The United States must adjust the current approach to China in order to achieve a strategy of cooperation and mutual support in the Asian Pacific Theater. The typical analysis of a way forward using Diplomatic, Informational, Military, and Economic (DIME) factors alone will not suffice in this case. DIME typically neglects the importance of ideology in a State’s culture. In China’s case this could prove to be a fatal flaw. The United States way ahead based on the DIME analysis must take military culture, foreign policy, economic policy, and (sometimes more important) ideology into consideration for each level of analysis.
To determine a way forward in a relationship with China the United States must first look back on China’s history. The Chinese have a strong hold to their 3300 year plus history and much of their approach to foreign policy is based on that history. History has taught them that Western Powers are only interested in taking territory away from them, or turning their backs on them due to differing viewpoints. An example of that is after the Opium Wars the Western Powers came in and carved up the territory, in what the Chinese saw as punishment. China also has an expansive boarder that is permeable and in all reality indefensible is some areas. This in turn causes the Chinese to be very defensive in nature, with a primary military mission of home defense.
From a diplomatic standpoint the United States must decipher a way to progress in a relationship with China while considering the past and Chinas’ own stated foreign policy. The United States will need to understand the traditional roots and influences of Confucius and Sun Tzu have in China’s stated views and policy. Confucius and Sun Tzu both believed winning a battle by peaceful means was a greater victory than those that came through use of military force. This historic thought is seen in China’s National Defense White Paper for 2008 where it states: “[W]ill persist in pursuing the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and advocating the settlement of international disputes and hotspot issues by peaceful means.” A sound understanding of Chinese ideology and the cultural basis for their foreign policy (and in some cases more importantly domestic policy), the United States will be in a better position to react appropriately in diplomatic arenas. This will result in an ability to further US interests while still appealing to the Chinese government.
The information collected (through public, private, and covert ways) will suggest that China is expanding its military and many of their actions give analysts reason to believe that China is making territorial grabs as its influence in the region expands. China’s historic view of outsiders and historic territorial claims must be considered in order to have a full picture...