chapter  4
U.S.-Chinese Relations in Adversity
WithRobert G. Sutter, Larry Niksch
Pages 22

US policymakers pursued the steady development of a multifaceted relationship with China. US government reaction in the form of official criticisms and limited sanctions prompted strong Chinese government protests. Amid the fears of American “hegemonism” and “power politics” voiced by some in China, it was not surprising that Beijing showed few signs of taking substantial initiatives that would markedly improve US-Chinese relations. Rapidly changing US-Soviet relations undercut the realpolitik or national security rationale for close US-Chinese relations. Security Council to secure support for the US-led effort to reverse Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was especially noted by US leaders. Meanwhile, disclosures of Chinese policy actions in sensitive areas of human rights, trade policy, and arms sales/nuclear proliferation fed a building storm of criticism focused on the annual US granting of renew most-favored-nation (MFN) status to Chinese imports. President Bush appeared determined to sustain MFN treatment for China as a critical element in constructive engagement he favored for US policy toward China.