Madeleine Albright Discusses U.S. Relationship With China at Wellesley College - Wellesley, Massachusetts - the Wellesley Townsm
For instance, as the U.S. struggles to regain its economic footing in the world, China appears to be doing relatively well, and is now competing with U.S. companies in the manufacturing of advanced technological goods, he said.
What’s also worrisome for many U.S. citizens is the idea that China owns a large part of U.S. debt, Roberts said.
But both Paulson and Albright dismissed the idea as a threat to the U.S., citing economic interconnectedness between the two countries.
Albright said the relationship was described to her by a Chinese official as a “relationship between a drug addict and a pusher, we just don’t know which is which.”
Paulson noted that the real threat to the U.S. is not that the debt is owned by China, but that the debt exists.
“If we don’t deal with our fiscal issue, which means…entitlement spending is growing faster than the U.S. economy, that is a major threat,” he said.
But what about increased military spending by the Chinese government, Roberts asked.
Albright said the Chinese are “clearly interested, in certain places, in exhibiting some military power.”
Because the U.S. has refocused its attention on Asia recently, the Chinese government sees this as an intrusion into their space, which in turn encourages U.S. military officials to hedge against Chinese military might.
Albright said, ‘We have to be careful not to have a vicious circle and a self-fulfilling prophecy.’
While tensions exist between the two nations, the ‘good news is we have an economic relationship,’ Paulson said.