A Rising China Will Benefit the US and Its Allies

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As an American who grew up in California during the 1980s, my initial perception of modern China was primarily shaped by the standard history book narrative of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 and the first few decades of communist rule that followed. However, my views were radically altered in the summer of 1989 when dramatic media images of the student led protest movement in Tiananmen Square dominated the nightly news. For the first time, I became aware that there were many Chinese people who wanted the same basic human rights and civil liberties that Americans enjoyed. A makeshift statue created by the protestors, the 10 meter tall Goddess of Democracy, became a powerful political symbol and a rallying call for freedom and democracy that resonated deeply with many people in the West (Deneen, xv). Then, just when it seemed that the peaceful student revolution was gaining momentum, the Chinese government deployed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into Tiananmen Square and the protest movement was quickly and brutally crushed. The incident affected me deeply and made me very suspicious and distrustful of the PRC government and its future ambitions.
My suspicions were only reinforced in the 1990s when members of Congress began to denounce unfair Chinese trade practices. In 1996, a bill to renew China’s “most favored nation” status generated acrimonious debate in the US House of Representatives. “These people don't think like us,” said Joe Scarborough, a Representative from Florida. “They don't share our values. They only understand that the U.S. continues to kowtow to them.” (qtd. in Schmitt par. 18). Yet, despite the harsh rhetoric from many members of Congress, the Clinton administration continue...

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...nd choked with people, bikes, buses, and cars. It was overwhelming. Yet, I never once felt threatened or in danger while traveling through China. Wherever I went there were always people who offered to help me and who were genuinely interested in knowing more about me and my life in the US. What surprised me most was how informed young Chinese people were about American history, culture, and politics. The Internet cafes were abuzz with you

Works Cited

Deneen, Patrick J. Democratic Faith. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2005. Print
Schmitt, Eric. "House Defeats a Move to End China's Favored Trade Status." The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 June 1996. Web. 28 Nov. 2013.
Gittings, John. The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. Print.
Schuman, Michael. "Why Do We Fear a Rising China?" Time Magazine, 7 June 2011. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.
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