China by T537Daea

VIEWS: 28 PAGES: 27

									China: A Multi-faceted Threat to US National Security

                       POLS 4460
                     July 16th, 2009

                    Christopher Basha
                     Tabitha Hodges
                      Jeffrey Clark
                      Thawng Lian
                      Joan Nguyen
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS



1. Introduction.
   Pg. 3

2. Chinese Military: Growing Threat to US National Security.
   Tabitha Hodges. Pg. 3

3. Human Rights Violation in China.
   Jeffrey Clark. Pg. 7

4. China’s Media Censorship: A Threat to the United States
   Christopher Basha. Pg. 13

5. China’s Growing Economic Power and its Threat to US National Security
   Thawng Lian. Pg. 16

6. Chinese Industrialization: A Threat to Global Environment
   Joan Nguyen. Pg. 19

7. Conclusion
   Pg. 24

8. Works Cited
   Pg. 25




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Introduction

       The US is the leader in the international community in power and widespread

influence. This power is maintained through a vast and strong military, an expanding and

relatively stable economy, and asserting itself as a model example of human rights advocate

and taking on a newly growing responsibility for environmental conservation and sustainable

development. Although these elements combined help secure US power and influence, they

are threatened to become destabilized by another growing super power: China. China has

been growing in multiple ways as it is making itself recognized as a significant world player

on the international stage. It has grown economically and militarily—both of which may be

utilized to further develop influence and power within its region past the two aforementioned

categories. In order for the US to maintain its position of power and stability, the factors that

threaten US national security by China must be addressed on multiple levels: The military,

human rights violations, censorship and ideology, economy, and environmentally harmful

industrialization.

Chinese Military

       China's growing military capability has attracted a great deal of attention, but details

about the current and likely near-future state of China's military power have been in short

supply. While it is true that China is modernizing its forces and increasing defense spending,

the prospective improvements in overall military capability need to be set against the very

low-technology starting point of China's armed forces.

       The 1982 Chinese constitution vests supreme command of the armed forces in the

Central Military Commission. The country‘s military force is the People‘s Liberation Army

(PLA), so named in 1946; the army, navy, and air force are all components of the PLA. In the



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early 1990s the PLA was approximately 3 million strong and as such was the world‘s largest

military force. However, it is not considered a highly sophisticated armed force. Of this

number, the navy had 240,000 members, including about 25,000 in the naval air force and

another 6000 in the marines; the air force had 470,000 members, including 220,000 in air

defense. The army was supported by a national militia of some 12 million and by a security

force of more than 1.8 million. The navy had more than 1700 vessels, including more than 90

submarines, one of them armed with nuclear missiles. The air force had an estimated 5000

combat aircraft. China has made significant progress in the development of nuclear weapons,

but in comparison with those of the U.S. or Russia, its arsenal is small. The PLA also plays a

significant role in economic production and in major construction efforts such as dams,

irrigation projects, and land reclamation schemes. The PLA virtually ran the nation during the

most chaotic years of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–69) and suppressed

prodemocracy demonstrations in Beijing in June 1989.

       When viewed through the lens on a security dilemma, China‘s modernization may

cause much instability. The dilemma exists because one state‘s efforts to increase its own

security usually decrease the security of another state. Signs of mistrust and suspicion

consistent with the presence of a security dilemma are not hard to find within the United

States and Chinese militaries. One Chinese source notes that ―the United States resolutely

believes that China will become its global strategic opponent around 2015.‖

       According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the SIPRI Yearbook 1999, the

size of the Chinese nuclear arsenal is about 400 warheads. The Bulletin estimates that 20

nuclear-armed missiles are deployed in the intercontinental role, and another 230 nuclear

weapons on deployed (or can be deployed) on aircraft, missiles, and submarines with regional




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    capabilities. The 150 remaining nuclear warheads are believed to be reserved for "tactical"

    uses (short-range missiles, low yield aircraft-dropped bombs, and possibly artillery shells or

    demolition munitions).

             For the United States, China‘s evolving maritime denial capability could be seen as

    challenging its command of the seas. Although China has only conducted a few submarine

    patrols in recent years, mostly in the coastal water, the number has increased to seven in 2007.

    Chinese submarines have become more visible, transiting unannounced through Japanese

    territorial waters in November 2004 and surfacing unexpectedly near a U.S carrier in October

    2006. China‘s naval modernization is also likely to appear threatening to other states in the

    region, especially those involved in disputes with China over maritime sovereignty.

             China says it pursues a national defense policy solely aimed at protecting its territory

    and people, and in keeping with its concept of "peaceful development." The government's

    latest white paper on national defense says it will "by and large reach the goal of

    modernization of national defense and armed forces by the mid-21st century." The paper

    stresses China's hopes to create a more technologically advanced, capable military that will

    allow it to conduct and sustain operations at a greater distance from its border and says the

    country will make much progress toward that goal by 2020.

             There are many reasons as to why China has accelerated their military build-up. It is

    not difficult to identify the stimuli which have prompted China to go in for an accelerated

    military build-up in the last decade or so.

   United States victory in the Cold War and loss of the Cold War‘s predictable global strategic

    templates which China adroitly exploited to her strategic advantage was disconcerting for

    China.




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    The disintegration of the Former Soviet Union as a Communist superpower and the

     emergence of the United States as the sole superpower were strategically traumatic for China.

    United States military intervention in Iraq (Gulf War I in 1991-92) and the hi-tech ‗shock and

     awe‘ blitzkrieg military campaign was militarily traumatic for China.

    United States military interventions in former Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds in the

     mid-1990s rattled China fearing that the same principles could be used by United States for

     military interventions in Tibet and Xinjiang. Further, it was militarily traumatic that another

     Communist state stood disintegrated by American policies.

    The ease with which Taliban Afghanistan was subjugated in 2002 by awesome use of

     American military power and that too on China‘s immediate periphery further reinforced

     China‘s military fears arising from USA.

    Whatever Chinese doubts of American military power that may have lingered stood shattered

     by Gulf War II in Iraq where once again US hi-tech integrated military power sliced through

     Iraq in days.

    The strategic hemming-in of China both in the East and the West by United States strategic

     initiatives have kept China worried.

           China announced a nearly 15 percent rise in military spending on 04 March 2009 — a

    smaller boost than in previous years — as the national legislature prepared to open its annual

    session with a focus firmly on overcoming the country's brewing economic crisis. The 14.9

    percent increase in defense spending is the lowest in three years, a possible reflection of

    shifting priorities. The 480.68 billion yuan (US$70.27 billion) military budget follows a 17.6

    percent increase last year and 17.8 percent in 2007 — the biggest jump in more than a decade.

    It also was the 19th double-digit percentage increase in the past two decades.




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         While economic and trade relations between the United States and China have been

growing, military to military relations remain relatively underdeveloped. Military conflict

between the two is highly unlikely, but "not impossible" according to CFR

       Senior Fellow Adam Segal. Some experts see little prospect of a closer military

relationship between the two countries in the near future. Admiral Timothy J. Keating,

commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told CFR.org it would be a "giant leap of faith" to

believe the United States and China could develop a close military partnership any time

soon. To improve the relationship, Keating says, will require "more transparency, a better

understanding of intention on our part of the Chinese, and to get there we would need more

active cooperation with the Chinese." How U.S. defense planners will respond to China's

military buildup going forward is also dependent on the ongoing debate over the biggest threats

to U.S. national security.

Human Rights Violations in China

       The Declaration of Human Rights, which was written due to the horrific events in the

death camps of Nazi Germany, and was adopted on December 10, 1948 at Palais de Chaillot,

Paris, demands that all people have certain inalienable rights that can not be circumvented by

governmental power. Specifically, article 5 of this document clearly states, ―No person shall be

subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment‖. These sediments

have echoed in the conscience of textual writers who were willing to reassert the will of

international concerns toward human life at the International Convention against Torture on

December 9, 1975, and the International Convention on Political and Civil rights in 1966. Even

the United States Congress used these conventions as building blocks to implement a legal basis

at the national level by adding, ―No assistance may be provided under this part of the



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government of any country which engages in consistent patterns of gross violations of

internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading

treatment or punishment.‖ Today, we will uncover massive human rights violation in China. We

will look at the type of atrocity that Chinese citizens are subject too. Next, we will discover the

kind of agreements that are needed in order to stop human rights violations, and if American and

China‘s relationship fit into that model. Finally, we will connection the lines between human

right violations in China as being a threat to America‘s national security interests.

        From the outset, Chinese history has been rattled with governmental atrocities against its

citizens. Since the days of the Warring States period (476 BCE-221 BCE) the Chinese

government has demonstrated the need for violence to rule the country. After the First Emperor

united all the different families under a single ruler (221 BCE- 210 BCE) legalism was

implemented, and this form of government was extremely brutal. Legalism assigned collective

punishment for all in the hierarchy below the offender, and systematic execution at the whims of

government officials. Torture was a valued purpose, and no one in the hierarchy, save the

emperor, was safe from its practice. Today China is not much different. Albeit the torture and

humiliation of its citizens are mostly done in secret, the citizens are still subject to torture,

humiliation, and cruel punishment copiously by the Chinese government.

        For example, the Falun-Gong movement started in China around 1992. It is a religious

practice which swept the country with practitioners reaching 70 million. In 1999, the Chinese

Communist Party in Beijing, under leading party member Jiang Zemin, declared that the practice

of Falun-Gong was illegal, and he gave complete autonomy to the Peoples Liberation Army and

the local police to stop the practice of Falun- Gong inside China. Immediately following the

orders of Jiang Zemin, the Peoples Liberation Army began wide spread systematic brutality




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against anyone demonstrating the practice of Fulan-Gong. In public view police were witnessed

to beating Fulan-Gong pacifists with iron rods; tie them to chairs, and burning them with cattle

prods and hot pokers. In private, the circumstances to these persecutions were much worse.

                   So how does human right violation in China affect American national security

interests? Well, first we have to examine some leading theories about human right agreements

and preferential trade agreements. According to Neil J. Mitchell and James M. McCormick, ―the

U.S. sets the pace as sponsors and suppliers on a global scale, having to do with economic

interest, and other capitalist countries, to maintain favorable condition for investments into those

countries. The idea is the greater the involvement with United States and its aid, the greater the
                                           1
promotion of human rights.‖                    Basically, they assert that economic modernization leads to

political stability and respect for human rights. By allowing human rights violation to continue

while doing business with the Chinese government, America is allowing China to set the pace at

the international level. This make America look like followers instead of leaders, and

Democracy, not Communism, is what needs to be assimilated internationally. Ostensibly, by

letting China continue down this course threatens American national security by making

Democracy look weaker then Communism.

         Most research available on the subject of behavior changes in regionally established

government have been conducted from the perspective of America giving aid to other countries

to influence that countries               behavior.         ―While human rights agreements are designed to

substantiate how a government treats people, they are still only soft law, which do not have the




   1
    . Neil J. Mitchell & James M. McCormick. ‗Economics and political Explanation of human rights violations”. World Politics. Vol. 40,
   No. 4(1988), Pp. 479




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full binding force of international law‖.2 On the other hand, preferential trade agreements are

designed to enforce voluntary commitment to coordinate market policies at the international

level, and they can be used to support human rights at a more effective rate then human right

agreements. Basically, these factors force governments to change their behavior in order to

obtain valued economic packages from the U.S. In theory, through preferential trade agreements,

actors can be coerced to comply with human rights standards.

         But what if the roles of economic interest are reversed? What if those who are prospering

more from the relationship have little incentive to demand the stop of human rights violation

with the country that it is dealing with? What if the country that is holding the incentive cards are

the governments that are perpetrating human rights violations? This seems to be the case

between America and China‘s ongoing relationship.                                     According to Thomas J. Christensen,

―between 1970-1978, the value of trade moving between China and America grew more than

two orders of magnitude from 1 billion U.S. dollars to 100 billion U.S. dollars annually, and by

2004, the trade was 245 billion U.S. dollars annually.‖3 According to reports by USA today, in

2008, ―China‘s portfolio in U.S. securities is 1.2 trillion in budget deficit and 3 trillion in trade
            4
deficit‖.       That is a lot of incentives for American interests to circumvent national and

international laws and treaties on basic human rights. This has got to stop in the interest of

American national security. With ever dollar that is used to make China stronger, America gets

weaker on the world stage. Ever dollar gained by the Chinese Communist Party gives more


    2
     . Thomas Christensen. ―Fostering stability or creating a monster? The rise of china and U.S. policy toward East Asia”. International
    security, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2006),Pp. 98.



    3. Aaron L. Friedberg. ―The future of U.S. & china relations: is conflict inevitable‖? International security, Vol. 30, No. 2
        (2005) Pp.7

    4.    “Tolerating Chinas game; Cal and Bob agree that American political & business leaders have turned a blind eye to a Beijing regime
         that pose great risk to American interest”. USA Today news; (Aug 7, 2008) Pp. 11A.




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credential to them to swing the voting power in their favor internationally. We, as Americans, do

not want the Chinese Communist Party to have more power then American do in the

international arena. This would be a clear threat to American National security.

        There are thousands of eye witness accounts of Fulan-Gong followers being subject to

torture inside of Chinese labor camps. These events range from individuals being placed in to

water dungeons, on tiger benches, and have forced feedings projected on them. It is not

uncommon for authorities to push bamboo shoots under the victims finger nails while under

going these processes. These atrocities are not the worst that can happen to individual that are

subject to human right violations by the Chinese government. There is documented evidence of

systematic organ harvesting going on in labor camps, and forced sterilization have been on the

Chinese agenda. Are American representative fully aware of the tactic being deployed against

the Falun-Gong prisoners? You bet your ass they are, but capital gains have made it easy for

them to look in the other direction. It seems that the pragmatism of U.S. officials have been lost

in capital flows and economic viability. This process has weakened American‘s national spirit of

liberty and justice, and that should be the number one consideration when talking about

American national security interest. As Americans, we should fear nationally that the world will

one day be the same way as Communist China is today.

       Furthermore, allowing the Chinese Communist Party to get away with Human rights

violations America is reinforcing the assumption, in the China‘s mind, that it is alright to torture

human beings. We are sending a clear message to the Chinese that there are no repercussions for

acting inhumanly toward individuals within Chinese territory, and that the Chinese do not have

to fear America, because America, which Mao had asserted in one of his speeches, is nothing but

a paper tiger. By not acting consistently in our policy toward human rights violation, we are




                                                11
showing the world that America is not serious about democracy, freedom, and our basic national

identity. As a democratic nation, the spread of democracy should be our number one national

security interest.

        Finally, with America continually running a trade deficit with China, this gives the

Chinese power to flaunt its barbarism in the face of America on a global scale. The Chinese

already have Korea and Vietnam to bolster national pride for their country against American

dignity. Using monetary means to concomitantly violate Human right at the expense of

American identity weakens our national persona and gives cause to our enemies to attack us in

our current abashment due to 911 and the Iraq War. In short, by allowing China to continue with

its policy of disregard for human life, America national security interest is weakened in the face

of our enemies at home and abroad.

        In conclusion, letting the Chinese Communist Party slide from their international

commitment to adhere to human rights treaties is a threat to American national security strategy.

Countries that exhibit human right violations are automatically against the principles of our

democratic society, and to continue to let those countries practice human rights violation while

being in business with us weakens out national and international image on the world stage. .

Today, we have uncovered massive human rights violation in China. We have looked at the type

of atrocity Chinese citizens are subject too. Next, we discovered what kind of agreements are

needed in order to stop human rights violations, and if American and China‘s relationship fit into

that model. Finally, we have connected the lines between human right violations in China as

being a threat to America‘s national security interests.




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China’s Media Censorship: A Threat to the United States

       June 4, 2009 is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China. The

incident involved demonstrations around the Tiananmen Square area by intellectuals and

students against the People‘s Republic of China (PRC). The group of protestors called for a

series of economic and democratic reforms and expressed a general disapproval of the

government‘s authoritarian ways. In order to stop the protests which had lasted for nearly two

weeks, the government ordered the People‘s Liberation Army to quell the protestors by opening

fire on the square. After two days of military involvement the Red Cross estimated that 2,600

people had been killed and nearly 7,000 to 10,000 wounded (Kristof). Now, 20 years after the

event occurred, the Chinese government continues to flex its authoritarian might by taking a

number of precautionary steps to keep discussion of the event and the anniversary non existent.

       One such effort was the complete and total censorship of any internet discussion of the

massacre taking place. So much pressure was put on Chinese internet services that many just

completely shut down comment boards stating the day was Chinese Internet Maintenance Day.

Furthermore, Twitter, human rights‘ groups websites, and blogging services hosted outside of

China were also blocked to keep information about the event at a minimum (Singel). This

blatant denial of information to the citizens of China may at first appear to be a domestic issue;

however, its consequences are much more widespread. Actions such as this present a serious

and possibly dangerous threat to the United States and its national security interests. This threat

manifests itself in two primary ways. First, the Chinese government is causing harm to free trade

interests of United States companies. Second, by engaging in censorship of incoming

information and world events, Chinese citizens are not presented with full information regarding

American policy and opinions.




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       The strict censorship of the Internet by Chinese authorities has increasingly caused

damage to United States companies and their ability to engage in free trade. The blocking of

information across the World Wide Web has affected technology companies such as Microsoft,

Google, and Yahoo; this trade restriction by our largest trading partner only stands to hurt the

already struggling American economy, which in turn hinders our global security (Santoro and

Goldberg). For example, United States based company Google has since 2002, lost a

considerable amount of the Chinese market to an inferior search engine, Baidu. This was caused

by the Chinese government forcing Google to deliver an inferior product in order to comply with

the numerous censorship laws and regulations. Chinese companies such as Baidu do not need to

create the best product; they only need to make sure that they are fully in compliance with

Chinese laws (Santoro and Goldberg).

       The concessions that these American technology firms have made in order to comply

with Chinese mandates has also brought unwanted flack to the industries themselves. These

corporations have been accused by Congress, the United States public, and human rights groups

of supporting the construction of the ―Great Firewall of China‖ (Feuerberg). This type of

portrayal of American firms as assisting the repressive tendencies of the PRC is yet another set-

back in regards to our national interests. Thus, internet censorship in China has had a bad impact

on free trade as well as public perception of our own corporations and their ethical standards. It

is in the United States national security interests to allow its domestic firms to expand across the

globe, especially in countries such as China where the free flow of information and services

stands to bring traditionally distinct groups of people closer together.

       The second way in which Chinese policies regarding the media harms United States

national security interests is through the censoring of what our elected officials say. Due to the




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highly regulated nature of all media institutions within China, there is the possibility that what

our politicians say in America does not reach the Chinese people the same way it was originally

intended. In other words, this censorship stops important information that would hopefully

inspire beneficial political and social change from ever reaching the intended audience. While

the Chinese constitution officially recognizes freedom of speech and press, there is also vague

language that states that citizens must defend the country‘s ―security, honor, and interests of the

motherland‖ (Zissis).

       An example of this type of scenario occurred when China altered its translation of

President Barack Obama‘s inauguration speech. Removed from the speech were references to

communism and free speech as well as stopping the broadcast of the feed when Cold War

animosities were mentioned. Those who engaged in the censorship of the speech said that they

did so because they were ―duty bound to protect the country‘s interests‖ (Chang). In regards to

this incident, Rebecca MacKinnon, a journalism professor at the University of Hong Kong said

―this is standard practice‖ of the Chinese government to censor translations of political speeches.

A similar incident occurred in a speech delivered in 2004 in Shanghai by former Vice President

Dick Cheney (Chang). This type of censorship is extremely harmful because it does not allow

the majority of Chinese citizens to see that the United States politicians are aware and

unsupportive of the vast political deficiencies which exist in their country. It creates an

intellectual gap between our elected policy makers and their efforts to denounce particular

government practices. It is in the United States national interest to have the citizens of China

receive the exact message we are trying to send rather than one that is altered to fit the PRC‘s

standards. When this does not occur, the United States faces a security dilemma in that there is a

disconnect from the information we send out and the message that is eventually received.




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        The disruption of free trade and the tampering with political messages by American

policymakers are two major obstacles to our national security interests. China‘s strict adherence

to such authoritarian censorship has also caused numerous other consequences which further

confound the problem. While this security threat may not be the most striking nor salient, it does

pose a real problem for the United States and is one which deserves to be dealt with. Because of

the already controversial nature of the Chinese tradition of heavy handed censorship and

filtering, this may be an area which the United States can realize its security interests by tackling

the issue as one of human rights and freedom for the people of China.      Washington would

benefit in numerous ways from persuading Beijing to take a critical look at its censorship

policies and instead adopt methods, which promote the spread of unhampered information to its

citizens.

China’s Growing Economic Power and its Threat to US National Security

        China is the main Asian power and its economic, political, and security interests are

mainly focused on economic prosperity and political stability. Normalizing relations between the

U.S. and China has faced many obstacles, and it is very complex. Different presidential

administrations approached China in their own ways that allowed maintaining a normalized

steady relationship. The relationship between China and the U.S has been ―love-hate‖ based on

their interests and influences by the decision makers (Garrison 1). The policies and politics

allow economics and power races between the two countries (Garrison 14). The Central

Intelligence Agency reports that China is the second largest economy in the world, and China,

therefore, enjoys economic development. Former President George W. Bush‘s top advisors

Condoleezza Rice and John Negroponte suggest that China ―may become a peer competitor‖ to

the United States because of the economic growth and its military powers (Tkacik 1). China‘s




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economic growth is a national security threat to the United States because the economic growth

has permitted military build up, hunt for natural resources, and strong trade partnerships with

hostile countries..

        China‘s economic growth is a serious concern to the U.S. national security because the

economic growth has permitted expending its military and technology advancement. According

to Tkacik, the Chinese defense spending has increased every year in a ―double-digit‖ tailing the

United States and Russia (Tkacik 2). China‘s military build up in more than enough to defend

and protect the country. Therefore, it is clear that the military build up sends a strong signal to

the world that China is capable of protecting its interests around the world and against the U.S.

Modernizing military technologies require billions of dollars, and strong economy growth is the

main factor making China enable to increase it military size and equipping with modern

technologies. Economic growth that allows military build up is a big concern for the future U.S.

national security.

        Due to the fact that natural resources and raw materials are needed to support and sustain

China‘s economic growth, China and the United States have the common problem: energy.

Energy plays a major role in China‘s economic development. Therefore, the U.S. faces energy

challenges over China because China needs to buy more oil and other natural resources for

making possible to keep running the economy. The growing economy consumes millions of

barrels oil, and the Chinese government can domestically produce only half of what it needs.

Therefore, China needs to import more oil from other countries, and this may force to ―pursue an

expansionist policy to support its economy‖ (Mellman 10). Mellman also suggests that this

―policy would conflict‖ with the American energy security policy and it interests around the

world ( 7). Many people believe China and the U.S. share the same interests of energy security




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and securing sea-lane, and China, therefore, is not a threat to the U.S. national security (Zweig

and Jianhai 37). However, it is my belief that China and the U.S. need the same resources from

the same region, and China will protect its national interest whatever it costs.

       The economic growth forces expansion in global partnership that could become global

trade partnership competitions. China has expanded its global interests and economic

partnerships in many regions against the U.S. interests. The need for global alliance is very

important for marketing their products and security. Therefore, China is expanding its

partnership with African countries, Central and South Asia, Middle East, and South America to

find raw materials. China is willing to negotiate with hostile countries like Venezuela, Iran,

North Korea, and Myanmar, which strongly oppose the U.S. interests and policies toward the

world. Expanding China‘s global partnerships should not be a big concern for the U.S., but the

willingness against the U.S .interests and political stability are threats to the U.S. national

security. Therefore, the competition trade partnership with hostile countries could become the

major concern for both the United States and China, and it could lead to military confrontation,

as was the case for the World Wars.

       From President Nixon to the second President Bush, all presidents have faced different

kind of obstacles normalization with China, and it still will face in the future. After the

Communism collapsed in Soviet Union, the U.S. and China relationship has improved in many

areas. But, China‘s economic growth bring political influence and a stronger military power in

international communities that could challenge the U.S. interests in the globe (Zweig and Jainhai

26). Seeking political influences, hunting natural resources, and competing military powers could

bring tension between the U.S. and China. It is almost impossible to predict China‘s future, so

the U.S. must raise its national security concern for the possible negative consequences. This is a




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legitimate concern for the United States because China is governed by Communist Party leaders,

not democratic elected officials, and it is possible that in the future China economic power

become a threat to the U.S. national security.

        In sum, China‘s massive economic growth is a threat the United States national security

and interests around the world because economic growth allows strengthening military power,

massive energy consumption, and strong trade partners. Having access to foreign natural

resources is the necessary for China‘s economic growth and political stability. China‘s leaders

believe that economic development is a very importance issue for the Chinese Communist Party

survival because the poverty and high population demand massive economic development to

support the their basic needs, and declining economic would result in political instability and

―the possibly collapse of the Chinese Communist Party‖ (Lt Col Mellman 11). Many people may

argue that some other Asian Countries such as India, Indonesia, and Malaysia also have large

size of economic and population, but it is my belief that China still plays a major role in the U.S.

national security concerns. Setting China policies and the process of making decision will be the

challenges for the new Presidents of the United States.

Chinese Industrialization: A Threat to Global Environment

        During the last half of the twentieth century, there has been a significant rise in human

impact on the natural environment, a trend that can be attributed to the growth of the world‘s

population from approximately 2.5 billion in 1950 to a little over 6 billion currently (Soroos

1999, p. 27). Most of these increases are taking place in Africa, Asian and Latin America. At the

same time, the world‘s economy has grown exponentially as well, giving way to large increases

to global food production, which in turn led to a rise in agricultural industries, fertilizers,

pesticides, and land expansion. This large increase in human activity has given scientists enough




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data to virtually conclude that humans are mostly responsible for fundamental alterations being

made on the planet, such as ―depletion of stratospheric ozone layer‖ and ―global climate change‖

(Soroos 1999).

       In a pre-industrial world, there was a balance of the sun‘s energy absorbed by greenhouse

gases in the atmosphere. Increasingly, the atmosphere absorbed too much greenhouse gases,

affecting the way in which infrared radiation moved in and out of the atmosphere, creating major

changes in the earth‘s temperature, making it increasingly warmer. These effects are the basis for

the scientific argument behind the climate crisis that the earth is facing today (Gore 2006, p. 25).

Some of these changes in temperature have devastating effects that include increases in flash

floods (Gore 2006, p. 72), more severe hurricanes (Gore 2006, p. 54), and in some areas,

extremely drier climates (Gore 2006, p. 73).

        It has become evident that international cooperation is imperative to prevent even further

drastic changes from negatively affecting the Earth and its inhabitants, that all countries do their

part to set goals to live more environmentally responsible while creating ways for improved

sustainable development. However, I believe that superpowers like the United States must set

high standards for change so that rapidly developing countries like China will make

environmental policy a priority for themselves as well.

       Within the past few years, there have been growing concerns about the effects of

industrial pollution in China—on both the domestic and international level. These effects

potentially harmful effects have caught the attention of the United States to help China address

its environmental challenges. However, concerns of the climate change issue does not ―really

resonate with the Chinese‖, who do not want to slow down economic growth to ―mitigate carbon

dioxide emissions‖ (Zwaniecki, 2007), despite the effects the pollution have on neighboring




                                                 20
countries, such as Japan. The Japanese ODA (Official Development Assistance has had some

difficulty in addressing the problems of China‘s industrial pollution, creating worries about acid

rain and dust blown in from China (Yahuda 2006, p. 292). The concern of acid rain that are

formed from emissions coming from China has also extended beyond affecting Japan—it has

degraded forests and watersheds in other parts of Asia and some Asian pollutants are reaching as

far as the U.S. West Coast. Despite some disagreements the China has expressed with the United

States about slowing their economic growth in response the international climate crisis, they are

very receptive to propositions that can help them decrease energy consumption without

endangering the fast pace of growth (Zwaniecki, 2007).

       Studies have shown that improving energy efficiency could allow China to not only

reduce the cost of environmental degradation, which now equals 8 percent to 13 percent

(Zwaniecki, 2007) of its annual gross domestic product, but also cut down its greenhouse gas

emissions. More importantly, better air quality could save some 200,000 to 750,000 lives per

year now lost prematurely in China (Zwaniecki, 2007). Such potential for safe economic

improvement and a necessity to help raise the quality of health for Chinese citizens and a

prevention for Chinese industrial pollutants from affecting other the US among other countries

have made China a US priority in helping the two focuses on tackling the environmental

challenges. However, because China is currently in economic transition as a communist-to-

extreme capitalist country, addressing the industrialization pollution problems are making

achieving better environmental standards even more difficult.

       For example, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol illustrated the fact that China remained ―more

concerned about economic growth‖ and fixing its ―own pollution problems‖ (Lampton 2002, p.

165) than looking at the larger picture of its effects on the global environment. China, along with




                                                21
other many developing nations, which included Brazil and India, was active in pushing to

―exempt developing countries from greenhouse gas reduction targets (Lampton 2002, p. 166). It

was in their opinion that the burden of meeting the emissions requirements should be placed on

the more developed countries, like the United States. It was reasoned that because not only was

the United States more able to economically support such a drastic initiative, they were the also

the largest emitters of greenhouse gases to begin with. A study released by the U.S. Department

of Energy, Energy Information Administration and Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center

indicated that the United States emits more greenhouse gas pollution than ―South America,

Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia all put together,‖ contributing 30.3 percent of the

greenhouse gas emission into the Earth‘s atmosphere alone (Gore 2006, p. 156).

       This disagreement is the reflection of the ―North-South gap‖ that exists between

developing and developed countries like China and the United States (respectively) and how

each country‘s priorities differ based on this concept. Essentially, while the North, represented

by developed countries, gives substantial attention to ―environmental‖ issues that threaten

ecological stability, the South, represented by developing countries, has placed greater emphasis

on ―immediate need for economic growth to raise standards of living‖ (Vig 1999, p. 6). The

developing countries‘ attitudes at the Kyoto meetings can be summed up by Mark Mwandosya of

Tanzania, chair of the developing country caucus: ―Very many of us are struggling to attain a

decent standard of living for our peoples, and yet we are constantly told that we must share in the

effort to reduce emissions so that industrialized countries can continue to enjoy the benefits of

their wasteful lifestyle‖ (Paarlberg 1999, p. 249).

       In result, the optimism that was initially felt at the international summit to ratify Kyoto

Protocol was quickly extinguished—China pushed for the protocol‘s emissions requirements to




                                                 22
be non-binding and on a voluntary basis (Molitor 1999, p. 232) while the United States did not

even adopt the protocol‘s policies for ratification (Gore 2006, p. 177). What was to be a major

step in the world working collectively to take a step forward to address the climate crisis, the end

product of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol was essentially a set of toothless, underspecified guidelines,

allowing countries to freely decide which gas or combination of gases to be controlled for

regulation (Molitor 1999, p. 232). Although on a per capita basis, human activity in the United

States puts in an estimated ―ten times as much carbon dioxide as human activity in China‖

(Paarlberg 1999, p. 249), the World Bank has recently released a report that if China remains on

its present rate of industrialization, it is estimated that it will surpass U.S. carbon emissions early

in the twenty-first century, around 2020 (Lampton 2006, p. 166). This fact illustrates the

importance for both the United States and China to overcome North-South fundamental

differences to reduce the harm that each inflicted upon the global environment.

       One could conclude that a unilateral approach for environmental policy-making may be

more suitable to each country‘s interests and domestic circumstances—that by working

separately they could reach their own goals without pressuring one another for burden sharing. It

can be argued that in the short-run, by acting unilaterally, the United States may prove to be

more progressive by creating a lead by which other developing nations can follow, providing a

model for governments contemplating adopting similar environmental policies and measures

abroad (Paarlberg 1999, p. 253). However, I argue that a harmonious, integrative approach is the

best way to set an example for governments abroad. I believe that if the United States and China

can agree on complementary policies for solving environmental problems, they will send a

stronger message to the rest of the world—that the North-South gap can be overcome through




                                                  23
international cooperation towards a common goal of tackling the climate crisis. Unilateral action

can lead to confrontations about state-sovereignty and individual economic policies.

       It must be recognized that because global warming is an international problem that exists

on multiple levels, it is important that China and the United States develop integrative policies

that attend to each other‘s national agendas while also working towards sustainable development.

This approach, I believe, will provide for a better long-term solution to the climate crisis. While

it may not be practical to attempt at a consensus on uniform emissions standards for the United

States and China, it is still important that the two countries do not completely dismiss one

another as being impossible to work with; rather they must develop more innovative

environmental policies that recognizes each countries fundamental political and economic

differences. As stated by President Barack Obama in an online-video address before the 2008 G-

5 summit, the global warming ―stakes are too high‖ and the ―consequences too serious‖ for the

United States and China to assume that working unilaterally can be effective for global

environmental improvement (Changedotgov 2008).

VII. Conclusion

       It can be seen that although China‘s growing power does not pose and immediate threat

to US national security, it is a threat nonetheless and it must not be ignored. In addition to this,

the growing threat must be addressed with respect and not underestimation. It may be that the

resources that China currently utilizes may not be as abundant nor as sophisticated as that of the

US‘s, but it cannot be said that some day they will be able to obtain the same amount or more

power and influence as the US by other means they deem necessary. China‘s rapid growth

cannot be dismissed and it is now more important than ever that the US does all that it can to

develop a beneficial and strong relationship with this emerging international super power.




                                                  24
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