China–United States Relation 2022: In 2021, the United States and China witnessed their rivalry reach unprecedented heights as both countries pursued strategies of increasing distrust and animosity in trade, defense, and diplomacy.
This pattern appears to be set to continue through 2022. Democrats and Republicans in the United States, who have severely split ahead of the key mid-term elections, can agree on one thing: there is no tolerance for being soft on China.
President Xi Jinping is poised to consolidate his control at the leadership of China during the Communist Party’s annual meeting in October, with the Communist Party completely supporting his hard-line policies.
It’s been a chilly start to the year 2022.
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is off to a difficult start. The United States has already stated that no government officials will be attending the games, and the United Kingdom and Australia have joined Washington’s diplomatic boycott. China retaliated by threatening unspecified “consequences” for the decision.
As February approaches, tensions are certain to rise, as the US uses the games and the boycott to draw attention to China’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang area.
Beijing’s pressure on Hong Kong’s civil freedoms will continue into 2022, as more pro-democracy activists are imprisoned under a national security statute enacted in 2020.
“I anticipate that the conflict between China and the United States will persist in 2022, notably in the fields of human rights, geopolitics, and security,” said Wu Qiang, a Beijing-based independent political commentator.
“This is a situation that both China’s and America’s leaders are pleased to see and expect. They won’t take any effective measures to alleviate the tension in this scenario, but they will keep it under control, I believe “he stated.
In 2022, A Conflict between Taiwan and China is Improbable
As Beijing gradually erodes Hong Kong’s special autonomy, Taiwan watches nervously as Chinese jets have flown hundreds of missions inside its defensive identification zone in recent months.
In 2021, the US enraged Beijing by sending unofficial legislative delegations to Taiwan and showing support for President Tsai’s Ing government. wen’s
Any discussion of Taiwanese independence is frowned upon by China. Beijing is adopting a policy of Taiwan’s inevitable “reunion” with the mainland under Xi. In 2022, China is likely to continue to oppose attempts by Taiwan to gain diplomatic recognition, as well as Taipei’s aspirations to join international organizations.
As tensions in the Taiwan Strait persist, the most hazardous potential flashpoint for armed confrontation between the US and China is considered a Chinese military invasion. The Communist Party, on the other hand, is more likely to prefer stability over saber-rattling as it prepares for its big event.
According to Bonnie Glaser, head of the Asia Program of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, “the risk of a PRC attack on Taiwan before the 20th Party Congress in the fall of 2022 is quite low.”
“Xi Jinping is unlikely to take a gamble that could jeopardize his chances of winning a third five-year term,” Glaser added.
Overall, the US and its allies will continue to conduct “freedom of navigation” naval drills in international waters claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea. China is quietly but steadily building its navy to protect these interests, although neither side wants a naval clash in the waterways.
Decoupling of Technology Between the US and China
Moving forward, cybersecurity will be a major concern, affecting both economic and strategic strategies. The United States accused China of orchestrating significant data hacking in 2021. Washington has also been a vocal opponent of China’s global rollout of next-generation communications technologies, particularly 5G.
The United States‘ effort to isolate Chinese technology from the rest of the world is expected to continue in 2022, with Washington refusing to relent in making it harder for Chinese companies to obtain vital US-made gear.
“The United States is just getting started on tightening technology transfer restrictions to China, and more actions will be done in 2022,” Glaser added.
The US Department of Defense is expected to address regulatory loopholes in 2022, such as those that allowed Chinese semiconductor firm SMIC to buy important US technology, and more Chinese entities will likely be added to the US Commerce Department’s blacklist, according to Glaser.
Export curbs and the screening of outbound foreign direct investment to China are also being discussed with US allies, she said.
The Communist Party’s harsh repression of the country’s business leaders, particularly in the technology sector, also causes concern. In 2022, further regulatory pressure from both the US and China on foreign investment in Chinese enterprises is likely to put global investors on the fence.
‘The major subject remains confrontation.’
In 2022, China’s economic growth is predicted to decelerate, with some predictions estimating that growth will be as low as 5% next year. According to some observers, this might present Beijing with an incentive to collaborate with the US on lowering Trump-era trade barriers.
Biden and Xi held a teleconference in November during which they both promised to handle competition in the future. However, analysts are pessimistic that the two countries will be able to work together to address their disputes amicably.
“I believe that the lessening of economic and trade tensions between China and the United States is only transitory,” Shen Ling, an economist at the East China University of Science and Technology, said.
“As the balance of economic power between the two countries shifts, China is now closer than ever to the US in terms of economic might. As a result, rather than cooperating, the bilateral relationship will be more competitive.”
Both sides are increasingly embroiled in an existential struggle to establish which form of governance is preferable. It’s state-controlled capitalism and the “rise of the East” for China as a growing force.
“Due to China’s 20th Party Congress and the US midterm elections in 2022, domestic politics will have a significant impact on both US and Chinese policies. As a result, I am pessimistic about making major progress on any problem “Glaser remarked. “However, if it is in both countries best interests to reach an agreement, that remains a possibility.”