The U. S.’s Policy Towards China

You might want to look at Minxin Pei’s analysis at Project Syndicate of the long term prospects for the U. S.’s policy with respect to China. Here’s the kernel of the post:

Under this scenario, economic disengagement would occur gradually, but not completely. Despite the adversarial nature of the relationship, both sides would have some economic incentives to maintain a working relationship. Similarly, while both countries would compete actively for military superiority and allies, they would not engage in proxy wars or provide direct military support to forces or groups engaged in armed conflict with the other party (such as the Taliban in Afghanistan or Uighur militants in Xinjiang).

Such a conflict would certainly carry risks, but they would be manageable – as long as both countries had a disciplined, well-informed, and strategically minded leadership. In the case of the US, however, such leadership is nowhere to be seen today. Trump’s erratic approach to China demonstrates that he has neither the strategic vision nor the diplomatic discipline to devise a policy of managed strategic conflict, much less a doctrine (like that created by President Harry Truman in 1947) to pursue a cold war.

It didn’t need to be this way. A more patient, thoughtful approach to integrating a liberalizing China into the global economy coupled with a slower deindustrialization of the United States would have avoided most of it. That horse has already fled the barn.

Author: Eric Miles

Now we face a China that is militarizing rapidly, is heedless of conforming to the international accords to which it is party, sees economic and foreign policy as a zero-sum game, and for which time is not on its side.

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