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K. Palonka: USA – China desperate fight for impact in Asia

In an interview for „The Wall Street Journal”, President Obama lamented that the opposition in Congress does not allow any rapid finalization of his Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The initiative was meant to serve as an effective counter-weight to China’s deepening relationships with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The US Congressmen still stubbornly block changes in the statute of the International Monetary Fund, in which China and other newly established economic powers have little to say. American diplomacy failed in the process in which it sought to damage the creation and adherence of US allies to AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) also known as the „Chinese bank”. This shows that China is a critical partner in the global game that even a great fondness for the United States did not stop countries such as the UK, Germany, South Korea and Australia from reporting their accession to being members and founders of the bank (now already more than 50 countries, including Poland). American academic circles and think-tanks became inspired by China’s international activity in the sphere of the global economy. It indicates that the conservative attitude of the Congress may lead to further deterioration of US influence, not only in Asia, but in the world.

A report published recently (April 2015) by Harvard Kennedy School [1] stresses that China consistently strengthens its economic power and has recently shown exceptional creativity in the field of institutional solutions. The newly created international bank BRICS (New Development Bank, NDB) turned out to be a remarkable success with the declared 49% ($ 50 billion) share of China in its founding. Additionally, the Silk Road Fund with a similar amount of Chinese money declared with confidence that it will give a unique pace to big projects in Asia and other parts of the globe.

The report’s authors conclude with a certain nostalgia, that the United States is losing its advantage in the world economy, not only in Asia but also in Africa and even in Europe. This refers to their participation in international trade, foreign investments and the future of the dollar as an international currency.

Statistics quoted below clearly show that the fears of the authors find their suspicions in facts.

The comparison of the share of China and the United States in trade with Asian countries (only the flow of goods excluding services) has proved (the possible exception could be the Philippines) to be a major advantage for China in the Asian market. (China: red color, the USA: blue color, data for 2014).

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Similarly, in 2014 the statistics of trade with other regions of the world show a significant contribution from China, while the United States continues to dominate mostly in Latin America. The European Union will still cooperate to a greater extent with the US rather than with China. The dominant economic powers in the EU provide an exception to the rest of Europe e.g. Germany and France, have a respectively greater or equal share in trade with China rather than with the US.

2

The rise of China will undoubtedly soon change the rules and regulations of the current world order. Nobody doubts that the current order and international institutions such as the United Nations or the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and International Monetary Fund) are becoming inefficient. In the future China will increasingly become an active participant of reformation in the current world order. The fundamental question is whether there are chances of those changes being carried out in a peaceful manner. Will the dramatic dynamics in China-US relations lead to chaos and use of force? „Constructive realism” in their mutual relations seems to be a wise option. Or has global history actually been based on prudential solutions?

[1]  Kevin Rudd; US-CHINA 21 ;THE FUTURE OF US-CHINA RELATIONS UNDER XI JINPING – toward a new framework of constructive realism for a common purpose. Harvard Kennedy School- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs . April 2015

Krystyna Palonka – A graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics, doctorate in economics from the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT). Longtime lecturer at Warsaw University of Technology, then worked at the Institute of Japan Studies at the Stockholm School of Economics and Economics Research Center of China. She spent several years at many universities in Far East including countries such as Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. After returning to Poland she wishes to become involved in mainstream research and popularization of all knowledge about the countries of Southeast Asia and their relations with Poland.

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K. Palonka: USA – China desperate fight for impact in Asia Reviewed by on 20 maja 2015 .

In an interview for „The Wall Street Journal”, President Obama lamented that the opposition in Congress does not allow any rapid finalization of his Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The initiative was meant to serve as an effective counter-weight to China’s deepening relationships with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The US Congressmen still stubbornly block

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