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JPI PeaceTalk
Subject JPI PeaceTalk with Martin Jacques, Senior Fellow of Cambridge University
Author JPI  (admin)
File
  Martin Jacques.JPG  (92KByte)
2019-08-09 오후 5:25:00


 

 


According to Martin Jacques, when it comes to the changing world order and the US-China relationship, the United States is trying to hold onto something it thinks is right, which is to be the boss. China’s reaction is actually quite different, Dr. Jacques says. He believes that China doesn’t want to fight, it thinks there must be a better way to resolve these problems, and therefore when it does respond or retaliate. China doesn’t want to behave in any way that will give further encouragement to the Americans to play the game like this. The US economy has been in decline for actually a long time, says Dr. Jacques, since back to the 80s, but over a long period of years. But it branches into geopolitics, too. One of the problems of the Anglo-American era of history is that it came to regard itself to be superior to all other forms of cultural and governance. And so, very consciously, they set out to engineer them in a different way in what was known as colonization, says Dr. Jacques. He sees an element of this in the Sino-American relationship. What the Americans are really saying in terms of sovereignty questions is that they don’t accept the reform and opening-up project which Deng Xiaoping launched in 1978, which has led to the most remarkable economic transformation in human history. Dr. Jacques suggests it may be more appropriate to ask the Americans, “What right do the Americans have to tell a country like China, which is 2400 years old, how they should govern their country?” He believes the US attitude stems from a lack of respect for another country, another culture, another civilization.


 

 


Q1. The eyes of the world are centered on the U.S.-China trade war and special attention is given to China whether it will retaliate for Trump’s tariff hike. Why do you think the trade war broke out? Analysts who lay emphasis on power shifts theory are seeing the current conflict as an inevitable collision between the hegemonic state and the rising power. Do you agree to the thought?


I think there’s a lot of truth to it. When the top dog—the hegemon—begins to feel challenge from another country, its likely reaction is to resist that change, and to try to consolidate its position. That helps to explain the American attitude.


 


Q2. Do you think China will take retaliatory action? Why or Why not?


I think that in this situation the aggressor is clearly the United States. It’s trying to hold onto something it thinks is right, which is to be the boss. China’s reaction is actually quite different. It doesn’t want to have its fight, it thinks there must be a better way to resolve these problems, and therefore when it does respond or retaliate, it’s gentler and you feel it doesn’t have its heart in it. But, of course they need to respond. What they have done is rather less than what the Americans have done in the first place. I think that will carry on. China doesn’t want to behave in any way that will give further encouragement to the Americans to play the game like this. If they decide to sell their American Treasury bills, they will think very carefully.


 


Q3. Your book ‘When China Rules the World’ was published in 2009, right after the 2008 subprime crisis and arouse global discussion about the role of China as a game changer. It seems that the rise of China looked outstanding because of the decline of the US economy at the time. Now American economy recovered, and US stocks made it to record highs just recently. It seems evident that American governance under Trump administration is not so liberalistic nor democratic while China is calling for free-trade. Do you still think the US economy is to decline and the US represents liberal democracy?


I think that you can’t really summarize the condition of their economy by looking at the Dow-Jones Index or the NASDAQ. They’re subject to a variety of different forces. What really matters is the state of the real economy. And the truth is that America’s been in decline for actually a long time—since back to the 80s, but over a long period of years. You can see it in geopolitical terms. East Asia is the most important region in the world, and China’s much more important in this region than the United States. I don’t think there’s any doubt at all about that. But, when the top dog has been in power a long time, people think somehow or other it’s going to last forever, because it’s been a permanent fixture in their lives for so long. The other reason is because the Americans are in denial about it. It’s not just Trump. Ironically, Trump is the guy who says America is in decline and he is going to fix it. He’s right that America is in decline but he’s wrong that he’s the one who’s going to fix it.


 


Q4. You said that China is not a nation-state so much as a civilization-state and China’s governing systems can be different from that of the West. Though a civilized nation does not necessarily equate to a civilization, different civilizations may clash according to Huntington. He especially contended that a Western-Islamic clash and Western-Chinese clash are inevitable. How do you agree on the thought?


There’s definitely an element of this in the Sino-American relationship. If you look at what the Americans are arguing—the Americans have taken it upon themselves to say that, “We don’t like you subsidizing your industries, we don’t think you should have targets for 2025.” What the Americans are really saying in terms of sovereignty questions is that “We don’t accept the reform and opening-up project which Deng Xiao-ping launched in 1978, which has led to the most remarkable economic transformation in human history.” You might ask the Americans, “What right do the Americans have to tell a country like China which is 2400 years old how they should govern their country?” I think this is a lack of respect for another country, another culture, another civilization. It’s a gross interference in their sovereignty. We’re not surprised by this because we’ve seen this before from the United States.


 


Q5. What advice would you give to the Trump administration and the Moon government?


The problem right now is that the North Koreans are not engaging. It’s not that the United States doesn’t want to negotiate. The North Koreans are not responding. I’m not sure there’s not a lot to be done at this moment without them responding. Beyond that, if they do respond, and we have negotiations, we need to be realistic about what is achievable at the beginning of negotiations. People always want the other side to give a lot and give a little in return. It doesn’t work that way—that’s not what a negotiation is.


 


Q6. Are you writing a new book at the moment? Or are you planning to write a new one? Can you give your fans a heads up about it?


I can’t hide it any longer. It takes me a long time. It’s on what kind of great power China is going to be. That’s the theme. I’ve written about half of it but there’s a long way to go. I began my first significant moves were in 2015. I’ve done three years on it so far.