In recent years, China has sought to play a more active and dominant role on the international stage, but has been criticized by other countries for “not playing by the rules of the game. According to media reports, the Trump administration hopes to establish an informal alliance with Western countries to counter China’s use of its economic and trade power to intimidate other countries before it leaves office.
“Whether they have five eyes or ten, if they dare to harm China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, beware of their eyes being poked out.” This is how Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to a statement on the Hong Kong issue issued by the Five Eyes Alliance.
Following the G20 summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held his fifth “1+6” roundtable dialogue with leaders of six major international economic institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the International Labor Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Financial Stability Board.
China’s Internationalization Seeking Cooperation or Trying to Dominate
There is no doubt that China’s international role is no longer the same as it was half a century ago. In recent years, China’s active participation in international affairs and its ambition to dominate the operations of international organizations are obvious to all, but Western countries are gradually raising questions about whether China is a responsible leader. Is China trying to expand its influence and export authoritarian politics to eliminate democracy?
“I think the question of whether China is a responsible global player has become increasingly important over the past year. There is a growing negative perception of China in developed countries, while developing economies are concerned about their growing economic dependence on China.” Riley Walters, economic and technology policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a U.S. think tank, told the station.
As the world’s second-largest economy, China is also adept at using its strengths to exert influence on other countries. For years, China’s trading partners have complained that China has persuaded other countries to open their markets to Chinese goods while protecting their domestic markets from foreign competition. In addition, China has become adept at using trade sanctions to counter criticism from other countries.
White House Seeks Cooperation in Resisting China Trade Sanctions
The Trump administration intends to form an informal alliance to unite Western nations in taking countermeasures against China when it uses its trade power to coerce other nations, the US media outlet The Wall Street Journal has revealed. Administration officials told The Wall Street Journal that the plan was prompted by a series of Chinese trade and economic retaliations following Australia’s call for an investigation into the origins of the new coronavirus.
“It would be good for the United States to continue to build partnerships around the world, not only in such dialogues, but also in expanding trade and investment partnerships. It’s also important for the U.S. to continue to expose some of China’s worst behavior, whether it’s coercive, as it was with Australia, or in other cases,” Walters said.
In April, Australia called for international support for an independent investigation into the origin and spread of the neoconaviruses, prompting Chinese discontent, followed by a series of bans on imports of Australian goods, including wine, barley, cotton and, most recently, the death of high-priced lobsters as a result of Chinese customs delays in lobster exports. In mid-November, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spelled out a list of fourteen items of anti-China behavior by Australia.
Joe Bosco, former chief of the China Section in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, argued that the United States should join forces with like-minded countries to resist China’s strong economic and trade pressures.
“The clever concept of alliance building, as I understand it, is that whenever Beijing imposes an economic penalty on a country for criticizing the Communist Party for persecuting Uighurs or Hong Kong, the other countries will share that economic burden,” Bausch told the station.
He believes that this “all-for-one, one-for-all” approach will encourage more countries to come forward to condemn China’s human rights abuses without fear of a major economic blow to their own economies.
International Organizations: A Platform for Exporting China’s Authoritarianism
On the other hand, China led a total of 15 Asia-Pacific countries to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which will become the world’s largest free trade area. Pu Lin, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Tulane University who worked at Taiwan’s National Institute for Defense and Security Studies, said that China has abandoned its past practice of biding its time and moving toward a path of actively influencing international public opinion and attempting to export authoritarianism.
“China is instead using its power in international organizations and other allies in the international arena to try to change the so-called international norms, or our definition of values, especially in terms of human rights, which is very clear,” he told reporters on Taiwan. He told the station.
At a United Nations conference last year, Belarus issued a joint statement on behalf of 54 countries praising China’s “anti-terrorist” measures in the Xinjiang region and saying that China guarantees the basic human rights of the people of Xinjiang. This example shows China’s attempts to rationalize its authoritarianism through international organizations, Pulin pointed out.
“China is using the platform of international organizations to try to change international norms, to try to define traditional Western values,” he said. He said.
If the West does not take immediate and effective steps to change the status quo, the international situation may be coming under new leadership. Richard Hanania, a research fellow at the Washington think tank Defense Priorities, wrote to NBC on Nov. 23, noting that the United States has faded from its dominant role in international affairs because of China’s rise to prominence. Geopolitical and economic realities are forcing a shift in the U.S. role, and China will dictate the future of U.S. foreign policy. In the article’s analysis, China’s influence is growing and the future of East Asia will depend more on Beijing than on Washington.