ТОП 10:

Tangled triangle of Russia, China and the U.S.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks marked the beginning of the end of the U.S. global domination. The U.S. fall from the stars was accelerated by its unsuccessful, taxing military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq and the deep economic crisis.

By 2009, it became obvious that the “Pax Americana” global empire was a pipe dream, and the United States – now under the leadership of a more pragmatic and realistic President Barack Obama – began looking for new alliances. One of the Obama administration’s ideas was sharing the burden of responsibility for global security with China, whose economy continued to grow at full speed during the global crisis.

In February 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed creating a U.S.-Chinese superpower alliance to collectively solve the most pressing global economic and political problems. But the Chinese leadership flatly rejected Clinton’s proposal. How could China possibly create an “axis” with the United States when both are locked in a fierce geopolitical rivalry and are unable to overcome thorns in the bilateral relationship such as the sale of U.S. weapons to Taiwan?

Even if these problems didn’t exist, a long-term U.S.-Chinese or Russian-Chinese alliance would be difficult to achieve. For one, after being burned by the failed alliances with Washington and Moscow, Beijing has vowed to avoid formal alliances with a superpower; this has become a cornerstone of China’s foreign policy. Second, China has historically vowed to “fight against hegemony”. China has always insisted that it has no ambitions to become a hegemony and is opposed to any global domination by any superpower.

China learned its lesson in the early 1980s when, after cozying up to the United States to oppose the Soviet Union, it quickly realized the downside of this alliance – that it had a negative impact on China’s reputation in the Third World, which was China’s traditional basis of support and which shared Beijing’s opposition to U.S. hegemony.

Thus, Washington must come up with another way to preserve its dominant position in global affairs. If China doesn’t want to play ball, it could mean that it is intent on decreasing U.S. political and economic influence when and where it can. This is why many U.S. policy-makers view China as the country’s largest threat.

How can the United States counter this threat? In part, with Russia’s help. And so, once again, Washington has courted Moscow to help the United States counterbalance China’s growing global influence. But the United States doesn’t realize that Russia has no interest in alienating China. Moscow is more interested in cooperating with Beijing than counterbalancing it, particularly when Russia’s primary goal is modernization.

Eighteenth century French philosopher Charles de Montesquieu said, “Small countries perish from external enemies, and large countries perish from internal ones.” Russia has more than enough internal problems that it needs to solve without having to worry about conflicts with China.




I. Insert the prepositions where it is necessary:

1) After September 11, 2009, the United States ….the leadership ….a more pragmatic and realistic President Barack Obama began looking ….new alliances.

2) One ….the Obama administration’s ideas was sharing the burden ….responsibility ….global security …. China.

3) It seems that both the USA and China are locked …. a fierce geopolitical rivalry and are unable to overcome thorns ….the bilateral relationship such …. the sale …. U.S. weapons …. Taiwan.

4) ….. cozying … …. the United States to oppose the Soviet Union, China quickly realized the downside … this alliance – that it had a negative impact …. China’s reputation … the Third World.

5) Washington must come … … another way to preserve its dominant position … global affairs.


II. Match the words in column a) with their synonyms in column b):

a) to accelerate; obvious; to look for; alliance; pressing; flatly; fierce; rivalry; thorns; hegemony; cornerstone; to cozy up; downside; to be intent on; to decrease; to counter; primary; to perish

b) to collapse; to quicken; evident; fundamental; to be eager; to make friends with; axis; urgent; supremacy; obstacles; competition; disadvantage; to diminish; decisively; wild; to resist; to search for; center


III. Match the word combinations with their English equivalents from the text:

Глобальное господство; безуспешная военная кампания; несбыточная мечта; искать новые союзы; разделять бремя ответственности; прямо отвергнуть предложение; геополитическое соперничество; преодолеть барьеры; несостоявшиеся союзы; краеугольный камень политики; негативная сторона альянса; разделять отрицательное отношение; выступить с идеей; противостоять угрозе; внешние враги


IV. Translate the sentences from Russian into English:

1) Отрезвление США произошло тем быстрее, что оно сопровождалось безуспешными дорогостоящими военными кампаниями в Афганистане и Ираке и глубоким экономическим кризисом.

2) В феврале 2009 года Государственный Секретарь США Хилари Клинтон выступила с предложением создать союз двух супердержав – США и Китая, чтобы вместе решать важнейшие глобальные проблемы в области экономики и политики.

3) Даже если бы этих проблем не существовало, долгосрочный союз США и Китая или Китая и Росси вряд ли был бы возможен.

4) Китай всегда настаивал на том, что не стремится стать господствующей державой и в принципе против того, чтобы какая-либо сверхдержава претендовала на мировое господство.

5) США не понимают, что Россия совсем не заинтересована в отчуждении Китая. Москва гораздо более заинтересована в том, чтобы сотрудничать с Китаем, нежели в противостоянии ему – особенно сейчас, когда главной целью России является модернизация экономики.


Контрольная работа № 5.

Var. I

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