China and US: into “the Age of Complete Rivalry”?



Chinese analysts hold divided views toward US Vice President Mike Pence’s latest speech on the Trump administration’s policy on China.

The question is whether the speech signals ties between Beijing and Washington have entered a new stage of “complete rivalry”, or China is seen as a punching sandbag in the upcoming midterm election.


If there is any doubt that the Trump administration’s China policy has taken a 180-degree turn, a turn not just restricted to trade and economic relations but also now includes all aspects of bilateral relations including security and geopolitics, Vice President Mike Pence’s speech last night at the Hudson Institute hammered the last nail in Washington’s foreign policy coffin, Dr John Gong, professor with Beijing-based University of International Business and Economics, wrote on the CGTN.

Gong said the Trump administration had “unveiled open confrontation with China”.

The 46-year history of Sino-US friendship that began with President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 is now running down the drain.

“An era of cooperation during and even after the Cold War is now gone, thanks to the Trump administration,” he said.

But Gong also wrote Such is also “a typical American political tactic in terms of fabricating, trumping up and orchestrating accusations in a propaganda campaign, when it comes to confronting a foreign nation for a geopolitical agenda”.

And this is beside the point that China has been a punching sandbag in every American election, he added.

Wang Xiaozhu, a foreign affairs analyst, said Pence’s speech means the Sino-US relations have “entered an age of rivalry between different models of development”.

This situation, he said, is likely to last in the foreseeable future.

But others think it’s too early to say the age of competition has come for the world’s two largest economies.

They argue that the Trump administration is resorting to the card of “China bashing” to boost support for the Republicans in the coming midterm election.

They predict the atmosphere will improve before this year’s G20 Summit, which will convene in late November in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, where Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet.

Messages from that meeting will be more crucial.

China on Friday firmly opposed to Pence’s accusations against China’s domestic and foreign policies and said any malicious slander on China is futile.


“The relevant speech made unwarranted accusations against China’s domestic and foreign policies and slandered China by claiming that China meddles in U.S. internal affairs and elections. This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

However, China Daily, China’s official English media, said the bilateral ties are “still hopeful” for long term.

The rising rivalry between China and the United States will not change the overall picture of the two nations’ ‘economic complementarity’, Long Guoqiang, vice-president of the Development Research Center of the State Council, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.



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