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China: Engagement or Containment.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
After Tiananmen Square, the United States unilaterally severed military to military contacts and many other activities with the Peoples Republic of China. Since that time, resumption of military to military relations and progress in other areas has been held hostage to repeated human rights and trade crises. More dangerously, political events, such as elections in Taiwan, have lead to military confrontation. The current course of Sino-U.S. relations may, as China increases its economic and military strength, lead to confrontation and a new Cold War. It is much more in the interests of the United States for China to become, perhaps a competitor, but also a responsible member of the world community. The strategy for reaching this end is engagement, maximum contact, to promote human rights and democratic ideals by persuasion instead of confrontation. Greater understanding will, in any case, defuse confrontation. The means to ensure the survival of a strategy of engagement is compartmentalization. Progress should be pursued in military engagement, trade, human rights, and political issues, but when difficulties arise in one area they should not be allowed to effect the other areas. Because of the importance of the PLA in China, military contacts, in particular, should be pursued regardless of other bilateral difficulties.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE