29 April 2015

Where Do We Draw the Line on Balancing China?

APRIL 27, 2015

Is it time for the United States to get serious about balancing China? According to Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis, the answer is an emphatic yes. In a new Council on Foreign Relations report, they portray China as steadily seeking to increase its national power, reduce the U.S. security role in Asia, and eventually dominate the international system. To deal with this clear challenge to U.S. primacy, they call for “a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.”

In their view, success in this endeavor will require the United States to revitalize its economy, build preferential trading arrangements with Asian partners (such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership), deny critical technology to Beijing, and shore up U.S. and allied military capabilities in Asia. They also recommend that Washington strive to manage Sino-American relations through sustained high-level engagement with Beijing, and good things like that. But their overriding goal is to “limit China’s capacity to misuse its growing power.”

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