Recent news can make you believe that there is a serious rift or even a coming rupture in relations between the PRC and the US.
Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism writes that:
Relations between the US and China have been deteriorating. Although both sides have poked each other in various ways (Obama meeting with the Dalai Lama, China dissing Obama in Copenhagen by standing him up for a meeting, some tit for tat on tariffs), the major, unresolved bone of contention is China’s pegging of its currency, the renminbi, at a level most experts deem to be undervalued. This has widespread ramifications: a continuation of global imbalances (one of the causes of the financial crisis) and preserving Chinese employment at the expense of its trading partners.
Yves analysis is very good. However, let me add two new angles which I think are important as well.
First, lets note that this sort of verbal sabre rattling is actually good for business, at least if you are in the business of selling arms. According to a SIPRI fact sheet, the largest exporters of arms are the US and Russia, by far. They are followed by Germany and France. In all, Europe, Russia and the US make up 88% the suppliers. China is only 2%.
So, who, then profits from such “news”? The arms manufacturers, obviously. Which in turn means jobs in the respective countries. After all, we are talking here about people who manipulate the market for a living, so it would not be surprising, if these news were manipulated as well.
Besides, I don’t think the PRCs elite and the US elite have any major disagreements. They share the same ideology – corporatism – and are dominated by the same personality types.
Second, the PRC, or rather the communist corporatist party of China, is in a bind. Being a single party dictatorship, there is, obviously, no alternative this one party. That means, it must succeed at all costs otherwise, it will lose power and turmoil will result.
Now, this party promised to make the lives of the Chinese population better. If the party doesn’t succeed in doing that, it will be considered a failure by the Chinese population (or a part thereof). Since China does not have an alternative to the party, this might spell trouble for the Chinese elite – they might lose power and influence, something they would try to avoid at all costs? We will see.