Wednesday, December 29, 2010
China as "G2"/G2-I
It was not long ago when scholars used the words “G2” in the 1980s to describe two “superpowers” – the United States and Japan. Times have now changed. In 2008, an article (“A Partnership of Equals,” Foreign Affairs July/August 2008) written by C. Fred Bergsten used the phrase “G2” to describe new superpowers – the United States and China. The article is adapted from his forthcoming, co-authored book, China’s Rise: Challenges and Opportunities. As noted by Bergsten, unlike Tokyo, Beijing seeks different approaches “to play the game” in the current international system, including participation in international organizations such as the IMF and WTO. The U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue in Washington in June is a good example of the changing G2 roles where a meeting was held between the United States and China before the G-7 (the group of highly industrialized states) meeting in July is held in Hokkaido. As a result of this meeting, the “G2” U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue has already been put in place, and patterns of cooperation can be seen on issues ranging from the environment and international finance. Eventually, the United States needs China to cooperate within the international systems as an “equal partner.” This will lead to multiple powers, not unilateral American power, among the US, Japan, China, EU, and Saudi Arabia to balance in the international political, economic, and financial systems. This is a big change from the 1980s when Japan was considered a “G2” during its heyday.