A Divided World: US-China Rivalry And The Path To Cooperation – OpEd


While the 2024 US presidential campaign builds momentum, the United States and China are tumbling forth in their economic rivalry. This makes it difficult to compromise between trade-offs and long-term planning, especially given China’s powerful presence. Careful thought goes into the seeking of an optimal solution. The United States potentially denies rapprochement with China even at the cost of instability. This question has far-reaching consequences. Yet, on the other hand, China cannot win them all. Thus the United States should only be withdrawing when fairly equitablyPPerhaps still more fundamental is that the United States will regain its dominant position in just three decades if China floats its boat. That is one more worry. You watch the news and see how bad the increasingly disorderly dispute is getting between Australia and China. 

The possibility for a war is substantial, which in turn leads the U.S. to deal with both China’s growth in diplomatic presence and military capability. Hence the tension is also ratcheting up, especially around areas like the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits. Obviously, with the U.S. election forthcoming and nationalist feeling on the rise, there will be some measures put into effect. The point, however, is that what people worry about most is how these regions could become homicide precincts. This further military build-up is a path to disaster: Unchecked, it may ultimately only be redressed by a high price in treasure and blood.

With this in mind, Australia is rethinking ways of maintaining an open conversation and establishing peace. Five ways to build cooperation for global challenges At the same time, for example, although the nature of their relationship forbids it, there are possibilities for cooperation among countries in dealing with shared global challenges such as climate change and pandemics. It is important to appreciate that these problems cannot be effectively dealt with by one nation alone. For instance, the world’s two major emitters of greenhouse gases are the United States and China. If humanity is to cope with the physical and economic risks that climate change poses, then these two countries will need to cooperate. What is also worth remembering is that crises often provide a means for cooperation. As the response to Covid-19 proved, societies even as deeply divided as ours can set aside at least some of their ideological differences and work together to find practical solutions to common problems.

As we write this, the future all over the world is unknown. Economies are being wrecked and countries have taken diametrically opposing stances towards COVID-19; some are hiding information, others deciding policies based on data, and many are combining lockdowns that are done out of goodwill. Only time will tell which of those policies has been successful and can be imitated or whether policies will be specific to the industry. It is worth noting, that after the first draft of this was done some groundbreaking news was attempted and Britain has been the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine! This is a huge step forward in the fight against coronavirus.

The direction of future relations between the U.S. and China is unknown.  With domestic political changes in both countries and a growing impact from events abroad, it is questionable whether the two countries can afford any longer to choose between good and evil.- Furthermore, sudden international crises might require China and the United States to expeditiously deal with them. But no matter what else is entailed, it’s obvious that new thinking and an overhaul of this ancient enmity are necessary. At every stage in this process of persuasion success be denied if both sides don’t proceed as follows: 

1. full-fledged talks are initiated

2. regular communication channels are opened as well as backup plans designed so that things won’t escalate further.

In the future, ways must be found to address and resolve challenges stemming from this rivalry. Summarizing this forthcoming conflict as a “maturing struggle” between Uncle Sam and Panda. Now has all the attributes of real war. But as yet it is something kept within bounds by both sides. So we should always be watchful and wary. In my view, the two countries ‘ deep economic interdependence is the safeguard of the modern Cold War. Therefore, both sides in a manner appropriate to their ongoing cooperation must put together a program for that relationship development, with competition as its theme. They will never be hostile where they compete fiercely; nor should there ever arise an alliance agreement between them which both parties are opposed to but bound by.

The opinions express in this article are the author’s own.


Simon Hutagalung

Simon Hutagalung is a retired diplomat from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and received his master's degree in political science and comparative politics from the City University of New York. The opinions expressed in his articles are his own.

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