The U.S.-China relationship is the most important international relationship today. Our countries are linked economically and the security and stability of the international system depends on actions that we take collectively or unilaterally. However, greater friction is occurring today as a result of China’s rise and the decrease of U.S. supremacy abroad. Neither sees eye to eye on many important international issues, and the prospects for cooperation and rapprochement are strained.
The National Strategy Forum Review has published a report about the status of the U.S.-China relationship. We compiled a series of interviews with our contacts in Beijing and Shanghai, and have synthesized the substance of these discussions into a report about China’s strategic objectives and the means to improve the U.S.-China relationship. This report serves as a baseline for ongoing discussions with our Chinese counterparts on how to guide the U.S. and China through tense diplomatic waters. Cooperation is not a foregone conclusion, but the U.S. and China must first understand what each other wants before we can accommodate cooperation that is mutually beneficial. We argue that the U.S. and China are bound to compete for influence in the Asia-Pacific, but this competition can be directed in constructive ways if the interactions are based upon established rules of the game. The report, “The U.S.-China Relationship: Building Constructive Competition,” is now available online.
In addition to the report, we asked Drs. Bernard Cole and Cynthia Watson from the National Defense University to discuss China’s military modernization and strategic objectives in East Asia. Their insights are unique and valuable contributions to the discussion. Finally, Mr. Mark Frazzetto wrote a review of Joel Brenner’s new book on cyber security titled, America the Vulnerable.
These articles and the entire issue of the National Strategy Forum Review: Fall 2011, Volume 20, Issue 4 are now available online.