Special Forum

A broad range of issues is plaguing Sino-US relations in 2013. Strategic prospects might now be grimmer than at any time since the normalization of bilateral relations in 1979. The cybercrime charge from the White House about China’s military intelligence unit espionage aimed at commercial secrets is a burning issue.1 Edward Snowden’s revelations are prompting Beijing to assume “victim” status and blunt the US push to curb cybertheft. Economically, China’s Likenomics is likely to cloud Washington’s plan to expand exports to the Chinese market. Furthermore, Beijing’s skeptics toward TPP’s intentions now are showing rising interest in exploring the possibility of China’s entry, but with preference for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) China might find it hard to extend a warm hug to TPP, which is considered a US-driven Asia-Pacific economic integration framework. US sympathy to Tibet and Xinjiang rattles political ties when Beijing is allegedly employing a heavy-handed policy to crack down on the resurgence of ethnic riots in these border areas. More importantly, China’s military modernization, coupled with its “assertive” foreign policy, significantly raises American awareness of China’s intentions, and is leading the two countries onto a narrow road, where their strategic interests seem increasingly to collide.2 In particular, the China-Russia joint naval drills on July 5-12, 2013, spark renewed concern about a Beijing-Moscow anti-West axis.3

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