Kissinger, Trump und die sinoamerikanischen Beziehungen

Kissinger, Trump und die sinoamerikanischen Beziehungen

Henry Kissinger hat sich nach dem Wahlsieg Trumps mit ihm, wie auch Xi Jinping getroffen, um auszuloten, wie die beiden Protagonisten denn die sinoamerikanischen Beziehungen sehen Als Resultat dieser Treffen gibt er sich vorsichtig optimistisch bezüglich der sinoamerikanischen Beziehungen in der Trumpära. Seiner Ansicht nach seien diese so grundlegend, dass auch Trump dies einsehen würde. Zwar meint er, dass es nicht weise sei, die Taiwanfrage gleich zu Anfang so ins Zentrum zu stellen, lobt aber die Ernennung von Rex Tillerson und des neuen US-Botschafters in Peking, der Xi Jinping noch persönlich aus früheren Zeiten kenne als weise und zukunftsweisende Entscheidung. Desweiteren wird eine tripartielle Achse USA-Rußland- China angedacht.Ich frage mich, ob Kissinger da die Zeichen der Zeit erkannt hat. Bisher macht Trump verbal ja eher den Eindruck, dass er Vertreter jenes neuen Crowe-Memorandums ist, vor dem Kissinger in seinem „On China“-Buch warnt. Ich kann mich auch noch erinnern, dass Brzezinski einmal eine sinoamerikanische G-2 vorschlug, die dann aber scheiterte, ja erst gar nicht zusammenkam. Ob Trump das diplomatische Feingefühl hätte eine sinoamerikanisch-russische Achse auszubalancieren, wage ich auch zu bezweifeln, zumal diese schwieriger zu managen wäre als eine G-2 mit 2 Akteuren.Ebenso interessant, dass Kissinger und Cheng Li als zukünftige kooperierende Weltmächte die USA, Rußland und China sehen, die EU und Indien dabei gar nicht mehr beachten. Ein anderes früher anvisiertes tripartielles Modelle war noch das sogenannte CIA-Modell (China- India-America), aus dem auch nichts wurde. Hier der Bericht der Brookings Institution:


Henry Kissinger and Cheng Li express cautious optimism about U.S.-China relations in the Trump-Xi era

Ryan McElveen Thursday, December 22, 2016


The fate of arguably the most important bilateral relationship in the world will soon rest largely in the hands of American President-elect Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a prospect that has led other players around the world to wring their own hands in uncertainty.

But those concerns were far from what was on display when former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger joined Cheng Li, director of the Brookings Institution John L. Thornton China Center and author of the new book Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership, for an upbeat and wide-ranging discussion in New York City on December 14. The conversation and book launch, which was hosted by the Committee of 100 and the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business and moderated by former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, examined the prospects for U.S.-China relations and the world order in the Trump-Xi era.

The conversation began with Kissinger reassuring the audience about the state of U.S.-China relations: “I am optimistic that the cooperative way will prevail. Keep in mind that if China and America are in conflict, then the whole world will be divided.”

In response to concerns about President-elect Trump’s handling of U.S.-China relations following his call with Taiwan’s leader and his comments on the One-China policy, Kissinger said: “Every president of both parties since 1971 has accepted this framework, and once that framework is studied, I do not expect it to be overturned…To make Taiwan the key issue at the beginning of this dialogue, is in my view unwise and not the most efficient way of proceeding.”

When it comes to historical and current events in U.S.-China relations, Kissinger’s perspective is worth heeding. After all, not only did he orchestrate the opening to China with President Nixon in the early 1970s, he is also the only person to have met with both Xi and Trump since the U.S. presidential election in November.

Cheng Li, whose new book provides probing analysis of President Xi’s administration and an outlook for the leadership changes coming at China’s 19th party congress in 2017, agreed with Kissinger’s assessment of the state of U.S.-China relations: “If the Trump administration, in the first year or so, can really engage with China strategically in a constructive and comprehensive way, President Trump and President Xi will find that the incentives for cooperation are much greater than for confrontation.”

“If the Trump administration, in the first year or so, can really engage with China strategically in a constructive and comprehensive way, President Trump and President Xi will find that the incentives for cooperation are much greater than for confrontation.”

Beyond the bilateral relationship, Kissinger and Li also agreed that Russia will play an outsized role in a Trump presidency. Li suggested that the new administration presents an opportunity to promote a new paradigm—originally proposed by Kissinger years ago—that has recently been repackaged by Stanford historian Niall Ferguson as “the new American-Chinese-Russian tripartite arrangement.” As Li explained further:

“this does not necessarily mean that the U.S. should use Russia to contain China or use China to deal with Russia. The fact is that all three countries face the same daunting challenges of terrorist attacks, nuclear proliferation, and cyberspace insecurity. There may be a real opportunity for these three countries to appreciate their shared interests in responding to common challenges and thus searching for a new world order.”

The U.S.-Russia relationship was also raised in the context Rex Tillerson’s nomination to serve as secretary of state, the post Kissinger once held. Kissinger praised Tillerson, explaining:

“I pay no attention to this argument that he’s too friendly to Russia. As head of Exxon, it’s his job to get along with Russia. He would be useless as head of Exxon if he did not have a working relationship with Russia. We should not think about these relationships as the personal relationship of individuals.”

Similar to Tillerson’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump’s chosen ambassador to China, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, has a strong relationship with President Xi dating back to 1985 when Xi visited Iowa as a local official. Li emphasized that the selection of Branstad as ambassador is an encouraging sign that reflects Trump’s recognition of the importance of U.S.-China relations.

When asked how he would advise President-elect Trump on China, Li suggested that in addition to understanding the hopes and fears of the Chinese people, Trump “needs to visit China early in his presidency and allow the Chinese leaders and the public to get to know him.”

To conclude his advice, Li paraphrased Kissinger in suggesting another tactic that Trump might find useful in negotiating with Chinese leaders: “You can solve anything if you eat enough Peking duck.” Kissinger retorted: “I always thought I had said Maotai (a distilled Chinese liquor)!”

Richard C. Bush von der Brookings Institution hat zudem auch noch die Annahmen der Trumpschen Chinapolitik hinterfragt, die er allesamt für falsch hält, vom Vorwurf der Währungsmanipulation, dem Jobverlust, der Rolle Taiwans und der Annahme, dass China nur bluffen und schließlich einlenken werde:

Trump’s misguided brinkmanship on China

Richard C. Bush Saturday, January 14, 2017

Donald Trump reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that “Everything is under negotiation [with China] including One China.” What Trump likely seeks in this negotiation are changes in China’s economic policies, including currency. But three things are wrong with his approach and the brinksmanship that animates it.

First of all, it is based on a caricature of Chinese economic policy and U.S.-China economics relations, rather than on sound analysis. The low value of China’s currency against the U.S. Dollar today is the result of market forces, not government intervention, as was the case a decade ago. Competition from China did cause some “job loss” in America, but technological change (e.g. robots) is the main reason.

Second, when we talk about “One China” we are really talking about Taiwan. All the evidence strongly indicates that the people of Taiwan have absolutely no desire to be bargaining chip in a high-stakes negotiation between Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Before Trump goes down that road, he owes it to Taiwanese leaders to consult with them to verify whether they wish to be used in this way (my prediction: they will say no).

Third, the assumption of Trump’s brinksmanship is that the Chinese side is bluffing and will back down if the United States takes a tough line. But what if that assumption is wrong? On some issues, of course, China does bluff. But on Taiwan, there are reasons it will hold firm. Taiwan has a special place in how Chinese (not just the government) think about their country. The government regards the One China Policy as the keystone in the U.S.-China relationship. For them, removing the keystone leads the whole edifice to crumble. Finally, based on what we know of Xi Jinping’s personality, he doesn’t bluff.



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