Questo che segue è uno studio del Nixon Center ed esamina le radici del potere cinese, sottolineando l’importanza di non sovrastimarlo.
In the heady days of the 1990s, "globalization" was a phenomenon requiring "others" to marketize and eventually democratize. Unfortunately, less time was spent considering how globalization, and China’s multidimensional entry into the world system, would require change in America itself. This oversight contributed to two problems. Internationally, it turned the United States into a global nanny, telling others how they ought to proceed in making the domestic adjustments globalization seemingly required of them, without paying due attention to the implications for ourselves. Domestically, Americans became complacent about maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure of our own national competitiveness, particularly human capital.
Because of its size, rate of change, unanticipated success and political coloration, China has become the poster child for those aspects of globalization that threaten the United States. For his part, President Bush has a balanced view and is seeking to keep relations on an even keel. In his May 31 press conference, he noted that "the relationship with China is a very complex relationship, and Americans ought to view it as such." But increasingly, as seen in the reaction to the attempted takeover of Unocal by the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation, more Americans are beginning to view China in ominous terms. We have witnessed a marked paradigm shift in thinking about China in the last few years, one that threatens to substitute one flawed framework (a "weak China") with another (a "China on steroids"). An April public opinion poll conducted by the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center found that 31 percent of Americans polled agreed with the statement, "China will soon dominate the world."
These perceptions, often exaggerated, have led many Americans, some members of Congress and the top echelons of the Defense Department–all ignorant of the severe problems China faces–in the directions of economic defensiveness and external stridency. In Congress, legislation reminiscent of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 is given at least superficial consideration. The Bush Administration has unilaterally imposed restraints on Chinese textile imports. Congress reacted negatively to the now withdrawn bid for Unocal. And the national security bureaucracies advance "China threat" analyses. Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issued notable warnings in the first half of 2005, though the July Pentagon report on The Military Power of the People’s Republic of China was surprisingly measured.
All this gives rise to four questions. To start, why and how has the dominant paradigm about China changed in the last few years? Second, what debate has this shift unleashed in U.S. policy and academic circles? Third, in what respect is China a competitor to the United States and others? And finally, what should the United States and China do to make that competition as constructive as possible?