In mid-May, I traveled to the United States, met with some US congressmen and professors, talked with representatives of seven think tanks, as well as with selected media. The general impression is this: the views of Americans on China are different, the signals they give are rather complex. In general, experts and their opinions can be divided into three groups.
The first is "pessimists." The most interesting experience for me was a conversation with a professor at the University of Chicago, John J. Mirshaymer, he expressed the most "cruel" point of view on future Sino-American relations. He stressed that if the PRC continues to develop at the current speed, then bilateral confrontation and even conflict will be difficult to avoid. According to him, China is trying to radically change the modern world order, which is in the interests of the country. Than to wait until China becomes strong and gets out of control, it is better to fight it now. Such a position regarding Sino-US relations in the US is held by a minority, quite a few people said that one should not pay attention to such judgments that are divorced from reality.
The second group of people is “optimists”, they are mainly concentrated in the economy, financial and scientific and technical spheres. They have high hopes for cooperation with China, believing that rising China will bring many opportunities through which it will be possible to achieve win-win. They noted that with the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, China’s contribution to the growth of the global economy exceeded 30%, the continued growth of the PRC and Chinese-American cooperation are very important for the United States and the world. Successful transformation of China’s economic growth model will provide great opportunities for large trading countries and multinational companies, and US enterprises — the main partner of the PRC — will benefit greatly.
The third group is people who retain “prudence” or “worry” about China. They constitute the majority in American analytical centers. Many experts frankly expressed their concern about the possibility of stable development of Sino-US relations, but they did not come to extreme conclusions. The brain centers and the media of the United States are actively discussing the intentions of the PRC to expand island construction in the South China Sea, however, obviously, they are not so much concerned about the issue of territoriality, as China’s attempts to expel the US from Asia. In this regard, they firmly stand on the United States to resolutely oppose the expansion of the PRC.
According to American think tanks and media, it is precisely after the growth of China’s influence that any country’s action attracts attention and is in doubt. Perhaps that is why the parties disagree on the problem in the South China Sea, cyber security issues, as well as in science and technology and the military sphere, all these problems are easily hyperbalized and politicized.
Once again, I met Dr. Henry Kissinger. In his conversation, he expressed the firm conviction that the direction of Chinese-American cooperation was correct, in his opinion, it was necessary to communicate more, to cooperate sincerely. As for the future order, Kissinger noted that there is a prospect of one general order in the world, but this will not be easy.
The US position, which is characterized by various concerns and doubts, has affected China on issues such as climate change, maritime search and rescue operations and escorting ships, managing the global economy, and building regional infrastructure. Washington is swinging between support, recognition and doubts, has mixed feelings about the positive and constructive effect of China’s growth. For example, the United States is giving completely incomprehensible signals on the Chinese initiatives to build the "Silk Road Economic Belt", "The 21 Sea Silk Road" and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. However, the development of the situation is stronger than individual people. This time in the USA, I heard a relatively unified conclusion that the United States has no reason not to support or participate in China’s projects.
Humanity has come to this day thanks to a system and an order of equality and mutual respect that were created through negotiations between large countries, and not military actions, there were no other precedents. Are the United States really accustomed and hope to continue to implement the model of world governance, where "they rule and the rest obey"? In recent years, American leaders and academics have stressed the need to preserve world leadership. Or maybe worries about the “leadership role” come from the current US situation and their inability to adapt to the changes of the world? And maybe it is likely that the ups and downs in relations between the two countries reflect these changes?
Putting forward the idea of building a "Sino-American relations of a new type", PRC Chairman Xi Jinping mainly hoped that the two important countries of the world, China and the United States, would be able to get rid of the old path of bilateral rivalry and conflict, follow a new route of cooperation and mutual gains, thereby, provide a model for solving problems in the interaction between large countries in the world.