December 18th, 2019

Sino-US relationship

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Most Americans think US engagement with China starts with President Nixon. But Sino-US history goes back as far as back as the American Revolution and before that.

In the 17th century, China was already trading with the US, then a U.K. colony. Tea, silk, and porcelains were imported from China. After independence, the US became China’s number two trading partner after British.

Through the 300 odd years of engagement, the relationship between the US and China had good times and bad times, but more often somewhere in between.

In the mid-1800, a large number of Chinese labors came to California in search of gold. By the 1860s, the Chinese were the largest aliens in West America. Expectedly, the US pass laws to ban more Chinese from coming.

Around the same time, many US Christian missionaries went to China. They were impressed by Hong Xiuquan and supported him in the Taiping Rebellion. Taiping Rebellion is one of the bloodiness rebellions in human history that leaves 40 million death, in an attempt to create a new “Heavenly Kingdom” in China. Ironically, the US State Department supported the Qing government instead and squash the rebellion.

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February 20th, 2010

Making sense of Sino-US relationship

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US strategy towards China has been particularly confusing to many people. It is strange that the two major economic power of the world today would taunt each another in so many different issues. This UK Guardian article nicely summarized the situation.

This dysfunctional, agitating approach to Sino-US negotiations and communications only continues to erode the relationship between the two countries, which has already been weakened recently as a result of US comments over internet censorship and the sale of arms to Taiwan. This should not become the normal way for the two nations to engage, particularly when it comes to bilateral issues.

One obvious difference between US and China is the ‘Culture Differences’. ‘Culture differences’ is often used to explain the disagreement but seldom really understood. The background and construct of the political system between the two country couldn’t be greater, that leads to misunderstanding and mistrust.

Let me give two examples:

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