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Emerging trends and future prospects of China-US relations

Speakers from both China and Pakistan shared diverse views regarding China-US relations.

Islamabad, 7 July, 2023 (GNP): Institute of Peace and diplomatic studies in collaboration with Riphah Institue of Public Policy hosted a webinar on 7 July, to discuss contemporary China-US relations while analyzing the prospects.

Dr Farhat Asif, the president of the Institute of Peace and Development Studies hosted a virtual event inviting speakers from both China and Pakistan to conduct a comparative analysis of China-US relations.

Professor Cheng Xizhong, a visiting professor at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, China, started with a pessimist view of China-US relations rendering it soaring because of the US’s continuous imperialist and realist views towards the world.

He categorized the world into two halves, the Western evil force led by the US and another Justice force led by China saying, ” Justice will eventually prevail against evil.”

According to Cheng, the US is planning a full-scale war against China as it breaches China’s territorial integrity almost every day and provides advanced weapons to Taiwan.

“The US is not as strong as it used to be, likewise China is not as weak as it used to be,” Cheng added.

Talking about the challenges, Cheng emphasizes that the US should truly respect China’s interests, must stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop saying one thing despite doing another. He agrees upon three crucial principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and a win-win position for both countries to seek dialogue and cooperation.

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Dr. Munawer Hussain, professor at the Area study center for Africa, North, and South America, Quaid e Azam University, Islamabad, presented different narratives regarding US foreign policy and strategies. According to Hussain, US and China share the world’s most important bilateral relations. The world order has transformed from uni to multi-polar as the US is no more the only hegemonic power in the world.

Alongside, International organizations like SCO, ASEAN, and G20, have been playing key roles in improving the world order, Hussain said.

Specifically, he highlighted Singaporean diplomat, Kishore Mahbubani’s perspective that the year 2020 belongs to the West while the rest is all about the East particularly pointing towards China. He shared his opinion that the US-China relations could improve under President Xi’s leadership.

Also, he views America as a realist country prioritizing its self-interests over the interest of other nations while China aims to seek connectivity among all nations. It follows a strategy based on a win-win situation.

Hussain said that both countries can potentially improve the relations because of their economic, and trade dependency. Blinken’s visit, the Shangai conference, and the secretary of state’s visit to China all can be seen as mirroring positive relations between the two nations, Hussain added.

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While addressing Munawer Hussain’s question regarding the US capacity to wage war, Professor Zhou Rong, a Senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Study of Renmin University, China, believes there might be no hard war yet both countries will remain entangled in the cold war.

“The United States has not done much for the Pakistani people, whereas China is continuously assisting Pakistan to become a prosperous, peaceful, and economically stable country,” Zhou stated.

Dr, Tahir Mumtaz, Director of China Study Centre Comsats University, Islamabad, identifies differences in philosophies between the two nations. China seeks the concept of shared prosperity while the US has a realist perspective toward the world, he said.

“There is not a single evidence of China’s colonization rather it achieves a win-win strategy whether it be trade or military interventions,” Tahir emphasized. However, the major ideological difference rests within the intervention vs non-intervention perspective.

Furthermore, Rashid Aftab, the Director of Riphah Institute of Public Policy says cyberspace and advancement in digital technology are the core rivalries between US and China.

In her concluding remarks, Dr. Farhat Asif appreciated the diverse views of fellow speakers rendering it a phenomenal and insightful discussion regarding China-US relations. “Narratives are important to build, and Pakistan must contribute by working together with other nations,” she said.