Apparent tensions between China and the U.S. are nothing to fear according to New York Times op-ed contributor Minxin Pei.Some degree of argument between the two nations is inevitable given the massive divide between the nations’ political values.
But this values divide is dwarfed by the enormous economic relationship the two nations share.
In many ways, the sudden worsening of ties between Beijing and Washington really means that U.S.-China relations are returning to “normalcy.” Because of the deep and unbridgeable differences between the two countries in terms of their political values… Chumminess and absence of tensions, as displayed during Mr. Obama’s first year in office, are actually the exception.
While it is true that the Chinese government has turned up its blustering several notches, we should learn to tell bark from bite. Other than cancelling its military exchange program with the U.S., which is not viewed as productive in any case, China’s retaliations are mostly rhetorical and symbolic. The real test, of course, will be Iran. If Beijing single-handedly blocks sanctions against Tehran at the United Nations Security Council, that would be serious. But Chinese leaders must also know that they will surely face the united wrath of the United States and Europe, a prospect no smart mandarins in China relish.
So quit worrying about current tensions escalating past mere bluster and get used to it. The two nations will constantly argue, but in the end they are now economically inseparable and actually fit each other well due to their vastly different stages of development. After so much economic integration between the two nations, there’s no turning back now. Thus it’s in their best interests to always make up in the end, and they will.
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