America's Challenge

America's Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century

MICHAEL D. SWAINE
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 673
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpjg2
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  • Book Info
    America's Challenge
    Book Description:

    The emergence of the People's Republic of China on the world scene constitutes the most significant event in world politics since the end of World War II. As the world's predominant political, economic, and military power, the United States faces a particularly significant challenge in responding to China's rising power and influence, especially in Asia.

    Offering a fresh perspective on current and future U.S. policy toward China, Michael Swaine examines the basic interests and beliefs behind U.S.-China relations, recent U.S. and Chinese policy practices in seven key areas, and future trends most likely to affect U.S. policy. American leaders, he concludes, must reexamine certain basic assumptions and approaches regarding America's position in the Western Pacific, integrate China policy more effectively into a broader Asian strategy, and recalibrate the U.S. balance between cooperative engagement and deterrence toward Beijing.

    eISBN: 978-0-87003-344-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. ACRONYMS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. FOREWORD
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Jessica T. Mathews

    There is no shortage of studies examining the impact of China’s rising power and influence. Since at least the early 1980s, numerous observers have tracked and assessed the political, economic, security, and social implications for the United States, Asia, and the world of everything from China’s rapid growth and demand for external resources to its expanding military capabilities and deepening involvement in developing countries. But, until now, few if any studies—and no book-length volume—have examined and assessed U.S. relations with China in every major area of relevance, from great power interactions in Asia to human rights.

    Indeed, this...

  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-20)

    Aside from the collapse of the Soviet Union, the emergence of the People’s Republic of China on the global stage constitutes the most significant event for world politics since the end of World War II. China’s physical size and population, rapid growth, geostrategic location, internal dynamism, and to some extent non–status quo attitude toward many political, economic, social, and military issues will likely enable it to play a major—perhaps decisive—role in reshaping the global distribution of power in this century. Of particular note, China’s growing power will likely enable it to influence the handling of major issues...

  7. 01 INTERESTS, STRATEGIES, AND POLICY OBJECTIVES
    (pp. 21-52)

    Any evaluation of America’s approach to China must first proceed from an understanding of the fundamental national interests and policy objectives that motivate and guide U.S. behavior, as well as Chinese interests and goals. These factors are not always clearly defined in great detail, nor are they consciously or deliberately applied to each element of policy or with regard to each policy decision. Indeed, several policymakers interviewed for this study acknowledged that many U.S. policy decisions regarding China (and particularly those formulated within individual agencies) are made with little if any conscious reference to larger strategic assumptions or beliefs, beyond...

  8. 02 POLITICAL AND SECURITY RELATIONS WITH KEY ASIAN POWERS
    (pp. 53-114)

    Despite its steadily expanding global involvement, China’s major political and security concerns remain primarily focused on Asia. This is due to both the turbulent and to some degree uncertain nature of Beijing’s regional environment and its limited capability to exercise significant political and security-related influence globally. Thus, it is little surprise that U.S. political and security policy toward China is largely directed toward the Asia-Pacific region. Ideally, American efforts to both deter (or caution) and cooperate with (or reassure) China on a host of political and security-related issues involving Asia should reflect the objectives and approaches of a much larger...

  9. 03 MULTILATERAL INTERACTIONS, BILATERAL DIALOGUES, AND ASIAN PERCEPTIONS
    (pp. 115-146)

    As indicated in the previous chapters, during the past ten to fifteen years, U.S. policymakers have at times attempted, to varying degrees, to utilize bilateral interactions with smaller powers, most notably in key areas such as Southeast Asia, and in several multilateral political, economic, and security-related venues, to augment and support Washington’s overall approach to China. This effort has taken place in large part to reassure the region that the United States remains fully engaged on all fronts and seeks to work with a rising China to maximize cooperation and to integrate an increasingly active Beijing into various international regimes...

  10. 04 MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS AND RELATIONS
    (pp. 147-182)

    The United States regards military power as an essential element of its national strategy, as was indicated in the introduction and chapter 1. Moreover, since the end of World War II, Washington has viewed the maintenance of its predominant military power in maritime Asia as key to the attainment of its objectives in that critical region of the globe. With regard to China in particular (and, most important in the twenty-first century, a rising China with growing power projection capabilities), U.S. military instruments serve several crucial purposes: to facilitate Beijing’s integration into cooperative security-oriented processes and behaviors that are compatible...

  11. 05 ECONOMIC RELATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
    (pp. 183-222)

    U.S. economic policies toward China have both responded to and shaped the enormous changes in Chinese economic and aid behavior during the past three decades. Among these changes, the most notable include: domestic economic behavior of direct relevance to Chinese stability and prosperity and to external economic policies; bilateral (especially Sino-U.S.) and multilateral trade, technology, and investment patterns; and activities related to external resources.

    In recent decades, China’s policy of rapid economic growth has featured high levels of investment in physical inputs to production and relatively weaker efforts to foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and the development of competitive markets. This has...

  12. 06 GLOBAL TERRORISM AND WMD PROLIFERATION
    (pp. 223-254)

    Although U.S. policies for combating terrorism and for limiting or eliminating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are treated as separate in many ways, in fact they are increasingly interrelated, given the growing fear in many U.S. government circles that global terrorists might obtain WMD capabilities from existing or aspiring nuclear powers.¹ Hence, U.S. policies toward China must address terrorism and WMD proliferation both as distinct issues and as interrelated problems.

    U.S. and Chinese objectives in the arenas of counterterrorism and counter-proliferation, along with the features of each country’s domestic political environment, raise several basic issues for U.S....

  13. 07 NONTRADITIONAL SECURITY THREATS: CLIMATE CHANGE AND PANDEMICS
    (pp. 255-278)

    Although nontraditional security threats such as environmental pollution and disease have existed for centuries, their intensity and scope have grown rapidly only in recent decades, largely as a result of technological change, economic development, and the emergence of a truly interconnected regional and global order. Thus these problems increasingly pose a national security threat to many nations through their ability to undermine economic growth rates, increase health care costs, and exacerbate domestic and regional tensions and strife.¹

    From a U.S. perspective, China is of particular significance to this policy arena with regard to the two security threats of environmental degradation...

  14. 08 HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY PROMOTION
    (pp. 279-306)

    Human rights and democracy promotion has been an important element of U.S. policy toward China since the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949. American advocacy of a Chinese regime that defends the rights of the individual (both within China and abroad) against arbitrary, oppressive, or unjust governmental actions, and whose legitimacy is based on some form of popular representation rests largely on two notions: first, that the U.S. government and its populace have a general moral duty to oppose, or seek to correct, oppressive and undemocratic political behavior by other governments; and second, that a regime which accords...

  15. 09 THE INFLUENCE OF STRUCTURE, STRATEGY, AND TACTICS
    (pp. 307-336)

    The direct experience of current and former U.S. policymakers, along with both scholarly and nonscholarly assessments of the overall U.S. national security policymaking process, offer a wealth of insights for U.S. policy toward China. In many instances, outside analyses of Washington’s China policy either downplay or omit altogether such vital sources of information. As a result, policy recommendations can lack “real-world” relevance or prove unfeasible within the context of the U.S. policymaking process or political environment.

    In an effort to avoid such problems, and to augment our understanding of the historical record, the author interviewed more than 50 current and...

  16. 10 CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
    (pp. 337-380)

    The analysis presented in the preceding chapters clearly confirms that in the new century, Washington policymakers will confront an increasingly challenging and vital task in developing effective strategies and policies to contend with a rising China. In many ways, America’s future security and prosperity will depend to a significant extent on its ability to fashion greatly improved (or in some cases entirely new) means of working with Beijing to address a growing array of regional and global problems while diminishing the forces that drive increasing levels of strategic distrust and rivalry on both sides. On the strategic level, this will...

  17. APPENDIX INTERVIEW SUBJECTS
    (pp. 381-386)
  18. NOTES
    (pp. 387-622)
  19. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 623-648)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 649-672)
  21. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    (pp. 673-674)
  22. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    (pp. 675-676)
  23. Back Matter
    (pp. 677-677)