“Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China” (Council on Foreign Relations)

Here a link to the special report from Carnegie Endowment entitled

“Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China”


Council on Foreign Relations


(by Robert D. Blackwill & Ashley J. Tellis)


which has been much discussed recently.


I have not read it all, but it strikes me as a rather complex document. In parts it seems rather positive in direction:

“In this context, take into account the negative consequences for each
country’s formidable domestic challenges if the United States and
China seriously mismanage their relationship. Imagine the tumultuous
effects on the global economy. Consider the dramatic increase in tension
throughout Asia and the fact that no country in this vast region
wants to have to choose between China and the United States. Envision
the corrosive impact on U.S.-China collaboration on climate change.
Picture the fallout over attempts to deal with the nuclear weapons programs of North Korea and Iran.”

“With this in mind, the U.S.-China discourse should be more
candid, high level, and private than current practice—no rows of officials
principally trading sermons across the table in Washington or
Beijing. Bureaucracies wish to do today what they did yesterday, and
wish to do tomorrow what they did today. It is, therefore, inevitable
that representatives from Washington and Beijing routinely mount
bills of indictment regarding the other side. All are familiar with these
calcified and endlessly repeated talking points.”

But at the same time there are multiple sections in which a militaristic response, a modified containment policy, is proposed without any particular justification.

As I have said before, China is 1 in 5 people in the world. It is integrated into the global economy at every level. There is no containment possible. But don’t worry, there is plenty of work to do. Start with climate change. Climate change is mentioned only three times in the document, and there only as one of a list of areas for possible cooperation.


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