The US-China relations are suffering from strain and stresses in the post cold war era due to following factors:
1. China is superseding US in almost all fields. Experts are predicting that the US is declining power and by mid 21st century it will relegate to third position after India and china. China’s increasing military and economic strength has threatened the vital US security and trade interests in Asia. Ascending china with 1.3billion people, 40%savings rate and $ 2 trillion currency reserve has indeed surprised the world. China has become world’s largest manufacturer. China has strengthened its security system exponentially in last one and half decade. This military strength is core to china’s foreign and strategic policy.
2. China’s territorial conflict with almost fifteen countries is one of the important reasons for rising US involvement in Asia. China has border problems with India, Russia, Japan and several south East Asian countries. Prominent among these are china’s conflict with Japan on Senkaku and with south East Asian nations on Spartley. China has declared south china as its core area of strategic interests along with Taiwan, Tibet and Xin Xiang. This Chinese posture has made south East Asian countries insecure. Recently china made several hawkish and aggressive pronouncements over border issues with the south and south East Asian countries which have created shockwaves. With these moves china has antagonized Japan, South Korea and India along with several other south East Asian counties. These countries are now contemplating a countervailing strategy to contain Chinese misadventures.
3. These Chinese moves also threatened the US security and trade interests in Asia and reinforced its involvement in maintaining increasing imbalance of power in Asia. There are host of issues which has strained the relations between US and China. These includes Chinese stand on north Korean nuclear programmes, Nuclear nexus between china and Pakistan, Chinese attempt to replace American dollar as a reserve currency of world, china’s totalitarian political system, instances of gross violation of human rights in china, china’s opposition to several US moved resolution at United Nations Security Council among others.
4. China is consistently increasing its spending on defense. The Chinese defense budget is on ascendance since last one decade. There is fivefold increase in the Chinese defense budget from 2000 to 2012.In its 12th Five Year Plan, china’s defense expenditure has increased by 12%.Chinse attempts to increase its defense budget has made its neighbors more insecure.
5. In the backdrop of these issues, few analysts predicts of possibility of rejuvenation of cold war like situation .In order to contain the rapid expansion of Chinese influence in Asia, the US has redesigned its strategic policy in Asia. The new policy emphasizes on strong US presence in Asia. As a part of this new policy, the US is trying to control china’s energy resources transport lanes by attaining military superiority over central, south and south East Asia. The US planning to encircle china by negotiating defense agreements with its neighboring countries and turning them into US satellites. The US arms supply to Taiwan, Joint military exercise with South Korea and India, dispatching aircraft carriers to the yellow sea are some of the recent moves of US which has infuriated china and caused strains in US-China relationship.
6. The US wishes and encourages political reforms in China. The US while criticizing the totalitarian regime in china and appealing for democratic reforms in its political system. China is considering these US attempts as interference in its domestic affairs.
7. The instances of human rights violation in china are the centre of US criticism. The US is using international platforms like UNHRC to criticize china and directing several international NGOs to target china for gross violation of human rights.
8. The ambitious National Missile Defense System programme of US has infuriated china as it considered the programme an US attempt to create anti-china security system and to neutralize china’ Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The programme aims to provide an umbrella protection cover to the US and its allies both in Europe and Asia from the possible missile attack of China and Russia. The 2004 Defense White Paper of China openly voiced its concerns against these US attempts. The paper states, “the US is realigning and reinforcing its military presence in this region by buttressing military alliances and accelerating deployment of missile defense systems” China is accusing US of violating the provisions of 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which prohibits the member countries to develop anti-missile systems