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بدھ، 19 جنوری، 2011

China, US: partners or global rivals?

China`s President Hu Jintao believes that the international currency system, in which the US dollar plays the leading role, is a "survival of times past". The Chinese leader said as much the day before his visit to the USA, thus, setting a sharp tone for the upcoming talks with Barack Obama.

The day before the visit, which is due to take place from January 18th to 21st, Hu Jintao criticized the decision of the US Federal Reserve System on the injection of additional 600 billion dollars into the U.S. economy. Some experts believe that this measure will be helpful in lowering the dollar exchange rate, which will give American exporters a powerful advantage but which will damage other countries’ interests.
For its part, the USA has made claims to the Chinese currency policy. Ahead of Hu Jintao’s visit to the USA, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to give a chance to its national currency to stick to the market rate, besides, she urged Beijing to bring to a halt what Washington regarded as discrimination against American companies and urged the China’s leadership to open its markets for imported goods.
"Despite the growing economic interdependence, the relations between China and the USA remain difficult. And it is not only the trade-economic field that matters here. The main thing here is the growing geopolitical might of China and the USA’s reduced potential to put pressure on Beijing," the Deputy Director of the Institute of Far Eastern Countries of the Russian Academy of Sciences Professor Sergei Luzyanin says. 
And the visit of the U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates to China offers proof of this. China’s testing of the 5th generation fighter jet and China’s other developments are an object of concern for and an irritant to Washington. The financial crisis has revealed new tendencies in the Sino-American relations. During the crisis those in Washington believed that China would start combating the crisis and that it would search for away out like the other liberal economies. China was expected to carry a big negative load but this did not happen.
The USA was surprised at the fact that China had recovered from the crisis with a plus and that using its economic leverage it had begun to spread its influence on the regions, which the USA regarded as the sphere of “Western liberal values”. Quite a number of countries in Western Europe, which have found themselves in a very difficult economic situation today, rely on Beijing’s help – including, among other things, China’s help in the placement of their debt commitments. 
And still, the USA has very effective leverage to put pressure on Beijing. What is meant here is Washington’s military cooperation with Taiwan. This painful issue is expected to feature prominently at the upcoming summit. Before his visit to the USA, China’s President, acknowledging the existing differences and painful issues in relations between China and the USA, stressed that the two sides should, first of all, take into account the vital interests of the two countries’ peoples. Translating from the diplomatic language, this means that in the issues concerning China’s security, Beijing will make no concessions at all. A cool attitude to the idea of G2, or the “global duet”, also confirms that China will not play according to the rules, set by Washington. Taking into account all of the above-mentioned, we can understand perfectly well what Hu Jintao’s criticism of the “dollarization” of the world economy, which he voiced before visiting the USA, was caused by.
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