Summary: Americans who read the news know that China is a designated bad guy, which justifies the full deployment of US power to contain it. Efforts by China to resist (or even defend itself) show its malevolent intent. Here is the rest of the story — the true story.
What is America’s strategy to manage China? To discover the opinion of US elites, I first turn to The Economist (or Stratfor): “They have returned“, 12 August 2010 — “China should worry less about America’s ‘containment’ strategy and more about why the neighbours welcome it.” The Economist’s attempt to distract us from the containment program shows that China should worry about US efforts to contain it. To understand this conflict, we begin with the previous global struggle.
“The ‘Long War’ is a term for the conflict that began in 1914 with the First World War and concluded in 1990 with the end of the Cold War. The Long War embraces the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the War in Vietnam and the Cold War. The Long War can be understood as a single conflict fought over the constitutional issue of what form of the nation-state — fascist, communist or parliamentary — would succeed the imperial states of the 19th century.”
— Interview with Philip Bobbit, author of The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History (2003).
I believe the Long War as won by “market-based States”, not “parliamentary” states. Now the US attempting to retain its hegemony over the other market-based nation-states — especially China. From 1950 to 1972 one of the top goals of American foreign policy was to contain China. This culminated in the Vietnam War, as described in the memorandum from Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Johnson, dated 3 November 1965. The opening of the memo is clear (red emphasis added).
“The February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain Communist China. China — like Germany in 1917, like Germany in the West and Japan in the East in the late 30’s, and like the USSR in 1947 — looms as a major power threatening to undercut our importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against us.
“The long-run US policy is based upon an instinctive understanding in our country that the peoples and resources of Asia could be effectively mobilized against us by China or by a Chinese coalition and that the potential weight of such a coalition could throw us on the defensive and threaten our security. This understanding of a straightforward security threat is interwoven with another perception — namely, that we have our view of the way the US should be moving and of the need for the majority of the rest of the world to be moving in the same direction if we are to achieve our national objective.”
After Nixon went to China, from 1972 -2001 the US pursued a policy of engagement. But China’s unexpected hypergrowth transformed it from a trading partner and distant threat into a current rival — and after 2001 US policy changed from cooperation to quiet containment.