mandag 8. juli 2019

Wishful Thinking and the China Threat

Well before Donald Trump came to power, when more accommodating forces were in charge in Washington and other capitals, Beijing was already seeking to undermine the international system. Playing nice clearly isn’t the solution.

A recent open letter in the Washington Post has sparked serious soul-searching within the China watching community, pitting those who believe the U.S. is wrong in treating China as an existential threat against those who believe that accommodation has failed. Written by M. Taylor Fravel, J. Stapleton Roy, Michael D. Swaine, Susan A. Thornton and Ezra Vogel, the letter, titled “Making China a U.S. enemy is counterproductive,” was also signed by dozens of American academics. Partly blaming the U.S. for the deterioration in bilateral ties, the letter was quickly seized upon by Chinese media and CCP officials who no doubt saw a chance to create a moral equivalence and exacerbate divisions within the community of China hands in the U.S. and elsewhere.