The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Previous Visits
Special> Hu's Visit to the United States> Previous Visits
UPDATED: January 17, 2011 NO. 48 DECEMBER 1, 2005
Bush in Beijing
U.S. president's talks with China's leaders covered a range of issues - from trade, human rights to bird flu and UN reforms

Analysts say China is becoming a leading force in the Asia-Pacific region because of its economic opportunity and strong development impetus. During the APEC summit, South Korea recognized China's market economy status. Fu said that despite differences, the Sino-U.S. relationship is vital to both countries because of their shared interests. "The United States should seek opportunity from China's development and should not follow a policy of containment, otherwise, bilateral relations will go backwards," he added.

Regional importance

Unlike his predecessor Bill Clinton, Bush does not stress much on the personality of a president. He prudently and circumspectly arranged his Asian tour and selected Japan as his first stop, delivering his keynote speech there, in which he stressed the importance of freedom and praised the fact that a free Japan had changed the lives of others in the region.

"Such an arrangement is symbolic and Bush wants to express to the outside world that U.S.-Japanese relations are still in the first place among its relations with East Asian countries. In spite of this, Sino-U.S. relations are on the rise," said Shen Dingli, Deputy Director of the American Studies Center of Fudan University.

Before Bush came to Asia, he said he would urge leaders from China, Japan and South Korea to hold talks during his East Asian trip to ease the tensions between Japan and the other two because of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's Yasukuni Shrine visits and other related reasons.

"Bush's visit to the State of Mongolia too is of great significance because he is the first U.S. president to visit the country," said Professor Zhu Feng of the School of International Studies, Peking University. He pointed out that this is an indication of a new emphasis in Bush's foreign policy. Through this visit, he may be signaling that he is interested not only in the Middle East, but also attaches great importance to strengthening U.S. influence worldwide, Zhu said.

"Undoubtedly, of the four Asian nations, China is the most important one to him," said Fu. He said that China has surpassed Japan in terms of its global role and world influence and is therefore more attractive to the United States in Asia.

According to Fu, Japan closely follows the United States in international affairs, for example in the Iraq war, seldom playing an independent role. But China is more likely and has the capacity to independently take its responsibility in international affairs, such as the six-party talks aimed at denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula that have been held in Beijing on five occasions.

"As an economic giant with a vast market, China's economic influence is also rising rapidly," said Fu, adding that RMB's revaluation by 2 percent in July this year had a great impact on the world economy.

"The relations between the United States and Japan are closer but they are more a military alliance, a product of Cold-War thinking," said Fu. Currently the world is facing more non-traditional threats such as international terrorism, natural disasters, environmental deterioration, pollution and sea channel security, which cannot be tackled by such an alliance, he believes. "China's role is gradually recognized by an increasing number of U.S. high officials," Fu said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick made a keynote speech on China policy on September 21, stating the critical need for America to cooperate effectively with an emerging China to safeguard many common interests shared by the two powers. Given China's growing economic and political influence, Zoellick asked China to be "a responsible stakeholder" to work with the United States to sustain the current international system.

"Zoellick's speech can be taken as a cornerstone for the Bush administration's China policy, which apparently takes a pragmatic and balanced approach toward China's development," said Li Xiaogang, a researcher with the Institute of American Studies under the CASS. He added that Bush's visit is tantamount to "a public show of his own endorsement of the policy of promoting constructive cooperation" with the world's biggest developing country and fastest-growing economy.

Notably, Bush, in a major speech on his Asia policy during his tour of Japan on November 16, dropped the words "strategic competitor" to describe China, a phrase he often used in the early days of his first term.

Li emphasized that such a policy shift signals Washington's recognition that it can foster cooperative relationship with China to jointly address various global challenges despite their vast differences.

High-level visits

"The most important feature of Sino-U.S. relations this year is that the United States pays more attention to the rise of China's strength, in nearly all fields," said Wang Jisi, Dean of the School of International Studies, Peking University.

According to Wang, the United States has a full and clear estimation of the development of China's strength in the military, economic and political fields. However, different interest groups in the United States have different opinions about this development. "Some see threats, some see opportunities, and some are confused. That is why China has witnessed so many high-level exchanges with the United States this year," he noted.

On March 20, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice landed in Beijing, on the last leg of her six-nation tour of Asia, marking her first trip to Beijing after taking office.

Only four months later, she was back in Beijing on July 9. Her visit was followed by that of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez the very next day to attend the 16th meeting of the Sino-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. This was the second visit to China of the hardliner within two months.

On August 1, China and the United States held their first high-level strategic dialogue and Zoellick headed his delegation that engaged the Chinese side on politics, economy and security.

U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow started his eight-day visit to Shanghai, Shenyang and Beijing on October 12. The two sides exchanged their views on finance and currency.

While Snow was still in China, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld started his first visit to China on October 18 after taking office in 2001. Experts say the visit by the representatives of U.S. hawks sent a signal to the world that military exchanges between China and the United States would be upgraded.

On November 15, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, together with Califomian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger came to China to participate in a series of high-level forums on Sino-U.S. relations.

"In the past, Washington regarded Beijing as a potential challenger. By contrast, now it recognizes Beijing as a stakeholder. This reflects that the United States starts to show respect to China's current status on the global arena," said Yan Xuetong, Director of the Institute of International Studies of Tsinghua University. "Just like Zoellick said in his speech, the China of today is simply not the Soviet Union of the late 1940s," Yan said.

According to Yan, all U.S. officials who came to China have a common sense that ' China's development cannot be contained, and a containment policy against China cannot stop the country's progress.

   Previous   1   2  

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved