Looking beyond the military reasons for continuing such a relationship, one must consider how the export relationship is offering benefits to the United States in terms of research and development. Understanding this point requires one to understand the very nature of the American-Chinese export relationship. With high-technology products, it is not a simple question of dictation. The U. S. companies are not just sending over products for the sake of pure profit.
Instead, the two countries work together to develop better technologies, and each has taken a more active role in pursuing new technologies. It is important to keep in mind that there is much we can learn from the Chinese industry leaders, and they understand the mutual benefits, as well. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce indicated this fact in an address on the importance of its American relationship.
They wrote, “Despite the frictions in bilateral trade, the two governments are increasingly mature in dealing with Sino-US economic and trade ties. Strengthened cooperation and equal consultation are becoming the keynote of Sino-US economic and trade ties. Trust is the foundation of cooperation. Thus in developing high-tech trade with China, the US side should regard the Chinese side as a partner that it could sincerely cooperate with” (Chinese Ministry of Commerce, 2010).
This quotation indicates the level of mutual respect that seems to exist between the two countries, and offers an enlightened view on what seems to be a symbiotic relationship. As that address goes on to state, the relationship between American and Chinese companies is an important one both in practice and in theory. Consumer confidence and shareholder confidence is bound to be at an all-time high when these mutually beneficial export relationships are at play, at least in the opinion of the Chinese.
That same address goes on to say, “MOFCOM and DOC have signed the Guidelines on the Development of China-US High Technology and Strategic Trade to guide and regulate bilateral high-tech and strategic trade development. According to the Guidelines, MOFCOM and DOC have agreed to take civil aviation and aerospace and information technology as the first batch of priority areas of expanding bilateral high-tech trade, and meanwhile the two sides are drafting cooperation plans” (Chinese Ministry of Commerce, 2010).
The issue of promoting cooperation with a powerful country is one that the United States should be interested in moving forward. The United States must also take a broad view at the global markets in today’s world, seeing the realities for what they are. Though China has jumped up to third on the list of US export destinations, it still lags behind to some extent in high-technology products. According to a report by the Global Times, this is because American high-technology export controls are restricting the types of items that can be shipped to China.
That report stated that “digital machine tools, certain fiber materials, and electronic devices” (Global Times, 2010) were among those items that could not be shipped without tight licensing practices. The American regulations are being reconsidered, but at current time the government is looking to restrict how much technology China has to work with for military purposes. What the American government needs to recognize is two-fold. First, the current global climate and American-Chinese relationship is such that neither country could ever afford to go to war with the other.
Secondly, the products that the United States is restricting are available through other sources around the world, meaning that China has the ability to import them from places other than the United States. This is hurting American companies, who would otherwise be able to take advantage of a huge potential market in China. The Global Times article states, “The US is no longer the sole owner of many technologies. Many items in the export control list are being sold freely elsewhere in the world by non- US competitors” (Global Times, 2010).
The article goes on to note the fact that the Chinese would be much more willing to import American goods in these categories than goods from other countries, both because of the previously stated working relationship and the American superiority of products. It states, “China has a large appetite for US exports in almost every area where the US has a competitive advantage, such as machinery, aerospace, new materials, biotechnology, agriculture, and services” (Global Times, 2010).