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China's Rise in Asia -Promises, Prospects and Implications for the United States

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Chinas rising importance in Asian affairs represents a major change in regional power dynamics in the early 21st century and a major challenge for analysts of Asian affairs. Specialists are likely to focus on determining and assessing the scope and implications of this development for many years to come. While many will engage in projections focused on Chinas strengths and accomplishments and the new features of Chinese diplomacy in Asia, balanced assessment will require comprehensive treatment of Chinese strengths and weaknesses, clear-eyed views of determinants regarding Chinese ambitions in Asia, and awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of other powers and influences in the region, notably those exerted by the United States. Careful review of the record of Chinese relations in Asia in the post Cold War period shows a number of continuities with Maoist and post-Mao foreign policy concerns, notably concern to free Chinas periphery of great power presence, while underlining some remarkable differences. There is a similar mix of continuity and change in Chinas approach to what Chinese officials recognize as the regions leading power, the United States. The balance of Chinese efforts to cooperate with the United States and to marginalize US power and influence around Chinas periphery is complicated and dynamic. Currently, the balance is neither overwhelmingly negative nor positive toward the United States and its interests in the region. China may be on the road to become Asias leading power and in the process may marginalize a preoccupied United States as many forecasts predict. But experience, perspective, and the realities of power and influence argue that it is much too early to be making such presumptuous assessments. In particular, the United States has a variety of enduring strengths and viable options to preserve a leading position in Asia.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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