Why Joseph Nye’s Advice To US Policymakers On China Is Relevant – OpEd


US Should Avoid Demonizing China

Harvard luminary Joseph Nye Jr would like the USA to adopt a policy of avoiding “demonizing each other and realize that the relationship is not like the Cold War. There is much more economic, social, and ecological interdependence between the US and China than ever existed between the US and the Soviet Union. Instead, policy-makers should see the relationship as a ‘cooperative rivalry’ or ’competitive coexistence’ with equal attention to both parts of the description”. 

Xi Jinping’s Inexperience In Dealing With Superpowers

The problem facing global insecurity is mainly due to the inexperience of Xi-Jinping in dealing with superpowers following the Second World War. Absent were Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev who had the foresight to propose advancing comprehensive proposals dealing with strategic offensive and defensive weapons. The agreement seemed at hand for reductions of at least 50 percent in strategic offensive arms.

When Reagan proposed a subsequent elimination of all strategic ballistic missiles, Gorbachev counter-proposed eliminating all strategic nuclear weapons. Reagan then said he would be prepared to eliminate all nuclear weapons—and Gorbachev promptly agreed.

Contrarily there is Xi Jinping, who after the recently held CCP meeting where he appears to have surpassed Mao Tse Tung electing himself President for life. 

“Cold warriors lived most obviously in the United States and the Soviet Union, but because the Cold War enveloped the world its warriors were everywhere. They included the Presidents of the USA from Harry S. Truman to George H. W. Bush, and their secretaries of state, among them John Foster Dulles, Dean Rusk, and Henry Kissinger. Many other U.S. government officials were cold warriors: appointees such as George F. Kennan, Paul Nitze, and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, and elected representatives including senators William Knowland, Joseph McCarthy, and Hubert H. Humphrey. There were members of the intelligence community (J. Edgar Hoover, Edward G. Lansdale, William Colby), prominent journalists who interpreted the Cold War to the American people (Walter Lippmann, James Reston), and theologians, among them Billy Graham, who saw the Cold War as a moral challenge to Americans. In the Soviet Union a commitment to the Cold War was necessary for the leaders who followed Joseph Stalin after 1953, from Nikita Khrushchev to Konstantin Chernenko. The ideologue Andrei Zhdanov was a cold warrior of the first magnitude. Soviet diplomats carried out their superiors’ orders but contributed as well their own mite to the conflict; among them were the longtime foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the ambassador to the United States Andrei Gromyko. Lavrenti Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police, maintained a bloodstained vigil against all forms of Cold War heterodoxy.” ( Andrew J Rotter-May 21 2018). 

Many pages of history have gone by. 

Change From Mao To Xi Jinping

Mao’s China is no longer the China of Xi Jinping. Yet basically both Mao and Xi Jinping have very little value for human lives. During Mao’s fight to establish Communism in China millions of people died of hunger and fighting. These facts were brought to the notice of Mao Tse Tung but his responses were that the deaths were inevitable under such circumstances.

Xi Jinping is not callous about human deaths as his response to covid-19 has shown despite his utmost efforts to contain news from spreading out. He succeeded to control the panic within China because of Orwellian tactics employed within the geographical area of China.

Poverty Discussion At Davos Conference

Contrarily the Davos meeting held recently is equally obnoxious because the attendees who have gone to the best schools and have no connection with the poor speak on poverty and how to remove this curse from the face of the earth.

Hamilton Nolan (The Guardian-Australian Edition) has written in a recent article “The utility of any actually worthwhile networking or communication or information-sharing that occurs in the halls of Davos pales in comparison to the inferno of disgust that its existence stokes among millions of angry, mistreated, locked out people around the world who will never set foot inside its security cordon. If nothing else, the attendees of Davos should shut it down out of pure self-interest. They’re making everyone mad.”

He added “ The only useful thing that happens at Davos each year is the release of Oxfam’s report on economic inequality, a document that always drives home exactly why Davos is a monstrosity. This year, Oxfam found that the richest 1% of people had pocketed two-thirds of all the wealth created in the past two years”. 

Poverty And Bangladesh

In this milieu where do countries like Bangladesh fit in?

We have neither the muscle nor the wealth. Bangladesh has to steer its way between India and China. President Joe Biden has already declared China as the foremost enemy of the USA and having lost unipolarity that the US had been enjoying since 1954 and is busy repairing the damage wrought by President Donald Trump and building a bridge of freedom loving countries of the world particularly the European Union countries (Germany may be the odd man out despite its support to Ukraine). As mentioned earlier US Presidents from Reagan to Joe Biden have consistently followed a an anti-China policy 

Ambassador Kazi Anwarul Masud

Kazi Anwarul Masud is a former Secretary and ambassador of Bangladesh

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