The importance of the Sino-American relationship cannot be overstated, with a potential hegemony of American influence being eroded away over at least the past 25 years. The two largest countries, by GDP, are facing threats from each other, with the rapid growth in China’s economic power taking the US by surprise due, partly, to an American focus on the Middle East following 9/11. With an eye toward understanding the potential path forward for a future relationship between these two superpowers, I will be looking at potential reasons for China’s ability to industrialize and grow economically in such a short period of time, such as due to China’s accession to multilateral, international bodies, and an American mindset distracted by events in other parts of the world.
Economically, the United States has played an outsized role in the setting up and maintenance of the global market, while enjoying unilateral power to shift systems to benefit itself. This was evidenced by a GDP unmatched by any country until the rise of China, as well as by a makeup of international organizations that heavily benefited the United States, and its allies to a lesser extent. Understanding how the United States has been able to maintain control of this system for so long, all the while more recently seeming oblivious to any economic or political threats to its hegemony, is important in providing context for how China was able to rise like it has, almost without a major incident or setback.
Using a regression analysis of the economic and political variables surrounding the issue, I will be looking to understand what factors most affected this convergence, and what is likely to happen between the two countries as we continue in the 21st century.