Options Memo

            The United States has, to this point, used short-term, often inconsistent foreign policies towards China. This has led to the creation a power vacuum in Asia and has precipitated rising tensions between the two superpowers. The United States has, also, stood largely alone against the rising economic hegemony of China. There are a number of potential solutions to these problems that must be considered in future dealings with China.

            One such solution, put forth on http://www.foreignpolicy.com, would be to form some kind of coalition to oppose the growing economic hegemony of China, ideally with other Asian nations like Japan or South Korea. A notable possible ally indeed can be found in India, who shares many of the values often espoused by America’s staunchest and most ardent patriots and supporters. India is a powerful country and shares a border with China. Including India in some sort of coalition, along with the aforementioned nations, could help challenge the continued growth of China’s economic hegemony. The lack of clear and powerful economic allies on the part of the United States has led to a power vacuum in Asia, one China has and will continue to fill if something in American foreign policy does not change soon.

            Another possible solution, also put forth on http://www.foreginpolicy.com, would be to more openly discuss issues of competition between the two nations, both morally and politically, by which I mean the United States could be more forthright in discussing issues of trade and cybersecurity with China, two issues which are certainly hotly contested between the two superpowers. This policy prescription could also apply to the dealing with the allegations of human rights violations being committed by the Chinese government and being more consistent about our stance on Taiwan. The allegations of human rights violations (such as the mass internment of Muslims and the mass surveillance and censoring of their own population) are fundamental differences between the United States and China. The treatment of protestors in Taiwan also fits into this category and these differences need to be clearly and openly dealt with.

            Another thing to consider is, while allegations of human rights violations must never be taken lightly, the collapse of the Chinese economy is viewed unfavorably by the majority of the American people (Roemer, 2019). So, while China may not be the most reputable or morally straight nation on earth, trust should be built between the U.S. and China if serious issues of trade and cybersecurity are to be taken seriously by either side. Right now, there is a lack of trust between our two nations. One possible way to fix this would be to focus on mutually concerning issues and cooperate on them. Some examples of such issues include but are not limited to, counterterrorism, clearing of space debris and health care. These issues do not effect one nation or the other, they effect both. Therefore, if cooperated on, they could help rebuild the trust needed for healthy international relations between the world’s two most powerful economies.


Roemer, T. (2019, November 22). The U.S. Trade War Has Caught Beijing’s Attention. Now Washington Needs a Longer-Term Plan. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/22/us-china-strategy-trade-war/

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