American National Interest


The current paper analyzes relations between the United States and China. Moreover, it provides examples, which show the benefits for the USA from Sino-American relations. The work explores three main aspects of relations, including economic, cultural, and political aspects. The analysis of the economic aspect includes statistic data, percentages of the profits, which are already gained; additionally, it shows the future revenue of the USA. The cultural aspect researches the issue regarding students exchange between the United States and China and provides examples of the benefits in this area. The political aspect explores the newest events regarding relations Between China and the United States, which took place during the last 3 years. Moreover, it shows that relations between the two countries on diplomatic and military levels began to become better. The results of the explorations portray that relations between the United States and China could bring more benefits and profits than relations with Russia.

Russia is More Important to the USA’s National Interests than China. Do You Agree or Disagree with This Statement?

Throughout world history, relations between the USA, China, and Russia were always stressful. It was a brilliant chess move when in 1971 President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger used the unbelievable desire of China to find protection from the USSR (Blanchard & Shen, 2015, p. 94). Therefore, they made a great discovery of the United States for China. Such a clever move led to the formation of a political triangle and turned the ideology upside down by turning two communist regimes against each other. Nowadays, tensions between the US and Russia cause Washington to be in predicament. Such a situation can lead to severe consequences for Asia and the world order. The relations between China and Russia are now as close as never, which allows them to change the world order in their way. These interrelations could lead to a dangerous situation in the world arena. Therefore, China is an important partner for the USAs national interests while Russia continues to lose its political and economic positions in the contemporary world. Moreover, such organizations as United Nations and the European Union blame Russia for creating and supporting military conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Thus, the United States needs to strengthen its bonds with China. Therefore, this paper will analyze the economic, cultural, and political aspects that could bring advantages for the USAs national interests from the relations with China.

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Economic Aspects

The United States is highly interested in economic relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC). The growing interdependence of the economies of both nations represents the main rationale behind such genuine interests. China is a country with the largest trade surplus and foreign exchange reserves in the world (Blanchard & Shen, 2015, p. 101). Naturally, the US is interested in such a powerful partner. Since China is the USA’s economic partner, the trade turnover of 562 billion dollars primarily supports the growth of the US economy and increases the purchasing power of the US population (Peterson, Clifford, Brigham, Donoghue, & Hagan, 2014, p. 86). It creates an additional source of revenue for companies that have chosen China as a place for the final manufacturing of their products (Blanchard & Shen, 2015, p. 88). For many US companies, cooperating with China is a key strategical choice that helps the global market be competitive. For the US, China is the largest source of imported goods and the rapidly growing market for USAs exports. Over the past six years, the USAs export to China grew by 90%, with the volume expected to reach 300 billion dollars in 2012 (OECD, 2011, p.132). For numerous US companies such as Boeing, Caterpillar, General Motors, and others China market is even more important than the US market. Furthermore, it is well-known fact that Beijing is the largest holder of US debt (more than 1,3 trillion dollars.)(OECD, 2011, p.140). Moreover, the continuing of the China policy to buy US bonds enables US Fed to keep the key rate at a record low level that helps to conduct monetary policy to stimulate the economy.

The two goals were outlined with the arrival of the Obama administration in the White House. The first one is a de-escalation of the ideological and political confrontations with China. The second notion aims to enhance the mutual economic relations with PRC (Tai, 2015, p. 87). The new position reflects the current USA’s economic expectations from the Sino-American cooperation. For example, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner promised to deal with currency manipulator, which means, to get the Beijing appreciation of the national currency, which is supported on administrative profitable for Chinese producers level (OECD, 2011, p.123). China is also interested in the protection of the American market, which is the largest in China, and attracts foreign investors. It allows the state to develop even its most unprofitable sectors of the economy. China also needs funds for the modernization of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army of China). The comparison shows that the volume of trade between the two countries in 2012 exceeded 536 billion dollars, and increased by 6,6 times since 2001 (80.5 billion dollars) (Wang, 2013, p.76). In that time, Chinese exports amounted to 425.6 billion USD and its import was 110.5 billion dollars (Wang, 2013, p.78). The general export of China’s economy is 36.6%, where 20% goes to USAs markets (OECD, 2011, p.129). The share of China’s amount in the US high-tech imports increased by almost 40% compared to 14% in 2003 (OECD, 2011, p.127) (OECD, 2011, p.130). The volume of US investments in 59 thousand Chinese projects is 115 billion dollars (OECD, 2011, p.132). The economies of China and the USA have become increasingly interdependent.

The comparison between China and Russia shows that China is a more profitable partner for the USA. GDP growth for the last decade is 5% in Russia and 10 % in PRC (Ballacqua, 2010,p.88). In the future, the growth is expected to be 3-4% in Russia, 7-8% in China (Ballacqua, 2010,p.90). As for the share of export, the data show that PRC has 90% of the manufactures share of export and Russia has only 15% (Ballacqua, 2010,p.91). Therefore, without a doubt, China has much more goods to offer. One of the main factors, which define the state of the economy, is the source of economic growth. Chinas source is investments and industrial expansion. Such a growth strategy fits the United States because the US is expecting China investments. However, Russia’s source is capacity utilization and energy prices. Such source is highly dependent on the global prices of oil and gas. It makes the economy of Russia to be unstable and vulnerable to external factors.

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The trade connections between the USA and PRC over the past 10-15 years have grown rapidly and become a serious factor for the US market (Sutter, 2012, p. 153). The United States imports Chinese silk, textile goods, clothing, toys, porcelain ware, and electronics products. Exports to China, on the other hand, encompass trucks and cars, sophisticated construction and manufacturing equipment, machines, and communication systems. Quite promising is the involvement of Chinese investments in the US economy, the volume of which was doubled in 2012-2013 (OECD, 2011, p.123). It considerably facilitates the creation of new jobs in the United States. Only in the second quarter of this year, Chinese enterprises invested 2.1 billion US dollars in the American economy (Sutter, 2012, p. 155). The amount of investments in signed contracts exceeds 10 billion (Sutter, 2012, p. 159). At the same time, the US investment in China increased by 7.2% in 2013 and amounted to 3.4 billion dollars (Sutter, 2012, p. 161). Beijing and Washington stepped up in negotiations on the contract on investment that the US considered as a basic condition for increasing their investments in those sectors that are still strictly regulated by the authorities of China and are the most profitable.

China’s interests include the desire of Beijing to make the yuan global currency and the global expansion of its investment in the US economy. PRC intends to get rid of energy dependence. During Barack Obama’s visit to China in 2010 were signed several agreements in the field of clean energy and related issues were (Wang, 2016, p 152). In 2014, the Chinese chairman Xi and President Obama made a joint statement on plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions (Wang, 2016, p. 160). Beijing has also focused on concerted projects with the US on innovation and the latest technologies. Thus, the two economic powers are interested in further development of cooperation.

Cultural Aspects

China and the US administration have achieved the desired consensus on the strengthening of cultural exchange relations. Since then, the process of the development of relations between the two countries was marked by a sharp improvement in cultural relations, thereby strengthening the social foundations of a long-term and stable development.

During the visit to China, US President Barack Obama acquired an important consensus with the Chinese President on the strengthening of the relations of cultural exchange between the two countries (Liu, 2015, p. 56). The two governments issued a collective statement, declaring their common intention to promote the creation of a new mechanism for the maintenance of bilateral relations in this area. In May 2010 the organization for assisting Chinese-American cultural dialogue was established in Beijing, assisting in arranging the conference within the framework of discussions on the development of cultural relations (Liu, 2015, p. 75). In 2011, in Washington, the second meeting devoted to the issue of the further development of cultural dialogue was conducted.

Cultural exchange is a bridge to enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust between states and to stimulate the dynamic development of Sino-American relations. (Liu, 2015, p. 56). The member of the State Council Liu Yandong, who was serving as the representative of the Chinese side to the organization for facilitating Sino-American cultural dialogue at the highest level during the second meeting, declared it. As noted by Hillary Clinton, who was a representative of the American side, cultural exchange and cooperation are of particular importance for the development of bilateral relations between China and the United States (Sutter, 2013, p.68). What is more, she highlighted that favoring the expansion of ties between the two nations enhances mutual understanding, as well as contributes to the drilling of a solid basis for strong relationships. Creating an entity with the view to promote enhanced Chinese-American relations was the basis of the process of bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperation (Liu, 2015, p. 97).

Exchange in the field of education is an important component of cultural contacts, supported by China and the United States. According to the data from 2010 to 2011, the number of Chinese students studying in the United States compared to the previous academic year, increased by 22 %, reaching almost 158 thousand people (Liu, 2015, p. 80). The number of American students who came to China to study, increased by 2 % and was 14 thousand people (Liu, 2015, p. 72). US President Barack Obama designed a plan, according to which the United States for next 4 years would send for schooling to China about 100 thousand American students (Wang, 2016, p.33). The Chinese students study in the USA colleges such subjects as business management, engineering, and mathematics. Most of these individuals pay for education by themselves or with the help of their families. For the US economy, it is about 17 billion additional revenue flows (Sutter, 2013, p.73). Last year, the United States trained 235 thousand students from China, which is a record for a single country (Liu, 2015, p. 89). Daughter of the current Chinese leader Xi Jinping is among the foreign students who study in the USA is (Wang, 2016, p. 54). She studies at Harvard under the other name. The authorities of China believe that the new generation, which is now studying in America, will be a valuable addition to Sino-American relations. The United States is convinced that increasing the number of American students in China will help to spread American culture on the continent. There is an interesting fact that one of the daughters of President Barack Obama, Sasha, advanced so much in the knowledge of Chinese, she could exchange a few words with the Chinese leader during a dinner in honor of President Hu Jintao at the White House (Wand, 2016, p. 171). It proves that the Chinese language becomes more popular each day.

The comparison of cultural aspects between China and Russia shows convincing results which state about the very low level of Russia educational system and culture values. Russia has serious problems in the educational system. Such problems as corruption and cheating are highly spread in the educational system of the country. Moreover, the education authorities did not aim to solve this problem. Therefore, students who graduated from Russian educational institutions cannot apply their knowledge to the development of the country. In such cases, country investments in education do not result in revenue. At the same time, China receives profit from educational investments. Another severe problem in Russia is that students who went abroad did not want to come back. It is caused by the low level of life and the inability to find a job in Russia. In 1994 – 2001, the number of Russian citizens who participated in the US government training programs was at the level of about 10 thousand people per year (Wang, 2013, p. 145). Since 2002 there was a rapid increase in the number of students and in 2006 (on the eve of presidential elections in 2008) there were already more than 40 thousand (Wang, 2013, p. 149). Then the recession in 2010 when the number of students was less than 10 thousand people (Wang, 2013, p. 1150). In 2014, Russia stopped the students exchange program with the United States (MacFarquhar and Gordon). It states that Russia does not want any cultural and diplomatic relations with America.

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Political Aspects

The condition of the political relations between China and the United States always was hard to define. However, for the last few years, political relations moved in a positive direction between these countries. In 2015, the political leader of China Xi Jinping declared that the two countries should strive to build a new model of relations between the major powers, which implies the absence of confrontation, despite the emerging friction (The White House 2015). In the New Development Bank, a Chinese representative announced the unstoppable movement toward US-China cooperation (Wang, 2016, p. 76). In his first speech in Seattle, Xi Jinping pledged not to devalue the yuan, while expressing confidence at the end of a turbulent period for the stock exchange (Wang, 2016, p. 78). Moreover, he signed a contract for the purchase of 300 Boeing aircraft and the construction of a factory in China (Wang, 2016, p. 79). US corporate leaders are hoping and signing bilateral investment, which should stimulate bilateral trade, the volume of which in the 2016 year is expected to exceed 550 billion dollars (Wang, 2016, p. 88). In comparison, in 2015 the trade turnover between China and Russia was only 30 billion dollars (Wang, 2016, p. 95). Furthermore, China perceives the US as one of the areas for tourism development. About 1.8 million Chinese who have visited the United States last year have spent on goods and services almost 10 billion dollars (Gillman, 2015). It is worth noting that the United States facilitates the process of getting visas for the Chinese. In addition, there is progress in Sino-American military cooperation. This year the US Army and China will likely hold joint grounds training (Wang, 2016, p. 105). Additionally, it is planned to sign additional agreements in the military sphere between the two countries before the President of China Xi Jinping will visit the United States in September 2016 (The White House 2015). Such evidence shows that relations between USA and China are developing rapidly. Moreover, this cooperation already brought advantages for the USA. Therefore, close political cooperation is expected between the two countries in the future.


All aspects presented above prove that China is more important for the USA’s international interests than Russia. The former deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation states that Russia has lost its influence in the world; its economy is in a dangerous condition (Aleksashenko, 2015). Therefore, it is highly unprofitable for the United States to maintain good relations with Russia. Economic, social, and political aspects show that America could gain more benefits from the relationship with China. In addition, the rapid extension of the Chinese influence in contemporary society and the development of the country’s economy shows that China will become a serious player in the world economic and military arena. Thus, it is very useful for the USA to have such a strong partner in the future. Therefore, I do not agree with the statement that Russia is more important to the USA’s national interests than China.

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