The United States of America is a country that often shapes the attitude of the whole world and has been a hegemonic country for many years. It is believed that its history and culture play a significant part in the way it views both state and foreign policy. However, at a time when America was engaged in wars in Iraq, in Afghanistan, while attempting to change the order in the Middle East and North Africa, China has become more intense in East Asia and the Oceania region. It began to develop its own rules for its own business, which the other countries in the region had to follow. Because of that, China started becoming more influential and economically strong. Recently, China’s president Xi Jinping has introduced the main aim of Chinese foreign policy which was to promote the development of new type of international relations that would improve China. Many people believed that US hegemony would be guaranteed for a long time and now it has appeared that China might be able to contest the world’s hegemonic country. Therefore, this essay will argue whether the America’s hegemony is likely to be challenged by China. This argument will be based on the new China’s foreign policy, its intentions toward their aims and its development in various areas, as well as the current actions the former and the new president of the United States were willing to take.
Beforehand though, it is worth briefly analysing China’s new internal political system and foreign policy where Xi Jinping presented his ideas for China’s future which happened to be by far the loudest statement of this new foreign policy concept. He declared that China will “play its part as a major country and take an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system” (Mardell, 2017). This action suggests that China seeks to transform itself into a more efficient and influential country. It might also mean that Chinese are thinking about the global influence. Since China is already a great power with the ability to influence the international order, fostering a new type of international relations would make it even a greater country. According to the Xi’s speech, the main aim of their foreign policy was to adopt “a community of common destiny with mankind” which is dominant to China’s broader foreign policy. This new main aim defines a new method to international relations that will supplant an outdated model associated with the West (Mardell, 2017). From here it is obvious, that US hegemony might be possibly challenged by the changing and rising China.
It is believed that China's most important role in the world is related to the economy. Since starting market improvements in 1978, China has moved out more than 800 million people out of poverty which made it become the second largest economy in the world (The World Bank, 2017). It also has the world’s largest population and due to its cheap labour work and cheap products, overseas manufacturers are lured to outsource jobs to China (Amadeo, 2017). Moreover, the Chinese market is growing with the latest technologies being developed and many factories being built next to the living zones to attract workers. China has become one of the world's main manufacturing centres and consumes approximately a third of the global supply of iron, steel, and coal (Ikenberry, 2008). Correspondingly, China produces nearly 50% of the total of world production of steel (Petersonn, 2016). The rapid modernization of the country’s economy, construction, infrastructure and manufacturing were the mains reasons for China’s economy rising. Besides that, China’s economy grows on average by 9% per year and most foreign experts believe that it is only a matter of time when the Chinese economy will bypass America. It is also said that China is increasingly playing an important and influential role in the development and in the global economy (The World Bank, 2017). Furthermore, in recent years, China has carefully created its image as a strong state, through various high-profile events like the Beijing Olympic Games and the Shanghai Expo (Pu, 2017). Chinese also believe that in order to pursue its continued modernization and economic development, they need domestic tranquillity and peace (Freeman).
China’s more assertive posturing has partially contributed to the rethinking of US strategy towards China (Pu, 2017). Because mainly of its economic growth, China proved that it would be able to become hegemonic, that is why when Obama was still in the office, he made the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that would make sure that the China’s rising power would be balanced (Amadeo, 2017). This action was made in order to raise US incomes and exports. It also suggested that the rise of China would be slowed down while making America bolstering in Asia as well as making it harder for China to become hegemonic.
However, once Trump entered the office he made sure that Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would be quitted. He explained that TPP was a disaster for the country (Sharman, 2017). Yet Arizona Sen John McCain claims that the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region (Sharman, 2017). Yet, on the other hand, China found it as an advantage since, during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, China’s president said that they would be happy to take over the leadership role in global trade since the United States has now surrendered. This brings the likely effect that this action will make China more superior in the way of coming to be the leading nation. Although China regularly believes it does not want to take over the role of the US's hegemony, Zhang Junas, the director of the department of international economy of the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said that this role might be imposed to them: "If anyone says that China is in the world's leading position, I would have declared that China is not coming forward but the former leaders are being shunned by giving way to China” (2017). In a thinly veiled reference to Trump’s America, Xi’s report made the point that “no country alone can address the many challenges facing mankind, and no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation” (Mardell, 2017). From here it is obvious, that Trump’s drastic actions might not have good consequences for the US country. Since he argued that internal policies, American security, American right to gun and job creation are the most important key. Foreign policy for him is, in general, secondary and important to the extent that it is consistent with the internal political agenda. Meanwhile, Xi promised that China would “reject the Cold War mentality and power politics,” instead offering to build a “community of common destiny for mankind” (Mardell, 2017).
As we can see from this essay, China has started to improve itself and has increased its role in the world, showing the signs that it is capable of peacefully joining America as one of the hegemonies. Its rapidly growing economy has ensured its place in the international system for China offers cheap labour work and cheap products that makes overseas manufacturers to entice their job to Chinese. The main aspects for Chinese economy risings were fast transformation of economy, infrastructure and manufacturing. To ameliorate China’s position in the world and to improve itself as well, China’s president Xi Jinping introduced new foreign policy which was all about being a main country and taking an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system. It was also said that one of their new aims of foreign policy would supplant an outdated version of West. This action suggests that America is in decline as a hegemony. Since Obama took actions to slow down and balance China’s powerful rise, the current US president is doing the opposite that lets China make better moves towards challenging US hegemony and possibly taking over it.
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