Rapid Institution Building in The First Decade (1970s) Critical Thinking Sample

Type of paper: Critical Thinking

Topic: China, United States, Singapore, Relationships, Business, Commerce, Trade, Economics

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2021/01/02


Standing on the small red dot, we formed a triangle with the United States and China. Any issues related to our survival, they are worth to be taken into consideration deliberately in order to draw a beautiful goldentriangleand keep it relatively stable compare with on ourselves. As we learnt from primary mathematics, the triangle has the relative stability, the strategic triangle balanced relations also obtains relative stabilization. Therefore, no one should be left out as every party contributes to the macro-stability. Of course, any subtle change in the relationship between two countries may affect the third country in the triangle unperceptive. The paperlooks at the issues interests the three countries published by the newspapers, China and the U.S.’s policies whichraised tensions between the United States and China, so does how they affect Singapore and most importantly, its strategic foreign policies to guarantee its survival.


U.S. launches Navy ships in Singapore recently as a ‘hedge’ against the rise of its neighbors, notably Indonesia and China reminded us of the geopolitical importance of Singapore. The US-Singapore bilateral relationship has been close, both diplomatically and security-wise, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and others have long-standing relationships with American political leaders. As a testament of their close diplomatic and military ties, since 1999 the Changi naval port has been used by the American navy, with approximately 100 ships stopping in Singapore each year. The expansion of the US-Singapore naval relationship followed the reduction of the US naval presence in the Philippines in 1992.However there are concerns about US military capacity are bubbling to the surface, particularly following the January 2012 announcement that the US would cut approximately $500 billion in defense spending. For now Chinese diplomatic relations with Singapore continue to flourish.

Chapter One

Is trading a lubricant or a provoking spark?
In the 21 century, the relationship between American and Chinese offers both a challenge and an opportunity for both countries and the world at large. Since both countries re-opened their doors to each other in 1971, their economic and financial relationships that have been broadly been recognized as the ballast of an uneasy relationship. A comparison between their embedded commercial relations now and pre-rapprochement affirms the U.S.-centered interdependency between the two economic giants. Both countries’ trading volume escalated in 2012 to reach an all-time high of $536.2 billion on United States books while that of China $484.7 billion. In 1972, it stood at a mere US$4.7 million.
Contemporarily, with china having a population that is five times larger than America’s, the country also boasts an economy that is notfar less than the U.S. economy by half. But forty years ago China’s Gross National Product was only about 7 percent of that of the United States. Accordingly, China exceeded the U.S. in 2012 as the largest trading nation in the world, auxiliary; the United States has become China’s leadingoverseas market. The big question that remains is whether the economic ascendancy of china a fundamental threat to American power and power. Sprouting trade prototype and establishments in the bilateral economic sphere during the last four decades put forward that China does not have any interest or the wherewithal to remake or unmake the global economic coordinationdesigned by United States and which they have dominated since World War II.

In the period between 1971 and 1980 there is rapid institution building and some of the barriers that burred the flow of technology, people and goods from the United States and china were lifted. It is out of these changes that transformed the trade relationship between United States and China and out of it China was place in the world economy.In 1971, there was an attempt to solve the problem of unemployment and inflation and the US administration decided to devalue their dollar and at the same time imposing a mechanism of price control and wage controls with the view of fixing the American currency exchange rates. This dollar crisis, as a result, made most of the countries to begin to float its currency against the dollar.These was no crisis to the republic of China. In china there was no public evidence that any person was paying any attention to the US new economic policy.However, in 1971, the United State opened its doors for citizens who were visiting China. The conferment of China by US as Most Favored Nation (MFN) status exempted Chinese exports to the United States from the high tariff rates (WANG 2007)

The Second Decade of Restructuring and Economic Growth (1980s)

In the 1980s, thepolitical relations of US and China normalized and the economic reforms in China allowed thetransfer of goods,technology,ideas and values between China and America. It is during this decade that U.S. become number three among the largest trading partner with China as well as China becomingthe number 14 largest trade partner America4.
China domestic economy was restructured to coincide with opening of the outside world.The number of exporting and importing companies increased dramatically, and the government relaxed trade restrictions and gave revenue creation a priority. During these period textiles and clothing contributed more than 40 percent to the Chinese exports to the US.However some international, local and regional factors contributed to the disagreements between the two countries over thecauses and size of the trade deficit4. American companies entered the country by forming mutualbusiness enterprises with a Chinese corporation or administrative agency.
While bilateral trade advanced at breakneck pace, the two nations wrangled over trade statistics. American statistics show that in 1986 there was a US$1.67 billion trade deficit against the United States. On the other hand, the Chinese figures for 1986 showed that there is a more than US$1 billion deficit against the republic of china. A complex array of local, regional, and international factors contributed to U.S.-Chinese disagreements over the aspects and reason of the trade deficit. While statistical differences would soon lead to escalating frictions between China and the United States, notably1980s marked years of fervor on both sides. Remarkably, both countries’ commercial rapport grew at a rate of 44% per annum. But ten years of continualadvancement in Sino-American relations suffered serious setbacks sparked by the Tiananmen catastrophe of 1989 and the crumple of the Soviet Union.

The Third Decade of Discord and Developments (1990s)

. The two countries brought some critical developments that set new paths for their economic relationship. Therelationship between China and the United States became uneasy with uncertainty trickling in thegeopolitics. The issue of severely, human right and numerous other issues severely strained the American-Chinese relations even as both countries attempted to improve their relationship through constructive strategic partnership. In America the debate about the renewal of Most Favored Nation status for China became heated over human rights and tougher economic sanctionsand its revocation was considered6.
In 2001, China entered into the World Trade Organization become the 143rd member of the WTO.In this Chinese accession to the WTO, the United States played a key role. This WHO membership of china contributed to the growth of international trade and investment with commercial and other operations being widened and growing increasingly. China became the world’s third largest trading nation and in 2012 it became the largest. After joining WTO, the import of American from China hit 92 percent from just 46 percent. Yet the uneasy U.S.-Chinese relations continued despite the enhanced economic. During this period, China emerged as the world’s third major trading country after the United States and Germany and in 2012 the largest. Reflecting back in 1978,the entire value of China’s trade was US$20 billion, 30th in the world. Later in 2005 the Chinese trade had shot up to $1.4 trillion, and in 2012 it was $3.87 trillion.
Remarkably, the U.S.A exports to China rose by 81 percent in the three years after China joined the WTO, contrasting with 34% during the three previous years. Similarly, American imports from China rose by 92 percent in the three years following China’s WTO entry, this was a reflecting of a 46 percent increase from the pastthree years. As the business environment in China improved, American entrepreneurs explored new openings.Yet frictions in U.S.-Chinese relations remain in spite of their enhanced economic cooperation and flourishing bilateral trade.

The Fourth Decade of Cooperation and beyond the WTO (2001-2012)

During this period there was the expansion of the trade between US and China at all levels, mostly in crisis managements and communications. Both United States and China attached great importance to their economic relations. From the Chinese government’s standpoint, bilateral trade and foreign investment have been crucial for China’s modernization and international stature.
In 2012 the figures shows American exports and imports were worth US$3.82 trillion, while China’s entire trade capacity arrived at US$3.87 trillion. For the first time China thus exceeded the United States as the world’s largest trading nation as the 2012 America trade shortfall with China was $315.1 billion, a record high.

Singapore’s adjustment in foreign policy towards the change in U.S-china relationships

The key to the foreign policy adjustments of Singaporean in regard to the relationshipof China and US are constituted by security consideration, economicliberalism and a dedication to pragmatic non-alignment. Diplomatically, theaims of Singaporeareto be neutral on both US and China alliances, while maintaining its close ties with both the Chinaand US. In terms of security Singapore has welcomed the US involvement in Asia Pacific as a hedge to local and regional powers, with particular view of military modernization of China.
One of the economic miracle of Singapore which has been considered crucial is the access to the large American market but the trade share of American has declined in past years while trade with other Asian partners especially China has been accelerated. It is through the growing market especially with China that Singapore got an opportunity to maximize its growth, while avoiding bandwagoning. Singapore uses their robust military, diplomatic and economic relation to hedges its spatial, cultural and economic proximity to China and through regional participation and international organizations. In doing this, Singapore has pursues its biggest desire with the aim of remain uniquely Singaporean.
An important aspect to Singapore is its military prowess which is demonstrated by its Singapore Armed Forces, relatively high defense spending and military conscription. However, viewing Singapore foreign policy in a military lens or hard power would be wrong. Singapore’s policy of total Defense can only is used to defend itself from attacks across, military, economic, social, civil and psychological spheres. The military capability of Singapore and its economic success and social cohesion, can only be described as an essential ingredient of its longevity.
Economic liberalism and an active military deterrent have been a key overall strategyto Singapore together with its foreign policy on diplomatic independence that has seen the state strive to be pro-Singapore as opposed to anti-any country. There is a commitment of ideological in nature to impartiality and pragmatism that has been the guiding force toward the diplomaticrelations and Singaporean military which include its complex relations with the China and the United.

Chapter Two

Is Communist really that matters (the ideological gap between U.S. and China)?
The greatest question is if there is an ideological basis for the emerging competition between the U.S.A andChina. Sometimes it is said that since China has moved from being a Communist country the reasons for this ideology is that this is no longer a key factor in determining the U.S.-China relations. Thetruisms that have been laid upon China because of its economic growth democracy will inevitably be achieved and also the fact that if China is treated like an enemy it will definitely become one. Such truism may partly be construed as true. The present leadership in China may no longer be the same as it used to be, i.e. Marxists, but they may have changed and certainly became Leninists; the leadership continues to believe that the authoritarian of the one party regime that they used to lead should carry on in power and they are resolute to crush any opposition or dissent. Preserving and maintain this CCP rule is the ultimate and major aim of all elements of Chinese policy, both foreign and domestic.
In Beijing in China, the United States is seen as a advocating for the democracy in liberal democratic, with the main intention of undermining the authenticity of authority of regimes of which it tries to disapprove and ultimately the efforts of the US of remaking the whole world in its own image. Such fear illustrates the Chinese administration’s perception of every aspect of U.S. policy and shapes its evaluation of America’s participation across Asia, which it believes are aimed at encircling it with pro-U.S. democracies.
The people of American havedecided to see the country of china with distaste and skepticism about a regime that they regard as illiberal, oppressive and potentially aggressive. Although the US has been using a diplomatic language, its main the long-term aim of the policy that it institute towards China is with no doubt to encourage a regime change through a mechanism that is gradual and by peaceful means.
The competitive and the mistrust impulses have been heightened by the differences in ideology whose origin is in the geopolitical dynamics. The dealings between US and China have in many ways been fraught with tension and the resultants are conflict. Relations were never to be smooth between the dominant powers which are United States and fast-rising potential challengers which areChina but the ideological gap will make it harder to realize a stable modus Vivendi that now separates them. The relationship between two powers will only improve if China become liberalized which is good reason to hope for. However some realists continue to doubt this on the basis of China’s policies and interests will remain the same, regardless of the character of its domestic regime.
In 1990 Singapore establishedstrong diplomatic relations with China because it wanted to maintain a good and beneficial relationship with Taiwan. Singapore had to bargainwith China toin order to maintain close ties with Taiwan. Since the independence of Taiwan, both countries had unofficial relations and the establishment china rule over Taiwan. Taiwan had a representative office in Singapore. The two nations have enjoyed an extensive relationship in many facets such as trade and defense, most noticeably being Singapore’s establishment of military bases in Taiwan for its troops to conduct overseas training.

Chapter Three

Military affair is the real wirepuller backstage
In 2012 a notice was given that US would move the bulk of its naval fleet in the Pacific as at 2020 as part of a new strategicfocus on Asia. China is embroiled in a maritime dispute with four south-east Asian countries - Brunei, and Vietnam Malaysia, and the Philippines - as well as with Taiwan over territorial claims in the South China Sea. Even as it is not a claimant; the U.S.A.showing their interest making sure there is freedom of navigation within the disputed region.
The political leadership of Singapore hasin the recent past supported the active roleof the United States in the region as a measure to prevent the rise of its neighbors, which mostly include the China and Indonesia. The US-Singapore bilateral relationship has been close, both diplomatically and security-wise regardless of the differences in human right and democratic issues.
Have long-standing relationships with the US political leaders. To prove this close military and diplomaticties, from 1999 the American navy has been using the Change naval port with about 100 ships stopping in Singapore each year. The expansion of the US-Singapore naval relationship followed the reduction of the US naval presence in the Philippines in 1992. However, concerns about US military capacity are bubbling to the surface, particularly following the January 2012 announcement that the US would cut approximately $500 billion in defense spending.

Chapter Four

Pivots that changes the world
Six countries have persistently claimed to the East and South China Seas, an area loaded with hydrocarbons and natural gas, and through which trillions of dollars of global trade flow. In the recent times, there has been great intention by china to expand its maritime presence in the region. More so, China has been met by growing assertiveness from area petitioners like Japan, Vietnam, and Philippines. The increasingly frequent standoffs span from the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, on China’s eastern flank, to the long elongate of archipelagos south of the China Sea that comprise hundreds of islets. The U.S. pivot to Asia, involving renewed diplomatic activity and military redeployment, could signal Washington’s interest and increased role in the dispute, this, if not managed wisely, could turn part of Asia’s maritime areas from progressive trade channels within arenas of conflict.
Evidently, the argument involves both nautical boundaries and islands. There are several disputes, each of which involved a different collection of countries. They entail the nine-dash line stretch that is claimed by China and that which covers most of the South China sea and overlaps the Economic Zone claims of other parties;Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
In 2011, the PRC, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam agreed to a set of preliminary guidelines which would help resolve the dispute. In this regard, the agreement was illustrated by the PRC's aide foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, as "an important landmarkarticle for collaborationamid China and ASEAN countries. Some of the early drafts acknowledged aspects such as "marine environmental protection, scientific research, safety of routing and communiqué, search and salvage and combating transnational crime," although the issue of oil and natural gas drilling remains unresolved.
In 2011, the an Indian amphibious assault vessel on a friendly visit to Vietnam, was allegedly contacted 45 maritime miles stretching from the Vietnamese coast in the disputed South China Sea by an entitycategorizing itself as the Chinese flotilla and stating that the ship was entering Chinese waters. Broadly, a representative for the Indian Navy noted that as no ship or aircraft was visible, the INS Airavat advanced on her forwardvoyage as scheduled. The Indian Navy further clarified that there was no confrontation involving the INS Arafat. Notably, India has been in support of freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea, as well as, the right of navigation in accordance with accepted principles of international law. These principles should be respected by all.


The two governments of China and US have set about implementing various stated objectives to institutionalize their exchanges on major strategic and economic issues. Even though, the cooperation has improved, so has controversy. Significant groups in both countries claim that a contest for supremacy between China and the United States is to be anticipated and perhaps by now under way. In this perspective, appeals for U.S.-Chinese cooperation appear outmoded and even naive.
The active role of US continues to draw support from Singapore as a measure to prevent the rise of its neighbors, which mostly include the China and Indonesia. The US-Singapore bilateral relationship has been close, both diplomatically and security-wise regardless of the differences in human right and democratic issues.Singapore continues to depend on china for its export and market and must maintain a good relationship with them.Based on this, it’s evident that Singapore seems to be tightly engulfed in a situation where a small move of foreign policy adjustment towards one country would make it to release the rubber band and the effect and impacts of it may destroy all the relationship built over years.This is to say that the overall strategy of Singapore together with its foreign policy on diplomatic independence must strive to be pro-Singapore as opposed to anti-any country.


Vidra, Robyn K. LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science - Home. Last modified 2009. http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/publications/reports/pdf/SR015/SR015-SEAsia-Vidra-.pdf.
Wang, Dong. "U.S.-China Trade, 1971 - 2012: Insights into the U.S.-China Relationship? 1971-2012.| The Asia-Pacific Journal." The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Last modified June 17, 2013. http://www.japanfocus.org/-Dong-Wang/3958.

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