Strategic Distrust in the Sino-American Trade Relationship: The Pivot to Asia In-Between Containment and Engagement

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Strategic Distrust in the Sino-American Trade Relationship: The Pivot to Asia In-Between Containment and Engagement

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Strategic Distrust in the Sino-American Trade Relationship: The Pivot to Asia In-Between Containment and Engagement
Author: Martin, Xiaoxue Jiang
Issue Date: 2018-10-31
Keywords: Sino-American
trade
strategic distrust
Pivot to Asia
Abstract: Why was the Obama administration unable to lessen strategic distrust and tensions in the Sino-American trade relationship, despite its intent to build a constructive relationship with China under the Pivot to Asia? The mistake of the administration, according to this academic work, was not the wish to cooperate and engage with China, but the problematic execution of its proclamations as a result of domestic politics. The Obama administration sent confusing and conflicting signals towards the Chinese government: while its official discourse primarily emphasised cooperation and engagement, domestic resistance pushed the policymaking process towards implementation of foreign policy that suggested intentions of containment. The Obama administration seemed unable or unwilling to follow through on its words, leading to a discrepancy between the stated aims and the concrete results of the Pivot to Asia initiative. As a result, the United States failed to convince Chinese sceptics that it genuinely wanted to cooperate, and that it did not have nefarious hegemonic aspirations. Thus, ultimately, the failure to gather domestic support for engagement with China rendered the Obama administration unable to reduce strategic distrust in the Sino-American relationship.
Supervisor: Wang, Jue
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (Research master)
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/66194
 

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