2007 年 2007 巻 150 号 p. 150-167,L16
This paper examines major influences brought on by the end of the Cold War with regards to U. S. -China relations and analyzes the underlying factors made prominent by changes in U. S. -China relations in the post-Cold War era.
From the Sino-American rapprochement to the end of the Cold War, the United States and China have developed a strategic cooperative relationship in order to cope with Soviet power. Despite previous antagonism, Washington and Beijing joined forces to deal with their common Soviet adversary. With the absence of the overriding Soviet threat in the post-Cold War era, the U. S. and China have reconsidered each other's strategic influences and positions. The collapse of the previous bipolar system has significantly impacted Sino-U. S. relations. China has been using its privileged membership in the P-5 as a political and diplomatic instrument to increase its diplomatic power. Cooperative management of U. S. -China relations is important to the interests of both countries. China's rapid rise as a regional economic, political and diplomatic power with global aspirations is an important element of contemporary U. S. -China relations. It is an inescapable imperative that the relationship between the U. S. and China not be adversarial. Therefore, China is promoting multilateralism and its New Security Policy, which is based on cooperation and trust. Chinese multilateralism and the New Security Policy were formed as political instruments to restrain the U. S. containment policy toward China.
These changing contexts have affected the way in which the United States and China currently address chief elements in their relationship such as conflicts over human rights, issues regarding Taiwan, the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and economic ties. China's economic trajectory has driven its expanding energy needs, which has now made China the world's second largest energy consumer behind the United States. This growing energy demand has created an increasing dependence on imported oil. To enhance its energy security, China has developed energy deals with countries deemed “dangerous” or “problematic” to U. S. “concerns” through political accommodations and sales or transfers of weapons and military technology to these nations, including Iran and Sudan, whose blatant abuse of human rights is supported by arms supplied by China. These dictatorial administrations oppose criticism from Europe and the U. S. by using the China's veto power in the United Nations to bypass U. S. concerns regarding human rights violations. China also has great potential to compete militarily with the United States, utilizing field-disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional U. S. military advantages. Growing modernization in China's strategic forces has enhanced its strategic strike capabilities and is improving beyond that of Taiwan's. China's continued pursuit of area denial and anti-access strategies is expanding from traditional land, air, and sea dimensions of the modern battlefield to include space and cyber-space. Taiwan remains the most sensitive and complex issue for China. Recently, Taiwan's political environment has become unstable due to political disagreement between the DPP and opposition parties, ever-shifting political pressure of the PRC on Taiwan, wobbly U. S. -Taiwan relations, and the constant push by President Chen Shuibian of the PRC to establish a separate international identity for Taiwan. Although China is the second-largest U. S. trading partner, economic issues are now a growing source of contention between the U. S. and China.