Dealing with an assertive China

The West needs to react to Chinese moves. 

How the US Should Respond to Chinese Military Assertiveness in 2015

In his speech at the November 10, 2014 Asia-Pacific leaders summit, President Obama stated his intention to take relations with China to a “new level” and highlighted the importance of forging a durable strategic partnership with China to ensure its rising power does not destabilize the international system. Obama’s speech was swiftly followed by what he described as a “milestone” carbon emissions deal between the U.S. and China. Despite this success, North Korea’s alleged cyber-hacking and China’s energy deal with Russia exacerbated tensions between the U.S. and China heading into 2015.

While economic interdependence has typically dominated the discourse around the future of relations between both great powers, recent developments indicate that the security dimension could define the U.S.-China bilateral relationship in 2015. The burgeoning security dilemma in the South Pacific triggered by rapid escalations in Chinese military spending, poses a significant challenge to American hegemony. The tendency of U.S. policymakers to vacillate between triumphalism and paranoia, in their handling of a newly assertive China, has inadvertently increased the risk of open conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

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