REVISING U.S. GRAND STRATEGY TOWARD CHINA

In April 2015 the Council on Foreign Relations, New York, published a 54 page report on US grand strategy toward China (CFR Special Report No. 72). Excerpts below:

Overview

“China represents and will remain the most significant competitor to the United States for decades to come. As such, the need for a more coherent U.S. response to increasing Chinese power is long overdue,” write CFR Senior Fellow Robert D. Blackwill and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis in a new Council Special Report, Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China.

“Because the American effort to ‘integrate’ China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy.”

The authors argue that such a strategy is designed to limit the dangers that China’s geoeconomic and military power pose to U.S. national interests in Asia and globally, even as the United States and its allies maintain diplomatic and economic interactions with China.

Recommendations

Revitalize the U.S. economy

“Nothing would better promote the United States’ strategic future and grand strategy toward China than robust economic growth…This must be the first priority of the president and Congress.”

Strengthen the U.S. military

“Congress should remove sequestration caps and substantially increase the U.S. defense budget…

Create a technology-control regime

“Washington should pay increased attention to limiting China’s access to advanced weaponry and military critical technologies.”

Implement effective cyber policies

Washington should “impose costs on China that are in excess of the benefits it receives from its violations in cyberspace…increase U.S. offensive cyber capabilities . . . continue improving U.S. cyber defenses,” and “pass relevant legislation in Congress, such as the Cyber Information Security Protection Act.”

Reinforce Indo-Pacific partnerships

“The United States cannot defend its interests in Asia without support from its allies,” and “should build up the power-political capabilities of its friends and allies on China’s periphery.”

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