China's Rise in American Military Strategy
Conference Paper, Preventive Defense Project, Belfer Center
October 16, 2006
Neither side can say where destiny will carry the U.S.-China relationship in the decades ahead. China’s future “intentions” are not a secret they keep from us, but a mystery that only the future will reveal. In that circumstance, the U.S. has no choice but to have a two-pronged strategy towards China: one prong of engagement to encourage China to be a “responsible stakeholder” and another prong of hedging against the prospect of a downturn in relations.
But how to hedge responsibly? How much should the Pentagon spend on a hypothesized threat from China? And how can hedging be done prudently, without creating a self-fulfilling prophesy where treating China as an enemy contributes to making them an enemy?
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Document Length: 12 pp.