At the end of the 20th century, the relations between America and China as the two major powers in the world were established. In this context, the US-China relations are becoming critical for the world. The Americans and the Chinese are two very different nations. The United States has much shorter history in comparison with China, the history of which dates back to a millions of years. The United States is proud of its achievements over the past two centuries that allowed it to stand ahead of the world. On the contrary, China is proud of its antiquity, the desire to restore historical greatness. Being the most influencing and powerful countries in the world, the United States and China have different political structure, language, culture, approaches to ethnic diversity, national security, climate, agriculture, topography and economy.
Primarily, America and China have different political systems. Thus, China is a communist state, whereas the United States is a constitution-based federal republic that is characterized by democratic traditions. The United States is characterized by Anglo-Saxon political system (Darlington, 2015). The political system of the state is characterized by political stability, high culture of political participation, rational attitude to the authorities and established political regime. There is a complete domination of the legal forms of political struggle (Darlington, 2015). In contrast, China is a representative of the totalitarian system. It expresses ideological and administrative monopoly of power over the society. Violence is one of the ways of interaction between the state and the society. “The fundamental difference between Washington’s view and Beijing’s is whether political rights are considered God-given and therefore absolute or whether they should be seen as privileges to be negotiated based on the needs and conditions of the nation” (Li, 2012). The political participation of citizens in China is formal.
Although both countries have a developed economy, China and the United States have different economical priorities and strategies. China has reoriented from a closed, centrally-planned economy system to a market-oriented one, which is one of the largest in the world. The U.S. economy is one of the most diverse national economies in the world that maintains leadership in the global economy for many decades. Nevertheless, as a consequence of crises and economic growth in the developing countries, its influence on the world economy decreases. Thus, the GDP (real growth rate) of China is much bigger than of the United States (“China vs. United States,” n.d.). The Chinese government pays much attention to agriculture and industry, whereas the United States gives preference to services. As a result, the percentage of people below the poverty level is lower in China than America. In addition, the United States is characterized by a higher rate of unemployment (“China vs. United States,” n.d.).
The U.S. economy is tied to Chinese economy due to moving a part of American production to China, growing dependence of the U.S. consumer market on imports of Chinese goods and presence of the major U.S. dollar assets and liabilities in China (Mirzayev, 2015). Further development of the partnership between the United States and China could lead to expansion of cooperation in trade and investment, creation of a free trade area and common actions in response to common global threats and challenges.
Being economically developed countries, the United States and China are characterized by a high level of tourism. However, countries have different places to show. China has many historical places of interest. There are many specific traditions that attract people. In contrast, America is a more globalized country that gives an opportunity to see both megalopolises and small towns. Both China and the United States have a great potential for recreational tourism because of their geographical and geopolitical setting, diversity of climatic conditions and therefore biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Americans and Chinese languages are the two most widely spoken languages in the world. This alone shows the importance of these nations for the future of humanity. Mandarin (Standard Chinese) is the official language in China, whereas the United States does not have an official national language. Nevertheless, English has official status in many states.
Chinese and American cultures are very different: “whereas American ideas of culture acknowledge a certain package of shared traits – food, language, music, customs – as a base requirement, the Chinese alternative, it seems, ascribes a much heftier weight to time” (Crane, 2015). China has a very rich and diverse culture. The Chinese are different from Westerners in terms of their outlook, behavior, reactions and preferences (Crane, 2015). The United States has traditionally been known as a melting pot of cultures. At the same time, there are common symbols of American culture: an apple pie, baseball and the American flag.
Both countries are characterized by various types of relief: coastal lowlands, vast plains, vast plateaus and majestic mountain ranges. The territory of the United States is so diverse that it is possible to see a wide variety of climatic zones. The main factor determining the climate in the United States is a high-altitude atmospheric flow that transfers air masses and moisture from the North Pacific Ocean to the continent (“China vs. United States,” n.d.). The main feature that characterizes Chinese climate is pronounced seasonal changes. In contrast to America, it is characterized primarily by monsoon rains and frequent northerly winds with little precipitation in winter and frequent southern winds with heavy rain in summer.
In contrast to the United States, in China, agriculture plays a fundamental role. Crop production has mainly a grain direction. Much attention is paid to the cultivation of green tea. Rice is the main seed culture. The main oilseed crop is peanuts. The major industrial crops are cotton, sugarcane, tea and sugar beets. Great value in China is given to water fisheries (“China vs. United States,” n.d.). Similarly, the United States has a well-developed agriculture. Agriculture not only meets the needs of the U.S. population in basic foodstuffs and raw materials, except for certain crops grown in the tropics (such as coffee, cocoa, bananas), but also provides large export surpluses. However, there are also some differences between the agricultural sectors of the two counties. Thus, in the agriculture of the United States animal husbandry plays a significant role. Dissimilarly, China is not much specialized in this area of agriculture. Also, due to climate differences, the United States does not produce the crops that are typically grown in China.
The problem of environment is a serious challenge to both China and the United States. China is at a stage of accelerating industrialization and urbanization, and the United States is a developed country with the largest aggregate economic indicators (“China vs. United States,” n.d.). However, in both countries, the contradiction between the interests of population, natural resources and the environment are becoming increasingly evident. China and the U.S. share many common interests in the field of environment. China has great needs and markets, whereas the United States has powerful funds, advanced technology, rich experience in raising energy efficiency, developing clean energy, exploration and development of oil and gas and environmental protection.
China is characterized by a larger population in comparison with the United States. However, the former has a lower population growth rate. Moreover, the migration rate is much higher in the United States. As a result, there is a national diversity in the United States. There are whites, blacks, Asians, Amerindians, Hawaiians and other races. In China, the majority of the population is presented by Han Chinese. There is a very small number of Zhuangs and other nationalities. The United States is also characterized by a higher level of urbanization (“China vs. United States,” n.d.).
Additionally, there are differences between the Americans and the Chinese when it comes to the feeling of every man, every part of the nation being a citizen, a human being and, moreover, a man of the world. The relationship between these two feelings is very difficult. The Americans and Chinese have different approaches to the idea of blood or racial purity. The Chinese are proud that they have assimilated those with whom they had contact, especially in the areas of cohabitation. Americans are also proud of themselves as a nation, which is a fusion of disparate elements, particles of different nations.
The Americans and Chinese have different approaches to the question of ethnic purity of the nation. Thus, the Chinese are proud of their ethnic purity of blood proximity. Americans are proud of the fact that they were formed and recognize themselves as a nation of people with different racial or ethnic origin that are connected to many nations.
Americans as a nation are governed by an international vision of the nation. Their nationalism or patriotism has an international color. The U.S. citizenship serves as the main guarantee of the rights of every human being. Meanwhile, the nationality of a person is not infringed in any way. Chinese as a nation is governed by the national representations of the nation. Belonging to the Han people (actually Chinese) is the main guarantee of belonging to a category of people who will not be infringed because they do not belong to so-called national minorities.
China’s national interests include sovereignty, security, economic development, international status and national dignity. The long-term interests include capacity building, consistent implementation of stages of development and achievement of prosperity of the country. Capacity building involves the development of sustainable environment, development of science and technology and economic growth.
The national security strategy of China differs from the American one. Unlike the United States, China is devoid of active offensive position. Nevertheless, recently, China’s parliament passed a new law on national security, which replaced the law of 1933. Thus, according to the law, the state will protect not only from attempting coups but also from the hostile impact on the economy, culture and the Internet. Under the term national security, Chinese authorities understand the state of protection of the political, economic, social, informational, cultural, technological and environmental fields. The achievement of a state of security can be reached through uniting around a centralized, efficient and authoritative leadership. Unlike China, the United States allows experiments in foreign policy and often sets unattainable goals like establishing democracy in the Middle East, eradication of terrorism, etc. The U.S. strategy welcomes a peaceful rise of sustainable and responsible China. The United States indicates undesirability of confrontation with Beijing, but is ready to this course of actions in case China destructs Asian security. At the same time, the United States will monitor the modernization of China’s military forces to eliminate the risk of misunderstandings and miscalculation.
For many centuries, China was a leading civilization but its success was destroyed by famines, unrests, military defeats and occupation. Since the 20th century, China has begun to restore its place in the world arena. The United States has not so long history as China, but there were many difficulties and challenges in its history. Nevertheless, America managed to become a superpower. Both countries have reached many achievements in terms of economy, culture and social life. However, they have completely different worldviews, cultures, economic and political systems, climate, agriculture, tourism and approaches to their future and national security. Although there are striking differences between America and China in some areas, they possess similar features in the others. Such areas, in particular social transformation and human rights, make it possible for the United States to begin a dialogue with China.