In the run-up to Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States this week, Cui Tiankai, the vice foreign minister, said it all: China and the United States suffer a “trust deficit.” That is true; myriad factors — including different political systems, a rapidly growing list of issues with which the two countries must contend, and overblown expectations — have contributed to the problem. Cui’s prescription was that both sides “must give full attention” to “nurturing and deepening mutual trust.” What he left out, however, was precisely what nurturing and deepening might entail.
Is it even possible to fix the trust deficit? China has moved from a communist governing model to a state capitalism model – fascist model – that is heavily mercantilist. The intensions of its military growth are unclear. Well, at least they are unclear to the current administration. The regime puts itself above the interests of the Chinese people. Compare that to the US’s democratic governing system and more free-market capitalist system. Our military is much more open as well. It is clear that China and the US are starting out with such vast differences that they probably can’t be bridged unless China changes to a democratic system. Expect conflict in the future because of these vast differences.