The article is an attempt to analyze the China-US relationship at the dawn of the third millenium, from three angles: China’s unprecedented economic and social transformation; the bilateral and trilateral [including Japan] diplomatic and security aspects and the Taiwan problem. The first angle is of importance because of China’s physical size, location and venerable history and since it is the first time in its history that revolutionary change is taking place peacefully. China’s success, so far, in gradually reforming communism into oblivion is in glaring contrast to the painful transition from communism to something else in the case of Russia. Moreover, internal stability is a mandatory precondition for China to, at last, realize, at least in part, its vaunted potential. The second angle - a glimpse at the political and security dimension in Sino-American ties - is of consequence since, given Russia’s temporary decay and Japan’s self-imposed political and military restrictions, the US-China relationship is the most important in Asia Pacific. The reference to Japan is inevitable given the US-Japan Security Treaty [ANPO] and its prominence in northeast Asia. The 1999 ANPO guidelines contain geo-strategic elements that discomfort China and thus create bilateral and trilateral compatibility problems. Taiwan, is considered one of the most explosive issues awaiting solution in the 21st century. It constitutes another direct challenge to Sino-American relations and indirectly, to the well-being of Asia Pacific and the world.

Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung
Department of History

Kovalio, J. (2000). Security issues in US-China relations at the dawn of the 21st century. In Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik 2000, Dezember 2000. Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung.