15 Items

Aerial view of Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower

Mgmoscatello/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Stop Obsessing About China

| Sep. 21, 2018

The United States is a deeply polarized nation, yet one view increasingly spans the partisan divide: the country is at imminent risk of being overtaken by China. Unless Washington does much more to counter the rise of its biggest rival, many argue, it may soon lose its status as the world’s leading power. According to this emerging consensus, decades of U.S. investment and diplomatic concessions have helped create a geopolitical monster. China now boasts the world’s largest economy and military, and it is using its growing might to set its own rules in East Asia, hollow out the U.S. economy, and undermine democracy around the globe. In response, many Democrats and Republicans agree, the United States must ramp up its military presence in Asia, slap tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, and challenge China’s influence worldwide.

But this emerging consensus is wrong and the policy response misguided. China is not about to overtake the United States economically or militarily—quite to the contrary. By the most important measures of national wealth and power, China is struggling to keep up and will probably fall further behind in the coming decades. The United States is and will remain the world’s sole superpower for the foreseeable future, provided that it avoids overextending itself abroad or underinvesting at home.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship Kurama, Sagami Bay, south of Tokyo, Japan, October 18, 2015.

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Journal Article - International Security

The Emerging Military Balance in East Asia: How China’s Neighbors Can Check Chinese Naval Expansion

| Fall 2017

China’s maritime neighbors can prevent China from dominating East Asia militarily, allowing the United States to avoid the costs and risks of expanding its forces in the region. These states have developed antiaccess/area-denial capabilities that can deny China command of its near seas. The United States should support these capabilities while taking steps to enhance crisis stability.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao waved upon his arrival at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Dec. 17, 2010, for a rare visit that focused on expanding trade between the neighbors and longtime allies.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Yale Journal of International Affairs

China and Pakistan: Fair-Weather Friends

| March 2012

Two assumptions dominate current debates on US foreign policy toward Pakistan. First, Pakistan shares a robust "all-weather" friendship with China centered on core national interests. Second, Pakistan's ability to turn to China in times of need insulates it from US pressure and renders hardline US policies counterproductive. Both of these assumptions are mistaken.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Quarterly Journal: International Security

Excerpt from “China’s Century” Why America’s Edge Will Endure”

| Spring 2012

“Change is inevitable, but it is often incremental and non-linear.  In the coming decades, China may surge out of its unimpressive condition and close the gap with the United States," writes Belfer Center ISP fellow Michael Beckley, "[however] the trends suggest that the United States’ economic, technological, and military lead over China will be an enduring feature of international relations, not a passing moment in time, but a deeply embedded condition that will persist well into this century.”

In this photo taken March 18, 2010, Chinese workers assemble sports shoes at a factory in Wenling in south China's Zhejiang province.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Business Review

How Big a Competitive Threat Is China, Really?

| February 29, 2012

"Is China becoming a serious economic competitor to the United States? Is China, in effect, a giant Japan?...For many reasons, China is unlikely to repeat Japan's success. Most important, China is developing in a far more challenging international environment than Japan faced in the second half of the 20th century. As a result, its economy will remain more compatible than competitive with America's for the foreseeable future."

Customers shop for vegetables at a supermarket in Hangzhou, China, 14 Oct. 2011. China’s inflation eased somewhat in September, but food costs, a major force behind price rises, remained stubbornly high by jumping 13.4 percent, the same as in August.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

To Stay Ahead of China, Stay Engaged in Asia

| January 2012

"China narrowed the gap in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and will likely overtake the United States as the world's largest economy sometime between 2015 and 2040. What matters for national power, however, is not gross wealth, but net wealth—the wealth left over after people are clothed and fed. China's 1.3 billion people produce a large volume of output, but they also consume most of it immediately, leaving little left over for national purposes."