international issues, such as nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as domestic issues such as human rights abuses, will inevitably lead to a great clash of civilizations between the Western World, led by the US, and the East, led by China. For example, recently, North Korean nuclear program has been a topic of much debate. North Korea has recently tested a nuclear weapon. Chinas role on this issue is 1 CIA Word Fact Book 2 John Pike, Military Spending critical as it is North Koreas only real ally. China readily aided the small nation against US invasion during the Korean War. Currently, China is the provider of most of the food and fuel aid to Korea. 3 Chinas attitude and position over North Korea may decide future relations with the US. The US has well over 15,000 troops in South Korea along the border with the North, any action seen as promoting Kim Jong Ils nuclear ambitions may spark a war, inevitably forcing China and the US to engage is armed conflict. Another possibility is the advent of an Asian arms race between China, the Koreas, and Japan. For example, Japans new national defense outline declares that North Korea and China are to be seen as threats. 4 This arms race would also draw in the US, as it is the staunch ally of Japan. Japan, already seeing North Korea and China as threats may opt to re-militarize. North Korea, in response, has tested their nuclear capabilities, without Chinas blessing. China has typically sought to contain nuclear weapons, and it is more likely China would use its leverage to stop North Korea from further testing. Another obstacle that may lead to China and US conflict is Taiwanese independence. According to Jonathan Story, China has had one foreign policy, Taiwan 5 . This has been the main point of conflict between the US and China. While China does not yet have the military capability to take the island by force, a future decision to resort to war for unification may lead to and armed conflict involving China, the US, and possibly Japan as a US ally. According to Story, China only has about twenty missiles capable of hitting the US, which are mostly land based, while the US has a nearly inexhaustible amount of nuclear missiles that are land, sea, and air based.amount of nuclear missiles that are land, sea, and air based....
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- Fall '06