Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States : Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics? [1st ed.] 9783658316594, 9783658316600

Jörg Vogelmann looks into one of the central political and economic relationships of the 21st century. The author finds

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Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xvi
Introduction (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 1-58
The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 59-203
Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 205-340
Empirical Verification (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 341-534
Implications (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 535-561
Conclusion (Jörg Vogelmann)....Pages 563-568
Back Matter ....Pages 569-664
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Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen

Jörg Vogelmann

Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics?

Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen Series Editor Thomas Jäger, Köln, Germany

More information about this series at http://www.springer.com/series/12384

Jörg Vogelmann

Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States Economically Based Cooperation or Strategic Power Politics?

Jörg Vogelmann Stuttgart, Germany Dissertation University of Cologne 2018/2019

ISSN 2626-2339 ISSN 2626-2347  (electronic) Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen ISBN 978-3-658-31659-4 ISBN 978-3-658-31660-0  (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0 © Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer VS imprint is published by the registered company Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH part of Springer Nature. The registered company address is: Abraham-Lincoln-Str. 46, 65189 Wiesbaden, Germany

To my parents, Ingeborg and Jürgen Vogelmann, and Carina

Acknowledgements The author gained significant insights and received constructive feedback particularly during his stay in 2007/2008 at the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary (Canada) and in 2008 at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Office of the United Nations and to other International Organizations in Vienna, as a research assistant, associate, and lecturer at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Stuttgart in 2005-2006/2009-2012, and in 20092018 as a doctoral candidate at Prof. Dr. Thomas Jäger’s Chair of International Politics and Foreign Policy Studies at the Research Institute for Political Science and European Affairs at the University of Cologne. The author would like to extend his most sincere gratitude and appreciation to his primary doctoral adviser, Prof. Dr. Thomas Jäger, to his master’s thesis advisors Prof. Gavin Cameron, PhD (University of Calgary), Prof. Dr. Dirk Nabers (Kiel University), and Prof. Doris Fuchs, PhD (University of Münster), to PD Dr. habil. Carsten Giersch (University of Rostock), Prof. Dr. Christoph Weller (University of Augsburg), Ambassador Peter Gottwald and Counselor Martina Hackelberg, and to all professors, colleagues, interlocutors, friends, and family members that provided so valuable perspectives and support.

Table of Contents 1 Introduction ................................................................................................ 1 1.1 Research Issue and Topicality ................................................... 1 1.2 Review of Literature .................................................................. 22 1.3 Research Design ....................................................................... 35

2 The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations ......................... 59 2.1 China and the United States in the World Economy ............. 69 2.2 China and the United States in the Military Realm .............. 126 2.2.1 Quantitative Military Perspective......................................... 126 2.2.2 Qualitative Military Perspective ........................................... 152 2.3 Synopsis .................................................................................. 181

3 Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations ......... 205 3.1 Neoliberalism ........................................................................... 205 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4 3.1.5

The Basic Idea: Interdependence ....................................... 207 From Interdependence to Globalization .............................. 227 From Globalization to Global Governance .......................... 242 Cooperation in a Globalizing World .................................... 250 Neoliberal Hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior................................... 263

3.2 Neorealism ............................................................................... 277 3.2.1 Basic Neorealist Thought: A Rather Grim Picture of World Politics .................................................................. 279 3.2.2 Defensive Neorealism ......................................................... 286 3.2.3 Rise and Fall Neorealism .................................................... 314 3.2.4 Neorealist Hypotheses on PRC and U.S. (Relational) Foreign Policy Behavior................................... 326

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Table of Contents

4 Empirical Verification ........................................................... 341 4.1 The Taiwan Issue..................................................................... 341 4.1.1 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the Taiwan Issue .......................................... 345 4.1.2 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the Taiwan Issue ............................ 380 4.2 The North Korea Issue ............................................................ 415 4.2.1 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the PRC in the North Korea Issue................................... 426 4.2.2 The Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Behavior of the United States in the North Korea Issue..................... 465 4.3 Summary and Interpretation of Empirical Results ............... 531

5 Implications........................................................................... 535 5.1 Scholarly Implications ............................................................ 535 5.2 “Real-World” Implications – Sino-U.S. and International Relations in the 21st Century ................................................. 545

6 Conclusion ............................................................................ 563 Bibliography.............................................................................. 569

Table of Contents

List of Figures Figure 1: Figure 2: Figure 3: Figure 4: Figure 5: Figure 6: Figure 7: Figure 8: Figure 9: Figure 10: Figure 11: Figure 12: Figure 13: Figure 14: Figure 15: Figure 16: Figure 17:

Research Design of the Thesis ........................................... 58 GDP of the United States and China, 1991-2021 ............... 76 Percentage of World GDP of the United States and China, 1991-2021 ........................ 77 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2015 Including the EU ..................................................... 78 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2021 Including the EU ..................................................... 79 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2015 (National Basis) ...................................................... 80 Percentage of World GDP of Major Economic Powers in 2021 (National Basis) ...................................................... 80 Annual Exports of Goods of China, the United States, and Germany, 1991-2015 ................................................... 85 Annual Total Trade in Goods of China, the United States, and Germany, 1991-2015 ...................... 86 Overview of Sino-U.S. (Bilateral) Merchandise Trade, 1991-2015 ........................................................................... 93 Inward Flows of FDI in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1991-2015 .............................................. 105 Outward Flows of FDI of the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1991-2015 .............................................. 108 General Government Gross Debt of the United States and China, 2001-2021 ...................... 113 The Exchange Rate of the Chinese Yuan/Renminbi to the U.S. Dollar and PRC Currency Policy, October 1993 - December 2016 ........................................ 120 Military Expenditure of the Top Ten Military Spenders in the World, 1991-2015 (National Basis).......................... 131 Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the Top Ten Military Spenders in 2015 (National Basis) ......... 133 Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the Top Military Spenders in 2015 Including the EU ............... 133

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List of Figures

Figure 18: Percentage of World Military Expenditure of the United States and China, 1991-2015 ...................... 134 Figure 19: PRC Military Expenditure as a Share (%) of U.S. Military Expenditure, 1991-2015............................ 136 Figure 20: Development of U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure, 1991-2015........................................ 138 Figure 21: Military Expenditure of China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and North Korea, 1991-2015 ......... 141 Figure 22: U.S. and Chinese Military Expenditure as Percentage of GDP, 1991-2015 ................................... 148 Figure 23: Military Expenditure as Percentage of GDP of the Top Ten Military Spenders in 2015 (National Basis) ......... 149 Figure 24: U.S. and Chinese Total Armed Forces Active, 1991-2016 ......................................................................... 150 Figure 25: The Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Relations and the Theory Part of the Thesis ..................................... 203

List of Tables Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4: Table 5:

The United States in World Trade and Selected U.S. Bilateral Trade in 2015 .......................... 89  The PRC in World Trade and Selected PRC Bilateral Trade in 2015 ......................... 91  Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Interdependence ............... 188  Structural Frame of the Sino-U.S. Economic Power Transition Under Way ............................................ 196  Structural Frame of Sino-U.S. Shifts in Military Power ...... 201

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations APEC ARF ASAT ASEAN A2/AD bn. C4ISR

CIA CIIC

CNOOC CPC CVID

DPP DPRK EAS ESM EU FCIC FDI Fed GDP

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ASEAN Regional Forum Anti-Satellite Weapon Association of Southeast Asian Nations Anti-Access/Area Denial (military capabilities) billion Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (military concept/capabilities) Central Intelligence Agency China Internet Information Center (government portal site www.china.org.cn, published under the aegis of the State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group) China National Offshore Oil Corporation Communist Party of China Complete, Verifiable, and Irreversible Dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons programs (as a precondition for rewards by the United States; demand/bargaining position particularly of the George W. Bush administration towards North Korea, maintained at least until September 2005) Democratic Progressive Party (in the Republic of China on Taiwan) Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Official denomination of North Korea) East Asia Summit European Stability Mechanism European Union Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Foreign Direct Investment the Federal Reserve System Gross Domestic Product

xiv

GPS GWOT HS

IAEA ICC IGO IISS IMF IOSCPRC IR ISS KEDO

MAD

MCPRC MER NATO NGO NPT NSA PaI PLA PPP PRC R&D RIMPAC

List of Abbreviations

(U.S./satellite-based) Global Positioning System the U.S.-led “Global War on Terror” after 9/11 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (classification system by the World Customs Organization for traded products) International Atomic Energy Agency International Criminal Court Intergovernmental Organization the International Institute for Strategic Studies International Monetary Fund Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China International Relations (denomination of the discipline) International Space Station Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (founded in 1995 by the United States, Japan, and South Korea, and de facto disbanded in 2005/2006) Mutually Assured Destruction (security policy concept building upon the logics concerning a potential nuclear escalation between at least two nuclear powers with solid second-strike capabilities) Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China Market Exchange Rate North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Transnational) Non-Governmental Organization Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons National Security Agency Book title: “Power and Interdependence” (Keohane/Nye 1977; 1989) People’s Liberation Army (of the PRC) Purchasing Power Parity People’s Republic of China Research and Development (U.S.-led multinational) (maritime) Rim of the Pacific Exercise

List of Abbreviations

RMA

ROC ROK SCO SDR

SIPRI TCOG

THAAD TNC TPP

TRA tr. TTIP

TWEA UN UNCTAD UNDP UNSC

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Revolution in Military Affairs (military concept focusing in this day and age especially on superior military information processing, networked branches/units, and smart weapons systems) Republic of China on Taiwan Republic of Korea (Official denomination of South Korea) Shanghai Cooperation Organization Special Drawing Right (IMF reserve asset, comprising a basket of the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the British pound and (since October 2016) the Chinese renminbi/yuan) Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (established in April 1999 to advance policy coordination among the United States, South Korea, and Japan in particular in the North Korea issue) Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (U.S. anti-ballistic missile system) Transnational Corporation Trans-Pacific Partnership (international trade agreement between the United States and eleven states in the AsiaPacific (without the PRC); signed in February 2016, ratification though stopped under the Trump administration) Taiwan Relations Act trillion Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (negotiations on such a trade and investment agreement between the United States and the European Union started in 2013; agreement though highly unlikely under the Trump administration) (U.S.) Trading With the Enemy Act United Nations United Nations Conference on Trade and Development United Nations Development Programme United Nations Security Council

xvi

U.S. USBEA USCB USDOD USDOS USDOT USGPO USPACOM

USSR USTR WMD WTO 6PT

9/11 $ £

List of Abbreviations

United States (of America) U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis U.S. Census Bureau U.S. Department of Defense U.S. Department of State U.S. Department of the Treasury U.S. Government Publishing Office United States Pacific Command (geographic/the largest Unified Combatant Command of the United States Armed Forces) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Office of the United States Trade Representative Weapons of Mass Destruction World Trade Organization the Six-Party Talks on the North Korea (nuclear) issue; the parties comprised the United States, the PRC, Russia, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea (the terrorist attacks of) September 11th, 2001 U.S. dollar Pound sterling (currency of the United Kingdom)

List of Abbreviations

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Introduction

1 Introduction

1.1

Research Issue and Topicality

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

The Ascent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) The rise of large newly industrializing countries like China and India belongs to the most fundamental constitutive processes in the evolving international system of the 21st century1. Especially since the world economic crisis in 2007-2009 and the subsequent state debt and economic issues in the old industrialized triad of the world economy (in Europe, the United States, and Japan as well)2, the “new”/resurgent players in world politics have received greater scholarly and public attention. Their economic and political ascent has spurred a vibrant debate in the humanities, the economic and social sciences, and particularly in the discipline of International Relations (IR)3, a debate whose origins can be traced back at least to the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. However, the increasing significance of the emerging markets in general, and of the BRIC4 states in particular, as well as the partly corresponding,

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The doctoral thesis at hand builds to some extent upon the author’s master’s thesis, which was accomplished in 2007-2008 at the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary, Canada, and at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Stuttgart, Germany (Vogelmann 2008). The triad (of the world economy) is a term commonly used in economics, economic geography and globalization theory and denominates the three centers of the world economy: Europe, North America, and East/Southeast Asia. Formerly, the Asian pillar of the triad had only been represented by Japan. However, the concept has been updated, and now includes the (“tiger”) economies in East/Southeast Asia, and most obviously the PRC as well. The thesis follows the convention that IR denotes the academic discipline of International Relations while lower-case international relations stands for the object of the field’s investigations (Wight 2006: 1; Dunne et al. 2013: v). The BRIC concept was developed in 2001 by Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs, Jim O’Neill. It denominated the larger emerging market economies Brazil, Russia, India and China and highlighted their increasing significance for the world economy (O’Neill

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2021 J. Vogelmann, Ascending China and the Hegemonic United States, Globale Gesellschaft und internationale Beziehungen, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-31660-0_1

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1 Introduction

lagged, but still proceeding restructuring of international relations such as the foundation and upvaluation of the G20 (now coexisting with the G8/ G7 format)5, quota, voting share, and Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket6 adjustments at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), voting power realignment at the World Bank or UN(SC) reform initiatives have been further empirical catalyzers to the scholarly and public deliberation on the rise of the threshold countries as a central process of our times (IMF 2016e; 2015a; 2015b; The World Bank 2010; Bremmer/Roubini 2011: 3; O’Neill 2001; Jäger 2012c: 160; Jäger/Beckmann 2011b: 35; Wu 2010: 160; G20.org 2015; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 11; 37f.). The (re-)ascent of China has thereby gained the biggest momentum in this deliberation, and has markedly shaped reflections on the world order of the 21st century. Some scholars even perceive it to represent “the single most important development in the post-Cold War world” (Li 2009: 3). Growing scholarly and public attention has particularly originated from the fact that the People’s Republic of China has in post-Cold War times been the largest, and

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2001). The Chinese triggered inclusion of South Africa into the group in 2010/2011 created the BRICS states (representing at least about one fourth of world GDP and 43% of world population in 2012). To jointly gain more weight in world (economic) politics, BRICS member states have extended their coordination especially since the world financial crisis in 2007-2009. For instance, BRICS leaders signed a stock exchange agreement in March 2012, enabling share transactions solely based on BRICS currencies. In July 2014, they finally agreed to create a BRICS New Development Bank (with an initial capital of $50 bn. and no specific policy requirements for borrowers) as well as a $100 bn. BRICS currency reserve fund (“Contingency Reserve Arrangement”) with headquarters in Shanghai, which can in part be perceived as alternative BRICS institutions to the World Bank and the IMF (Colitt/Galvao 2014; Blume 2012). As the G8/G7 has less and less reflected all the major economic powers, and the G20 has increasingly become the leading international forum for global economic policy coordination, the G8/G7 network had to deal to a certain extent with re-legitimization. After Russia had been excluded in March 2014 due to its annexation of the Crimea (and its policy of supporting the separatists in the Ukraine), the G7 members reconstructed themselves in particular as a group with shared values – and hence as the seven leading industrialized democratic countries; this became evident most notably at the June 2015 G7 summit in Elmau, Germany. In November 2015, the IMF announced that by October 2016, the Chinese renminbi /yuan would be included in the basket of major reserve currencies that make up the SDR; since the latter date, the IMF reserve asset thus comprises the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi/yuan, the Japanese yen, and the British pound (IMF 2016e; 2015b).

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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the fastest growing one of the major “new”/resurgent players. Besides, the debate has been driven by varying and controversial assessments of the significance of China’s ascent for world politics and the world economy in the 21st century. The Behavior of the U.S. Hegemon Dealing with the new is usually perforce connected with the old; accordingly, actors that become more powerful usually encounter agents and structures that have wielded and will still wield decisive influence. Conveyed to international politics, the economically based rise “of the rest” (Zakaria 2008: 1f.), of the “second world” (Khanna 2008), of the “new Asian hemisphere” (Mahbubani 2008), and in particular the rise of China in “global status” and towards a “great power”, “world power” or “superpower” (Brzezinski 2012; Waltz 1993: 68; Mearsheimer 2001: 381; Ikenberry 2008: 89; The White House/Obama 2013b; Kissinger 2011: 489f.; 493; Lemke 2004: 59f.; 63f.; Wagener 2011b: 243-245; 249f.; 255; Pei 2009; Zimmer 2010: 59; Nathan/Scobell 2012: xii; Tammen et al. 2000: 153; 176; Dillon 2009: ix; Herberg-Rothe 2010: 50; Subramanian 2011; Shirk 2007: 5; Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 165; Overholt 1993) raises the “essential question” (Subramanian 2011: 66) of how the established major powers – and most notably the (U.S.) hegemon in the international system – will react to these new players in a “transformed world” (National Intelligence Council 2008). After all, more and more participants in the scholarly and public debate point to the potential that the “shift in the distribution of global power from the West to the East” may end the former’s 500 year old dominance of world politics (Brzezinski 2009: 53f.; Khanna 2008: xxiii). To be more specific, while Kugler still broadly contends that “control over world politics tumbles from the grasp of Western policy makers into the hands of Asian elites” (Kugler 2006: 36), several scholars anticipate that the world order of the 21st century will be particularly (co-) shaped by China (Bergsten et al. 2009; Glaser 2011a; Ikenberry 2011b: 57; Layne 2011: 151; Jacques 2009; Li 2009; Subramanian 2011). At this point, the (behavior of the) still by far dominant player in world politics and designer of the international order we currently live in takes

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center stage: the United States of America. It has most notably been China’s persistent rise that has already triggered a shift in U.S. foreign policy orientation towards (East) Asia in recent years – which became known as the U.S. “strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” (U.S. Department of State (USDOS)/Russel 2014b; USDOS/Moy 2014; USDOS/ Campbell 2011a; The White House/Obama 2011; U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD)/Carter 2015; USDOD/Carter 2013; USDOD 2012: 2; Clinton 2011; Jäger 2012c: 156; 158; Ross 2002: 48; Wortzel 2006: 275278; Overholt 2008: 229-231). U.S. President Barack Obama had repeatedly called himself “America's first Pacific President” (The White House/ Obama 2009; Cooper/Fackler 2009), and had prominently outlined the U.S. strategic realignment in his November 2011 speech at the Australian parliament: “[A]s a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future (…). I have directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the Asia Pacific a top priority. (…) The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay (…). So let there be no doubt: In the Asia Pacific in the 21st century, the United States of America is all in” (The White House/ Obama 2011). While U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had accordingly termed the 21st century “America’s Pacific century”, the ongoing U.S. reorientation towards the Asia-Pacific has at the same time made it clear (as well) that governance of the relationship with ascending China will further emerge as a central long-term challenge for the United States (and vice versa): “China represents one of the most challenging and consequential bilateral relationships the United States has ever had to manage” (USDOS/ Clinton 2011; Clinton 2011; Christensen 2009: 89). (Economic and security) relations with the PRC, and the so-called “China challenge” (Dillon 2007; Zhao/Liu 2007: 585), thereby evolved as prominent issues also in the 2012 and 2016 U.S. presidential primaries/caucuses and campaigns – and especially under the U.S. presidency of Donald Trump, and gave partly rise to “verbal spirals of confrontation” (Jäger 2012b; McCaskill 2016). The significance for world politics and the world economy of the U.S. hegemon’s reaction to China’s increasing global salience thus pro-

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vides fundamental reasons for the thesis at hand to study the (post-Cold War) relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States. It does so also since post-Cold War SinoU.S. ties have evoked crucial research questions especially for the discipline of International Relations: “The rise of China will likely be the most important international relations story of the twenty-first century, but it remains unclear whether that story will have a happy ending. Will China's ascent increase the probability of great-power war? Will an era of U.S.Chinese tension be as dangerous as the Cold War? Will it be even worse, because China, unlike the Soviet Union, will prove a serious economic competitor as well as a geopolitical one? (…) Such broader questions (…) are precisely what international relations theorists study” (Glaser 2011a: 80; emphasis added; Ikenberry et al. 2009: 1; Goldstein 2007: 639f.). The Central Relevance of Sino-U.S. Relations in the 21st Century While not only adherents of (neo-)realist, power transition, and hegemonic cycle theories fear that frictions between China and the United States may increase given that the bilateral gap in economic growth (and the trade imbalances) may likely not decrease substantially in the near and middle term, political economists have undersold themselves in their forecasts when China will overtake the United States in terms of overall economic power. In 2003, Goldman Sachs projected that China might become the world’s biggest economy by 2041 (Wilson/Purushothaman 2003: 3). In 2010, the investment bank accelerated this date to the year 2027 (Goldman Sachs 2010: 9). Finally, the International Monetary Fund reported that in 2014, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) had already overtaken the U.S. GDP7 (IMF 2016a). Such dates of a projected SinoU.S. economic power transition remain naturally speculative and are of secondary significance, here. The ongoing bilateral shift in (relative) capabilities (which increased during the (costly) U.S.-led Global War on

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Of course, this finding rests upon measurement and comparison of the Chinese and the U.S. GDP based on purchasing power parity exchange rates (PPP), and not (yet) on market exchange rates (MER). For the scholarly discourse on these different methods of GDP measurement, see Chapters 2.1 and 2.2.

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Terror (GWOT) after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 (9/11) and during the world economic crisis in 2007-2009) has yet had, and will continue to have, decisive impacts on Sino-U.S. relations, world politics, and the world economy (Vogelmann 2011). Scholars increasingly ask if a potential power transition between the United States and China can evolve peacefully/cooperatively in or rather because of an economically interdependent, globalizing world or if – as so often in the history of mankind – there looms a fierce rivalry for (global) hegemony or at least the role of the primary security manager in the Asia-Pacific9 (Khalilzad et al. 1999: xii; Tammen et al. 2000: 146-193; Glaser 2011a; Christensen 2006). While Ikenberry for instance stays optimistic since a U.S.-shaped liberal world order may “provide institutional frameworks and foundations that can accommodate a more powerful China (…) [and; J.V.] tame [its; J.V.] ambitions” (Ikenberry, cit. in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 19f.; Ikenberry 2011b: 57f.; 62-65), Walt counters that the United States will do its utmost to keep its dominant position in world politics and the Asia-Pacific: “No presidential candidates ever run for office saying they want to make the United States number two” (Walt, cit. in Ikenberry/Walt 2007: 14). As has become clear, Sino-U.S. relations in the 21st century thus bear a wide potential from deterioration into a new Cold or even hot (atomic) War to creating or at least adjusting a prosperous, stable new order in the Asia-Pacific and the international system per se. This is all the more the case since (East) Asia bears still significant flash points where Chinese, U.S. and other states’ (strategic) interests clash, be it in the Taiwan Strait,

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The phrase Global War on Terror was coined by the George W. Bush administration already in September 2001. In 2009, the Obama administration then announced to no longer use this concept, but to rather speak of Overseas Contingency Operation (Vogelmann 2011: 386; IISS 2010: 25-27; Kamen/Wilson 2009). As Global War on Terror has though remained more frequently applied and more familiar in the media, the public and the scholarly realm as well, for the sake of consistency, the thesis applies this term also for post-2008 times. Khalilzad et al. describe the U.S. role in East Asia as being “the region’s preferred security partner and its ultimate security manager” (1999: xii). Citation of Khalilzad et al. will in the following not be added each time the term (primary) security manager comes up; the honor of adequate formulation yet naturally belongs to them. Of course, citation will still be annexed any time the thesis refers to more than the mere mentioning of the term security manager.

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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on the Korean Peninsula, or in the South China and the East China Sea, to name just the most significant ones (Wagener 2009: 1). Naturally, any outcome will have stark ramifications for world politics and the world economy. Overall, expecting that “much of the future of the world will depend on the U.S.-Chinese relationship” may not seem too bold (Overholt 1993: 365). Research Voids in (Recent) Publications on Sino-U.S. Relations Although the latter projection was already foreseen almost a quarter of a century ago and the IR research debate has proceeded and grown considerably since, progress towards substantiated (IR grand) theory-based and empirically verified explanations concerning the characteristics and the development of (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relations and the consequences for world politics and the world economy has remained limited. In this respect, too many contributions have been atheoretical or at best pre-theoretical, essayistic or limited to anecdotal empirical evidence. For instance, many publications of the “stream of China-threat books that have come out since the mid-1990s” (Nathan 2011: 155; Huang 2012: 55) have no explicit reference to IR (grand) theory at all, and do neither pursue a sophisticated research design and methodology nor empirical verification of hypotheses – by far not only those originating from outside the academia. Respective releases thus often bear the potential for erratic fluctuations within the surging billows of the zeitgeist and depending on (too) few or unsystematically selected aspects of a complex SinoU.S. empirical reality. In (post-Cold War) times of dynamic complicacy, it may in particular be sophisticated theory (in the wider sense of an explicit, structured, logical, and general system of thought) that can serve as a sound basis for intersubjective/guided debate, deduction of hypotheses and empirical verification – implying that especially theory-guided research may remain crucial for progress towards scientific knowledge and explanation. Studies on the complex (post-Cold War) Sino-U.S. relationship may thus greatly profit from explicit (IR (grand)) theory orientation, which promises to stimulate research progress to a far greater extent than atheoretical/descriptive or essayistic contributions.

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1 Introduction

Moreover, as the logic of analysis in the social sciences implies that empirical change in the object of research often necessitates a certain adjustment and further development of the theoretic-conceptual equipment of the discipline10 (Schieder/Spindler 2010: 10f.), the rise of the People’s Republic of China and its relationship with the hegemonic United States may all the more be perceived as a promising and crucial research issue for theory verification and advancement. Accordingly, scholars may evaluate in how far classically stated assumptions of cause and effect remain valid and which (grand theory) approaches provide the most appropriate explanations, need to be revised, honed, or potentially even abandoned. In other words, since IR theory development, advancement, verification and debate have often been influenced by “significant events” in international relations, and the ascent of China can evidently be perceived as such a “significant event”, post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations promise to be especially fertile for advancing and empirically verifying IR (grand) theories (Holsti 1989: 259; Harnisch 2003: 314; Lauth/ Zimmerling 2003: 141f., 165; Betts 1993: 77; Schieder/Spindler 2010: 10f.; Keohane 2008: 708; Weller 2003/2004: 108; 2005: 5f.; 18; Walt 1998: 41). Summing up, a scholarly analysis of (the character of postCold War) Sino-U.S. relations may greatly profit from a sophisticated theoretical foundation and, more specifically, from theoretical alternatives that can be empirically confronted and refined (Opp 2005: 191-203; Lauth/Zimmerling 2003: 141). The thesis thus concurs with Mearsheimer in the sense that to explain the past and “predict the future in Asia, one needs (…) [theories that explain] how rising powers are likely to act and how other states will react to them” (Mearsheimer 2005a: 47). IR Grand Theories and Sino-U.S. Relations With the hegemonic United States and ascending China as central players in the international system, and since Sino-U.S. relations belong to a classical field of research in the discipline of IR – namely great power

10

Only recently, for instance, the majority of academic specialists were taken by surprise by the revolutions in the Arab world in/since 2011, pointing to the fact that sometimes “paradigms fall and theories are shredded by events on the ground” (Gause III 2011: 90).

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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politics – a research focus on IR grand theories seems to be promising and appropriate, here11. Accordingly, the thesis shares a skeptical view with “newer scholarship” on strong essentialist positions of a Chinese “singularity” (Nathan 2011: 155). The PRC embodies a (potential) superpower12 with its own great legacy and characteristics, for sure. Nevertheless, this does not render China a state so exceptional and PRC foreign policy action so specific (compared to the behavior of other (super-/great) powers in the anarchic international system) that general IR grand theories may not be able to provide adequate explanations (Betts 2010: 191). Furthermore, as already indicated, IR grand theory schools offer the advantage that these fundamental theoretical perspectives may be less randomly altered in the short-term by (zeitgeist) trends of essayistic interpretation that often oscillate between “China-threat books” (Nathan 2011: 155) and “willful, blinkered optimism” (Friedberg 2011: xiii). Reconstruction of the (post-Cold War) structural frame of Sino-U.S. ties, and hence the analysis of major factors (especially in the economic and military/security realm) that structurally constrain/influence the behavior of the two super- (and other) powers will thereby serve as a basal step towards the development of alternative IR grand theory pictures of SinoU.S. relations (and eventually the deduction of behavioral hypotheses) (Jäger/Beckmann 2011b). On that score, the age of globalization makes it plausible to append also some economic sciences arguments to IR reflections. Two Influential IR Grand Theory Perspectives on Sino-U.S. Relations Regarding the elaborated, ongoing debate in the academia, policy circles and the media/public on the relationship between the ascending People’s Republic of China and the hegemonic United States, one may find the discourse inter alia shaped, or even “largely dominated”, by two alternative perspectives correlating with two grand theory schools in International Relations (Li 2009: 8, 6; Christensen 2006: 81f.; Overholt 2008: 225-

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For a consideration of the research debate on theories of international politics versus theories of foreign policy, see Footnote 49. Perception and application of the term superpower in the thesis at hand will be elaborated in Chapter 1.3.

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1 Introduction

228; Pan 2004: 305; Goldstein 2007: 639-641). This is partly due to the fact that contemplation upon super-/great power relations almost inevitably implies to deal with “first principles about the causes of war and peace” (Betts 1993: 35) – and hence with a subject that has been strongly influenced by two broad theory traditions at least since Thucydides’ narrative of the Peloponnesian War and the Melian dialogue (Thucydides 1966 [ca. 395 B.C.]: 267-276; Vretska 1966: 20; 24-37; Harnisch 2003: 315f., 343). These schools of thought have yet been significantly advanced and have become very complex especially since the third theory debate in IR13 and the end of the Cold War (Spindler/Schieder 2010: 13f.; Lauth/Zimmerling 2003: 164). Dichotomist theory competition concerning (PRC and U.S.) superpower relations and (foreign policy) behavior may thereby be even more distinct nowadays than during the Cold War era when ties between the Soviet Union and the United States were stronger shaped by military/security issues. Since the ascent of the PRC has so far been predominantly based on its economic success story and not yet to the same extent on its (relative) gains in military power (Ferris 2010: 258f.; Blasko 2012), this background does not necessarily favor one of the schools of thought as it had been the case concerning Soviet-U.S. relations (Zhao 2007: 612; Lauth/Zimmerling 2003: 149). With respect to the two IR grand theory pictures prevailing, there is on the one hand the perspective where ascending China and the U.S. hegemon remain predominantly interested in “[Making] Money, Not War”14 – and

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This “Neo-Neo” or “interparadigm” debate of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s mainly dealt with the (re-)appearance of neoliberal institutionalism and the respective challenge for (till then predominant) neorealism (Schörnig 2010: 88-91). The contributions of Keohane and Grieco in Baldwin’s “Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate” offer an excellent first insight into the debate (Keohane 1993; Grieco 1993; Baldwin 1993). “Make Money, Not War” is the title of a contribution by Zbigniew Brzezinski in a short repartee with John Mearsheimer on (future) Sino-U.S. relations in the periodical Foreign Policy (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.; 2005b; 2005c; Mearsheimer 2005a; 2005b; 2005c). The slightly ironic slogan is perceived here as sophisticated also in its historical analogy to U.S. foreign policy and societal developments in the 1960s and 1970s. Considering the slogan “Make Money, Not War” (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.) as appropriate here to generally reflect an (of course vastly more complex) neoliberal perspective on ascending China and the U.S. hegemon and imply one bold and

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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hence pursue overall economically based cooperation (Brzezinski 2005a: 46f.). Accordingly, China’s tremendous economic (trade, financial and investment) linkages to an interdependent, globalizing world and especially the United States render a policy of confrontation and aggressive moves to change the U.S.-shaped (institutionalized) international system much too costly, and entail a Sino-U.S. relationship based on absolute (economic/plenty) gains, mutual coordination, and foreign policies that renounce the use of coercive diplomacy/military means. Through an (IR-) theoretic lens, this neoliberal picture consists mainly of contributions by interdependence analysis, globalization, capitalist peace, commercial liberalist and global governance approaches, game theory, regime theory and neoliberal institutionalism, as well as hypotheses from the economic sciences. On the other hand, there is the perspective of China “Showing the United States the Door” (Mearsheimer 2005b: 49). This “rather grim picture of world politics” (Mearsheimer 1994/1995: 9) reflects expectations of a 21st century shaped by power politics among major states – despite and because of globalization. Accordingly, China uses its growing capabilities to (partly) challenge the U.S. claim to leadership in the AsiaPacific (if not later Pax Americana per se) and seeks to (re-)establish (regional) hegemony on its own (Khalilzad et al. 1999: 70; Kissinger 2012; Friedberg 2011: 166). Pursuing (strategic) power politics, it tries to increase its security, capabilities, and influence on (neighboring) states, regions, (regional/global) institutions and agendas that may have been dominated by U.S. interests previously. Since “a change in power relations inevitably generates rivalry”, the potential for Sino-U.S. competition, arms races and (strategic) frictions rises (Nathan 2011: 155; Friedberg 2011; Glaser 2011a: 81). Such anticipations of the dynamics between the established U.S. hegemon and its “main emerging” or “most credible” (regional or once even global) “challenger” may be best located within a broad neorealist school of thought (Holslag 2010: 38; Kissinger 2012). As will become clear, though, the extent of pessimism or optimism (and the

simple reason for potential Sino-U.S. economically based cooperation in a globalizing world does of course not mean that geostrategist Brzezinski should be predominantly seen as a neoliberal, which is obviously not the case.

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1 Introduction

grade of projected competition or cooperation in Sino-U.S. relations) depends on which strands of neorealist theory one adheres. Of course, the highlighting of the strong influence of neoliberal and neorealist perspectives in the discourse on Sino-U.S. relations, or of geoeconomic logics of interdependence, globalization and markets versus geopolitical logics of anarchy, security and strategic power politics (Sandschneider 2007: 16; Rode 2010: 427, Gilpin 1981: 19-21; 219; Barnett/ Sikkink 2008: 65; Jäger 2012c: 151; ten Brink 2011: 64f.; Overholt 2008: 234), may to a certain extent be a (legitimate) simplification. Given that any portrayed (dichotomic) rivalry between (grand) theoretical alternatives in a usually diverse (scholarly) debate on complex issues can ultimately be perceived as such, this may not be problematic. Constructivists for instance might though feel somewhat neglected in the theoretical dichotomy delineated above, and may point to their distinguished input to the debate15. There are yet several reasons for the prominence of neoliberal and neorealist (grand theory) perspectives in the deliberation on (post-Cold War/future) Sino-U.S. relations, as well as for choosing a rationalist research design in the thesis at hand. Firstly, a certain number of constructivist analyses have revealed results that can in the end be also attributed to the two dominant pictures delineated above. Johnston’s constructivist finding for instance that Chinese strategic culture has traditionally favored realpolitik (foreign policy) behavior16 would also be suggested by neorealist scholars17 (Johnston 1996). Secondly, Wendt’s distinctively constructivist perspective that the United States and China may potentially perceive each other no longer as

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Constructivist studies have inter alia analyzed how the (civil) societies, elites, the media, “policy intellectuals”, leaders and policy makers in the PRC and the United States have perceived the bilateral relationship against the background of interdependence, relative capability shifts and specific empirical incidents (Li 2009: 6f.). As in many (North American) publications in IR, realpolitik and power politics will be used interchangeably in the thesis at hand. For a definition of realpolitik with references in particular to Machiavelli, see Waltz (1979: 117). The debate between cultural and structural realism is definitely a fertile one and will be revisited in Chapter 5.1.

1.1 Research Issue and Topicality

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Lockean rivals (or as Hobbesian enemies) but may socially (re-)construct themselves as friends in a Kantian way has been only subordinately present in the scholarly and public debate on (post-Cold War/future) superpower relations (Wendt 1999: 246-312; 1992: 400f., 420-22). The “Kantian contingency” may seem a bit too optimistic given the significant and so far persistent differences between the PRC and the United States regarding political systems, ideologies, history, culture/traditions, values and perceptions, religion, certain foreign policy goals and the various politicoeconomic and strategic conflicts (Betts 2010: 192; Kissinger 2011: 530). Thirdly, with contemporary constructivist research increasingly focusing on content analysis, the scholarly reconstruction of for instance collective perceptions remains in particular dependent on reliable, representative data. The latter are though rare concerning “a country like China where circulation of political information is closely monitored and tightly controlled by the government [and where] many Chinese publications tend to (…) provide academic justifications for official policies” (Li 2009: 7; 225). Moreover, limited access to the complex decision-making processes within the PRC administration and (state) institutions, the Communist Party of China (CPC) or the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a Chinese political tradition of partly empty formula and flowery expressions concerning (foreign) policy goals, as well as the fact that the media/internet have been controlled by the propaganda department and other state institutions18 are further reasons19 to focus on the two prevailing rational-

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Up to one million people in the PRC may work on close monitoring and control of the internet, digital/text phone messages, et cetera (Zakaria, cit. in Griffiths/Luciani 2011: 40). Even analysis of the perceptions of Chinese scholars and experts, which has partly been seen as a way out of the data and research dilemma concerning PRC (foreign) policy making and behavior may not offer a superior solution. For of course, scholarly and expert perceptions do not necessarily reflect the dominant views of leaders, (governmental) decision makers or those of the elite or (civil) society. They may thus mirror and influence the (foreign) policy making process only limitedly, even if their role – and especially the one of the Chinese IR community – has increased since the mid-1990s (Li 2009: 7; 30; 42; 221; 226). Schmidt and Heilmann for instance argue that during crisis or concerning key strategic issues such as great power, Taiwan or Korea policies, PRC foreign policy making remains still highly centralized on single leaders or narrow decision-making circles. Even usually well-informed Chinese scholars then often lack clear knowledge of the key actors and interests that may prevail in

14

1 Introduction

ist IR grand theory perspectives in the (scholarly) debate on Sino-U.S. relations and pursue a rationalist research design, here (Fravel 2008: 125f.; Bergsten et al. 2009: 199-201; Sandschneider 2007: 101f.; Nathan 2011: 156). Accordingly, the thesis will seek to advance and then empirically confront neoliberal and neorealist (grand theory) perspectives on post-Cold War Sino-U.S. relations, also since “[s]o far, the China debate among international relations theorists has [mainly; J.V.] pitted optimistic liberals against pessimistic realists” (Glaser 2011a: 81). In contrast to his fallacy of anticipating a capitalist-democratic “end of history” in post-Cold War international relations (with the present-day PRC then embodying “an elephantsized exception” (Betts 2010: 191; Fukuyama 1992)), Fukuyama captures the two prevalent IR grand theory perspectives on Sino-U.S. ties quite well – and partly copes, as the thesis will elaborately do in Chapter Three, with respective options of PRC and U.S. (relational)20 foreign policy behavior: “[T]he United States can (…) seek to isolate China and mobilize the rest of Asia into a coalition to contain growing Chinese power, or it can try to incorporate China into a series of international institutions designed to channel Chinese ambitions and elicit cooperation. (…) [On the other hand; J.V.] the future of this relationship depends on (…) whether China provokes a showdown with Taiwan and uses its economic might to achieve Asian hegemony, or develops into an increasingly

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the formulation of a foreign policy course (Schmidt/Heilmann 2012: 28; 62). Furthermore, Blasko highlights that officially stated PRC policies may partly differ from the actual (non-public) policy goa