US unveils its strategic approach to China
The US Administration, on May 20, in accordance with the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, delivered a report, named” US Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China” to members of Congress to articulates the US government approach to China under the 2017 National Security Strategy.
According to the report, since the US and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations in 1979, Washington’s policy toward the PRC was largely premised on a hope that deepening engagement would spur fundamental economic and political opening in the PRC and lead to its emergence as a constructive and responsible global stakeholder, with a more open society.
The US now believes that 40 years later, “it has become evident that this approach underestimated the will of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to constrain the scope of economic and political reform in China. Over the past two decades, reforms have slowed, stalled, or reversed. The PRC’s rapid economic development and increased engagement with the world did not lead to convergence with the citizen-centric, free and open order as the
United States had hoped. The CCP has chosen instead to exploit the free and open rules based order and attempt to reshape the international system in its favor”.
“Beijing openly acknowledges that it seeks to transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology. The CCP’s expanding use of economic, political, and military power to compel acquiescence from nation states harms vital American interests and undermines the sovereignty and dignity of countries and individuals around the world,” the report added.
To respond to Beijing’s challenge, the US Administration has adopted a competitive approach to the PRC, based on a “clear-eyed assessment of the CCP’s intentions and actions, a reappraisal of the United States’ many strategic advantages and shortfalls, and a tolerance of greater bilateral friction”.
The US approach is reportedly not premised on determining a particular end state for China. Rather, its goal is to protect US vital national interests, as articulated in the four pillars of the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) of the US.
The US aims to:
(1) protect the American people, homeland, and way of life;
(2) promote American prosperity;
(3) preserve peace through strength; and
(4) advance American influence.
US competitive approach to the PRC has two objectives: first, to improve the resiliency of US institutions, alliances, and partnerships to prevail against the challenges the PRC presents; and second, to compel Beijing to cease or reduce actions harmful to the United States’ vital, national interests and those of its allies and partners.
The United States is also building cooperative partnerships and developing positive alternatives with foreign allies, partners, and international organizations to support the shared principles of a free and open order