Relations between the US, China, and Russia have always been difficult. Both China and Russia have developed as more stable and stronger states after their transition to global capitalism. However, there are many differences between these countries. It is believed that Russia is more critical for the US national interest than China, but such position is wrong. China is more critical because of its greater economic growth, more favorable position in the world in comparison with Russia, and more significant role on the global level. The main argument is that Russia is weaker than China from both the political and the economic perspectives. Therefore, for the US, China is more important, because it plays a greater role as an economic and trade partner and it has to be considered a stronger threat to the US than Russia. Hence, this paper is focused on the position that China is more crucial for the US national interests than Russia due to its powerful role on the international level, more favorable position towards the US, and greater economic growth.
One of the main reasons why China is more important for the US national interests than Russia is its economic growth. It is critical to note that China and Russia experienced similar economic growth, but its results were completely different. Russia and China have a lot in common. For instance, they have deep Communist rule legacies, but they managed to embrace market mechanisms, while reaching a state control over critical portions of the economy (Rozman, 2011). These countries are spread across massive and very diverse physical territories and they both strongly rely on export revenues to increase the growth of their economies (Pfeifer, 2015). However, their economic paths varied greatly. Russia has focused on frequent wage increases and consumer spending to drive growth, while China has relied on the industrial capacity, real estate, and infrastructure (Pfeifer, 2015). Therefore, China`s export revenue comes from the sales of manufactured products that were made cheap due to the impressive labor force, while Russia gets its money through timber, metals, gas, and oil sales (Pfeifer, 2015). However, despite similar growth, the economic situation in China is better and provides more opportunities than that of Russia. According to this fact, it is possible to note that China is a more promising and important country for the US national interests than Russia. Chinese industry based growth helped it to overtake Russia on a range of development and human capital indicators. Hence, China is the critical global player in an increasing number of technological industries and in the international economic system as opposed to Russia. China has embraced economic integration and globalization on a scale surpassing other Asian countries, while Russia is still peripheral and developing (Balzer, 2008). The main point is that the Russian economy is open, but selling arms and natural resources generated few linkages that can lead to higher value-added production. Hence, it is possible to say that Chinese integration is better in comparison with Russia because it includes participation in entire product cycles and technology chains (Balzer, 2008). Moreover, China overperforms in producing value-added products given its development level, while Russia seriously underperforms in such areas as the educational system, industrial base, and research and development potential that are still the same as during the Soviet period (Balzer, 2008). Such a difference seriously impacts politics. In fact, Russian thin integration produces few countervailing forces to contest the renewed economy administrative dominations, while the Chinese thick integration has managed to foster institutional, sectoral, and regional interests that expanded and defended the openness and reform policies (Balzer, 2008). In general, it is critical to note that in 2013 the GDP in China was 7.7%, while in Russia it stayed at 1.3% (Index Mundi, n.d.). At the same time, the population living below the poverty line was at 6.1% in China and 11% in Russia, which is almost two times higher. The inflation rate in 2013 was 2.6% in China and 6.8% in Russia (Index Mundi, n.d.). A great difference can be seen in the labor force, with 797,6 million in China and 75,29 million in Russia in the same year (Index Mundi, n.d.). Moreover, the unemployment rate also varies. In China, it was at 4.1% in 2013, while in Russia it was at 5.8% (Index Mundi, n.d.). Additionally, it can be seen that while in China the unemployment rate remained the same since 2012, in the case of Russia, this rate grew by 0.3% in 2013 as compared with 2012 (Index Mundi, n.d.). The industrial growth rate in 2013 in China was 7.6%, while in Russia it was only 0.1% (Index Mundi, n.d.). Therefore, based on such information, it is possible to notice that China has great economic growth in comparison with Russia and this fact is crucial for the US national interest. As an economic partner, China is more critical than Russia and the same conclusion can be reached by analyzing the threats from the global perspective. China is more dangerous from this perspective than Russia and its economic growth can seriously damage the US economic situation. Thus, from the economic perspective, China is more crucial than Russia.
Another reason why China is more important to the US national interests is that China is more favorable than Russia due to a better relationship. Despite many disagreements, the US and China have managed to salvage their relationship. These countries do not allow disagreements in one area of impact ti negatively affect the relationship in other areas. Moreover, both countries closely integrated with each other in terms of population exchange, trade, and economy in general. China is a strong partner and it is more preferable than Russia for the US national interests because the contemporary disagreements with Russia seriously affect all common areas. Moreover, research shows that Russia is less favorable than China for countries around the world, particularly the US. This research was conducted in forty nations in 2015. According to this research, in the US, Russia is unfavorable for 67% and favorable for 22% (Stokes, 2015). Additionally, views of Russia can vary between generations. Therefore, Americans who are 50 and older have a more critical attitude. For instance, 78% of these people think that Russia is unfavorable (Stokes, 2015). At the same time, Americans aged 18 to 29 have a less critical attitude and 56% of these people think that Russia can be favorable (Stokes, 2015). In general, American and Russian opinions about each other have worsened. In fact, in 2012 around half of Americans, particularly 49%, believed that Russia is favorable. However, in 2015 only 22% expressed such an opinion (Stokes, 2015). Approximately the same situation has happened in Russia. Russian views continue to change even further and faster. For, instance, in 2013, 51% of people in Russia believed that the US is favorable and in 2015 only 15% expressed such an opinion (Stokes, 2015). Besides, in the US, there is an extremely low level of confidence in Putin as a leader. Therefore, in 2015 only 21% had confidence in Putin as a person that could handle world affairs, while in 2003 the number of people that believed in his leadership abilities was 41% (Stokes, 2015). If one were to compare this research with China, it is possible to note that the situation is better. Therefore, according to similar research in the US, 38% of people think that China is favorable, while 54% of people have an opposite opinion (Wike, Stokes, & Poushter, 2015). In general, it is critical to note that the rating of China has increased across all countries in 2014 and 2015 (Wike et al., 2015). Hence, in 2014, 49% believed that China is favorable and in 2015 the number has increased to 54% (Wike et al., 2015). At the same time, the negative views decreased from 38% to 34% (Wike et al., 2015). It is crucial to note that younger people have a more positive opinion about China. The largest gap between positive positions about China was found in the US. In fact, 55% of people aged 18 to 29 think that China is favorable, while 27% of people aged 50 and older support such position (Wike et al., 2015). Therefore, it is crucial to conclude that China has a better situation in comparison to Russia. It is accepted better, and more people in the US believe that China is more favorable than Russia. Great difficulties are faced by Putin as a leader because his role in the global affairs creates many arguments and does not provide any confidence among Americans. In general, the relationship with Russia has worsened, while the situation with China has improved. Based on this analysis, it is possible to say that China is more important than Russia for the US national interests, because the first country is accepted better by Americans as a partner than the second one.
Another reason why China is more preferable than Russia for the US national interest is its more powerful position on the global level in comparison to Russia. The main point is that Russia is a declining power, while China is an increasing power, which means that the second country is more critical for the US national interests than the first one. China is considered the third country in the global power ranking, while Russia takes the fifth place (Mead, 2015). Russia is weakening due to the population decline and failure to develop an effective economy after the Soviet period. Additionally, there is a great tension between ethnic Russians and different national minorities, which weakens the country even more (Mead, 2015). The situation has become even worse for Russia after the oil collapse that was provoked by sanctions that seriously damaged Russian economy. In addition, this country has difficult relations with global partners because of the violent invasion of Ukraine (Mead, 2015). In comparison with China, Russia is a weaker partner for the US because it is a less threatening country for the US and it is avoided by other countries. Moreover, it has to deal with the sanctions that have made Russia weaker. Moreover, China has become much stronger than Russia from the military, economic, and political perspectives. For instance, the population of China in ten times higher than the population of Russia. Moreover, in 2010 the economy of China was already four times the size of the Russian one and was the second biggest economy in the world after the US (De Haas, 2013). Additionally, the defense budget of China is considered to be the second biggest in the world after the US, while the defense budget of Moscow is in the third place (De Haas, 2013). The only priority of Russia is the nuclear weapons, but its conventional defense troops and forces of other security departments, particularly 1.5 million, are less than half of the 3.7 soldiers of China (Trenin, 2012). It is critical to note that China does not take global governance too seriously from the security perspective, but it has a strong position from the economic perspective (Grant, 2012). In contrast, Russia is ready to express its own military power, but it is passive in economic global governance. However, China as a raising power and it can develop its military sources, while Russia as a declining power will not be able to develop the economy on the same level as China in the nearest time (Grant, 2012). China is very careful in taking part in international agreements about military or security issues. Moreover, China has never signed any treaties that would limit its nuclear or conventional weapon (Grant, 2012). Therefore, according to this information, it is possible to say that China is more critical for the US national interests because it is a rising power, while Russia is a declining power. China is a serious player on the international level and it can become a greater threat than Russia. Hence, it is critical to consider China to avoid possible difficulties in the future.
Overall, it is important to note that China is more critical for the US national interests than Russia. China and Russia are similar countries, but China is stronger than Russia. The first proof is that China economic growth is more impressive than the Russian economy and even more impressive than the US economy. Such a phenomenon is called economic wonder. The next proof is the more favorable attitude toward China in comparison to Russia. It is critical to form national interests that are based on people`s acceptance. According to the statistical data, China has a more positive situation than Russia. The third evidence is the fact that China is more powerful than Russia and can turn into a serious threat in future. Thus, to prevent such a situation, it is critical to base the US national interests keeping China in mind. Therefore, China is a serious player on the international level and is more powerful from the political, economic, and military perspectives in comparison to Russia. Therefore, it is more important for the US national interests than Russia.