America’s China Woes

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America’s choices about China are among the most important and difficult it has ever faced. They are important because serious rivalry with China would be very costly and dangerous, and conflict could be catastrophic. They are difficult because they touch on deep questions about America’s role in the world, and therefore about America itself. China raises these questions because, in one fundamental way, it is different from any country America has ever dealt with: it is richer and more powerful. America remains a remarkably vibrant and innovative society and economy. But it is equally wrong to imply, as American political leaders often do, that its relative position in the world of power is not changing. This overlooks the simple mathematical fact that when we talk about relative power, America’s trajectory is only half the story, and not the half that matters right now. The shift in power is being driven by China’s rise, not by America’s decline. There is not much America can do about it.
Dr. Ravni Thakur

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