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Realism In The Case Of China

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Analysis of Realism in the Case of China

Realism is a theory of foreign relations that claims states exist with each other in a state of anarchy and can not cooperate with each other for a prolonged period of time without having a conflict of interest because there is no central authority for the entire world. Realism also offers the claim that states only look out for their nation's security when interacting with other nations regardless of the government of the two nations. Although nations get together and form international agencies or institutions, according to realism these international organizations do nothing to help keep peace between nations; the organizations only work as the major leading nations allow them.

The Realist ideals would lead them to say that China, as an emerging power, will cause problems not only with the United States but also within the world community as a whole. The treat the realist would say they cause has nothing to do with who they are specifically but, rather, is solely because they are an emerging great power that will rival another great power, the United States, to be the leader of the international community. Although the two states will likely try to benefit from one another through trade in order to maximize their gains respectively, a realist would still say that both of the nations will be skeptical of one another and there will eventually be a conflict of interest and tension will rise.

The realist would say that the relations between the United States and China in the coming years will be very similar to those between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War when those two great nations were battling to be the leading nation in the international community. The conflict that will arise has nothing to do with the specific nations themselves, but it will be because both will be worried that the other poses a threat to their respective national securities. Something that adds to this problem is that the United States and China are not committed allies with one another. China is the major trading partner for the United States, but there are no loyalties present beyond economic goals. It also does not help the situation that China is not only expanding economically and domestically, they also seek to take back Taiwan and major powers looking to expand outward is generally looked down upon by the rest of the world.

I tend to agree with the realist claims on certain points regarding how nations act toward one another and what effect international organizations have on peace and cooperation in the international community. Nations without a doubt look out for their own security and best interests first and foremost. Having no official authority keeping international order in the world leaves no certainty that any given nation is completely safe from being taken advantage of or invaded by another nation. Many times, this can lead to paranoia when one country is becoming very powerful and seeming as if it could easily overtake smaller nations around it to create an uncontrollable empire (such as Germany in the first and second World Wars). And although the major nations of the world attempt to set up international organizations that provide peace and security for its members, these organizations only work given that the major nations are actually participating. Even then, the organizations will only work in the ways the major nations guide them, which will be in their best interests and not necessarily in the best interest of the whole community. The organizations, such as UN, are really an organized way for the leading nations of the world to exercise what they want done when they feel other nations are acting up in a way that threatens the leading powers in some way.

The United States and China situation is tough because it has been a while since another country other than the US is getting this powerful worldwide. Even the Soviet Union during the Cold War was not this big of a threat, in realist views; because they did not have all that much to offer in the form of trade to really boost their economy. China would be considered a threat by some because they have been expanding



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