China's Rise in American Military Strategy
Conference Paper, Preventive Defense Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
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.