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China Policy

Foreign Affairs has published a dialogue on US policy toward China between Princeton Professor Aaron Friedberg and a number of China hands, including Stapleton Roy, with whom I served in Bangkok, before he was Ambassador to China. 

The group responding to Professor Friedberg’s article basically argues for treating China more or less like any other important country, trying to work with it, not singling it out a threat to the US which requires special economic and security policies to rein it in.  They argue:

U.S. policymakers must adopt a more careful and considered approach. The United States must coordinate with allies and partners not only to deter and compete with China when needed but also to incentivize Beijing to cooperate in addressing shared concerns such as global warming and current and future pandemics. Washington should aim to diminish the likelihood of nuclear war, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, a costly arms race, and the spread of terrorism. It should seek a stable power balance in the Asia-Pacific region that respects the interests of all countries—including those of China. And it should revise and expand multilateral trade and investment agreements and foster international efforts to better address natural disasters and human rights abuses in all countries.


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