Paper - Preventive Defense Project, Belfer Center

China's Rise in American Military Strategy

| Oct. 16, 2006

Neither side can say where destiny will carry the U.S.-China relationship in the decades ahead.  China’s future “intentions” are not a secret they keep from us, but a mystery that only the future will reveal.  In that circumstance, the U.S. has no choice but to have a two-pronged strategy towards China: one prong of engagement to encourage China to be a “responsible stakeholder” and another prong of hedging against the prospect of a downturn in relations.
But how to hedge responsibly?  How much should the Pentagon spend on a hypothesized threat from China?  And how can hedging be done prudently, without creating a self-fulfilling prophesy where treating China as an enemy contributes to making them an enemy?

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For Academic Citation: Carter, Ashton B. and William J. Perry. “China's Rise in American Military Strategy.” Paper, Preventive Defense Project, Belfer Center, October 16, 2006.