It’s probably still too early to say that the world is now dominated by the G2, an odd couple by unusual partners United States and China. Their emergence actually is less of a global truth and it reflects an international tendency defined by planetary summits, where the strongest powers determine the number that follows the “G”.
Still, it appears as though today’s the Big 2 lead the global governance scene, and might continue to do so in the future. The conditional tense is key to addressing the fragility of the question, where the White House’s utmost supremacy is still internationally recognized and legitimately dominant. But the new balance of power, with China’s growing affirmation, has brought industrialized countries to put aside former socio-political obstacles. During her first visit beyond the Great Wall, Hilary Clinton, referring to human rights, clearly stated that these “issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis”. The relationship between the United States and its current rival and partner is thus now understood on a “broader spectrum”. In addition, some European states decided it would be better to restore the best possible relations with China by repealing the old support for Tibet.
But China is making its own national networks as well. Its Confucianist neighbors, South Korea and Vietnam, fear, hope, and plan around its boom depending heavily and anxiously on China’s next step — which seems to be leading to the road ahead — as it will determine their national future as well. Seoul’s multinationals have invested more than $40 billion in China, and six million business people visit the Mainland from the peninsula every year. Exchange is key to fight Korea’s largest fears: economic stagnation, a decline in manufacturing, Japan style, as well as its relationship with its northern counterpart.
Vietnam, at the opposite, is still forming its industrial sector, and thus complies with China’s policies. Their physical proximity and historical oscillations strengthens and shakes Vietnam’s status. China and Vietnam’s relationship is thus heavily based on their geo-political landscape, where the Middle Kingdom has delocalized its labor intensive processing southwards, such as textile and footwear production. At the same time, China takes the responsibility of planning Vietnam’s oil exploration, as well as buying its bauxite and other agricultural goods.
There is a two-way process where China’s investment and profits serve the purpose of ensuing proper national growth, as well of kick starting a quicker path to economic progress of its southern partner. This kind of business relationship guarantees strategic security — through a delicate balance — in order to avoid any form of hostility in the face of geographic boundaries. China’s utmost objective is, therefore, not to control the global market, but to continue on its own path to prosperity without interferences, either imposed or received.