Analysis & Opinions - China-US Focus

Between Complacency and Hysteria

| Jan. 18, 2019

It is ironic that we are marking the 40th anniversary of US-China diplomatic relations with a tariff war. Some blame this on the idiosyncrasies of President Trump, but tensions would be present no matter who had won the 2016 election. Many Americans feel that China has not behaved fairly as a market economy in an open trading system, and many are disillusioned by Xi Jinping’s departure from Deng Xiaoping's cautious policies at home and abroad. Lurking in the background is a growing fear that the rise of China will spell the end of the American era.

History is replete with cases of misperception about changing power balances. For example, when Nixon visited China in 1972, he wanted to balance what he saw as growing Soviet power. ...

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Nye, Joseph S.“Between Complacency and Hysteria.” China-US Focus, January 18, 2019.