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Awakening dragon: the real danger in Asia is coming from China.

Since Napoleon, Westerners have been predicting that once the Chinese dragon awoke, the world would shake. Finally, after almost a century of false starts, China seems firmly embarked on a course of explosive economic growth and military assertiveness that will indeed reverberate throughout Asia and the world. The implications for the economic and security interests of the United States are enormous. China is the only major country in the world whose military now is expanding rapidly. And it is the first example of a Communist political system on its way to meeting the economic aspirations of its people.

China today is a dynamic, bubbling stew of a country in which the Tiananmen massacre of 1989 has been mostly forgotten. The people of China seem much more concerned about getting their share of the biggest economic take-off in world history. This year, China's only major disturbances have occurred when ordinary Chinese felt cheated out of a chance to buy shares in new, private companies, as did hundreds of thousands of would-be shareholders in Shenzhen in August. With a mixed bag of mercantilist and free- market economic policies, China has resumed its red-hot, 1980s' pace of 10-percent annual growth. Foreign and overseas Chinese companies are rushing to invest ever-larger stakes in China's booming economy. Meanwhile, China's exports to world markets are soaring. The foundation for all this is a grand compromise, fashioned by China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, and now evidently accepted by a broad cross-section of the Communist Party, that combines sweeping economic freedoms with rigid political controls. While such a combination has never worked in the long run elsewhere, Leninist capitalism could provide the formula for many years to come for the expansion of China's wealth and power.

Recently, Chinese military power has been growing rapidly in both relative and absolute terms. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the prevailing pacifist mood in Japan, China faces no serious regional threat for the first time in centuries. Indeed, no other East Asian country alone could conceivably confront China today. Nevertheless, Beijing has increased military spending by more than 50 percent since 1989. Much of the new money is being spent to give China's armed forces the capability to fight and win major conflicts outside Chinese borders.

Sixty New Taiwans

All this affects the United States. The U.S. trade deficit with China, negligible in the late 1980s, was $13 billion last year; this year it's approaching $20 billion, second only to our deficit with Japan. The growth of the Chinese market is of course a spectacular opportunity for U.S. exporters. But American policy- makers don't have a clue about how to cope with the world's first economically successful Communist country. Our trade negotiators treat China as just another rapidly developing Asian tiger, whose trade surplus with the United States can be substantially reduced by resorting to traditional market-opening measures. Little thought is being devoted to the staggering implications that China's development holds for the United States, let alone for world trade: China could soon become an Asian economy as dynamic as Taiwan's, yet 60 times larger. President Bush's sale of F-16s to Taiwan is a first response to this emerging danger.

Nor is Washington coming to grips with the implications of China's growing military strength. The sudden spurt in China's relative and absolute military power inevitably affects security relations with our best friends in Asia. Japan, Taiwan, and capitalist Southeast Asia are all unnerved by China's new assertiveness in the region, now that Beijing no longer has the Soviet Union to worry about. All of them are anxiously looking to the United States to maintain its military presence in the region and, somehow, to protect them from China.

Our long-term problem in Asia is China--not stable, democratic, and still quasi-pacifist Japan. Despite all the speculation that Japan is destined to become our primary adversary in the world, our common interests and growing interdependence make that highly unlikely. This does not mean that China will replace the former Soviet Union as "the new enemy." But in both the economic and strategic spheres, China will pose a growing threat to our vital interests. Precious little binds the United States and China together now that our mutual concern about Soviet expansionism, the essential glue of our relationship in the 1970s and most of the 1980s, has dissolved. For the United States, the challenge will be to prevent an inevitably conflict-ridden relationship from deteriorating into full-blown hostility.

Sinologists Wrong

The militarily assertive, economically vigorous China that the United States faces today is not the one that U.S. China watchers had expected to emerge after Tiananmen. As recently as this spring, many of our best Sinologists were still insisting that the Communist regime had been so discredited internally by the Tiananmen massacre that it wouldn't long outlive Deng Xiaoping and the other gerontocrats who ordered tanks onto the square. This judgment was understandable given that, until recently, the Chinese leadership itself had been reeling, not only from the Tiananmen crisis, but even more so from the collapse of Communism in the Soviet bloc. Traumatized by the Soviet crackup, China's leaders had been asking what lessons were to be learned--or, in crasser terms, how they could avoid the fate of Soviet bloc leaders. For China's leaders, the Tiananmen affair demonstrated, first and foremost, the urgency of coming up with the right answers.

The one issue on which all of China's post-Tiananmen leaders agreed they couldn't compromise was the inviolability of one-party, Communist rule. They agreed that if they allowed a non-Communist opposition to exist, the Chinese Communist party would start down the same slippery slope to oblivion as their Soviet counterparts. This conviction fueled the post-Tiananmen purge of media, academic, and cultural circles whose independence had been growing during the 1980s.

In the economic sphere, China's Stalinists initially appeared to prevail with their argument that only a tightly controlled, centrally planned economy could guarantee continued Communist Party rule. In effect, the Stalinists agreed with Western observers who argue that totalitarian or authoritarian rule will inevitably be undermined by an economy with a large private or foreign market sector that resists state directives. The hard- liners in 1989 announced new controls that worsened the economic slowdown until well into 1990.

By 1991, however, it was clear that the Stalinists had failed to reimpose tight, central controls on most of China's economy. Local and provincial authorities, quietly determined to keep their economies growing, had never stopped encouraging local entrepreneurs and overseas Chinese investors from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Today, the private sector--including family, cooperative and foreign enterprises--accounts for about two-thirds of China's economic output. Even in the industrial sector, the traditional core of the Communist economy, state enterprises now account for only half of production. Nowhere is the dominance of the entrepreneurial sector more pronounced than in China's southern coastal regions. By 1991 in Guangdong Province an estimated three million workers were employed by more than 25,000 Hong Kong-owned and -operated enterprises.

Local Chinese officials haven't chosen market economics because of an ideological conversion. Their reasons are practical, even somewhat cynical. A growing local economy, particularly with the inflow of investment and the creation of new factory jobs, shores up their local political power. Economic growth also provides the authorities with many unofficial benefits: jobs for family members, secret shares in new enterprises, and cash payoffs to finance high living. Today, corruption is standard business practice in China. The pattern extends from municipal officials in rural southern China to cabinet ministers in Beijing. Even Communist-Party Politburo members have children who have climbed on the capitalist gravy train.

Leninist Politics, Capitalist Economics

Meanwhile, Deng and his supporters saw an economic element in the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The Soviet-bloc leaders had invited their downfall not just by diluting the principle of one-party rule, but also by failing to provide their people with a decent and improving standard of living. The lesson here, Deng insisted, was that China must achieve economic growth at almost any cost.

This January, in what will probably prove to be his last hurrah, the 87-year-old Deng launched his campaign to make market economics official policy. In a carefully orchestrated tour of southern China's special economic zones-- where Hong Kong-style capitalism is at its rawest and most successful--Deng extolled "borrowing freely from capitalism." Since then, his pronouncements in favor of market economics, foreign investment, and export-led growth have been endlessly recycled in the official media. A nationwide propaganda campaign insists that China can somehow remain socialist and yet have free markets, private business, stock exchanges, and even large income inequalities.

At the same time, Deng remained as hard-line as ever on the key issue of Leninism, the Communist Party's exclusive right to rule. Deng had crafted the grand compromise: Leninist capitalism. By mid-year, the Communist Party Politburo had adopted Deng's line, endorsing the goal of continuous, rapid growth and adherence to market economics for the next century. As even reputed leftists get in line, the consensus should easily prevail at the 14th Party Congress, scheduled for late this year, which will set policy guidelines for many years to come.

In short, China's Communists have concluded that the only way to preserve Communist rule and keep themselves in power is to junk Communist economics and convert to capitalism. In fact, the key document that came out of Deng's campaign made it clear that the main issue was the party elite's survival. "If not develop the economy, and do not try to improve the people's livelihood, then there will only be the road to ruin."

China's new Leninist-capitalist consensus has convinced Hong Kong and Taiwan businessmen (who make the most prescient China watchers, since both their cultural antennae and their money are in play) that Communist economics is dead in China. Their optimism is largely responsible for soaring foreign investment in China in the first half of this year--$14.7 billion in new commitments, or more than 20 times what would-be capitalist India could garner. Investors are looking beyond the first stage of the Chinese boom, when they were interested largely in the cheap land and unskilled labor that south coastal China could offer. Now the boom is rippling northward and into the interior. On the horizon are massive investments in major industrial projects, such as a Taiwan- financed computer industry complex near Shanghai, and infrastructure development, such as a new transportation and distribution center in interior Wuhan, linked to Hong Kong by a new railroad and super highway.

Mercantilist Trade Policy

A central element of China's Leninist capitalism is a trade policy rooted in mercantilism, that ancient but still-fashionable practice of concertedly subsidizing exports and limiting imports. The Chinese authorities, for instance, are effectively subsidizing exporters' labor costs. Hong Kong businessmen operating in Guangdong boast that their total labor costs are only $30 a month, because officials have waived company obligations to cover such costs as pensions, health care, and other benefits. Small wonder that Guangdong's exports, most of them U.S.-bound, are running 35 percent ahead of last year.

On the import side, the Chinese government still can limit imports almost at will. It was official Chinese policy, for example, that was primarily responsible for transforming a modest U.S. trade surplus with China in the late 1980s into a large and growing deficit. This year, the U.S. trade deficit with China is projected to be almost $20 billion, 50 percent higher than last year.

Assuming that China's exports continue to soar, neither the United States nor the world economy will long be able to cope with Chinese mercantilism. In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States tolerated the mercantilism of its cold war allies Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, which kept their markets closed while pumping exports into the relatively open U.S. market. But today the United States has neither the strategic incentive nor the economic capacity to accept a huge trade deficit with a mercantilist and non-allied nation that is 60 times Taiwan's size.

Internal Contradictions

The domestic implications of Leninist capitalism for China are also immense. Rising income disparities between regions--one study indicates that per capita income in southern, coastal China is already 16 times that of the interior northwest--will get worse. So will class differences. Those becoming rich will usually be members of the Communist Party elite, their relatives and cronies, or entrepreneurs who pay off the Communists. In the short term, at least, it's unlikely that the disparities and the corruption will prompt a political struggle between the haves and the have-nots. More likely is a huge, public order problem, with millions of poor peasants' sons trekking coastward to seek their fortunes.

Already, even official estimates of China's population of unregistered workers and vagabonds range as high as 50 million. Since Tiananmen, China's leaders have advertised their determination to suppress disturbances and demonstrations, whether they are economically or politically rooted. In the name of Leninist stability, they are pouring resources into the 600,000-strong People's Armed Police Force, which has the task of rapidly and ruthlessly quelling organized protests.

In the long term, these contradictions and problems will probably become intolerable to a growing middle class; then the Leninist-capitalist consensus will crumble. But this could take decades, particularly if the economy continues to grow rapidly. With economic growth, the political elite will probably have sufficient funds at its disposal to placate the military and to co- opt the potentially restive intelligentsia with well-paying jobs.

In the short run, China may soon witness a nasty leadership succession struggle, fueled by personal and factional antipathies. But it would be a mistake to equate elite turmoil for a change in political course. When the smoke clears, it is highly likely that the Leninist-capitalist consensus will still be in place, no matter who is in charge. Likewise, conflict between the Beijing regime and the provincial governments is bound to grow as capitalist development creates increasingly distinct economic interests. But such conflict, intense and tumultuous as it may be, won't inevitably undermine the Leninist-capitalist consensus prevailing nationwide, particularly with a Chinese military committed to maintaining China's unity.

The most far-fetched scenario is that China will become democratic in the near future. There is no organized democratic movement in China today. Even within the relatively small but important exile community, the commitment to democracy seems largely confined to a small community of liberal intellectuals. But talk with a Chinese graduate student who refused to return to China after Tiananmen, and you will usually find someone who wants little more than a reversion to the mid-1980s, when the Chinese educated class enjoyed status, a modicum of intellectual freedom, and a relatively decent standard of living. This was even true of most demonstrators at Tiananmen, who were calling for reform of the existing system, not a democratic upheaval.

New Drive for Military Power

Having hollowed out the leftist rationale for one-party rule, China's Communist elite is increasingly flirting with nationalist, expansionist, and anti-Western themes. These themes strike a resonant chord among many Chinese, who want their nation to be a military power that commands the world's respect. For them, expansionism would expunge the humiliation of the 19th and early 20th centuries, when Western nations and Japan carved China into spheres of influence. But China's new drive for military power may prove to be an even greater problem for the United States than its mercantilist trade policies.

For decades, Sinologists of all political stripes argued persuasively that Communist China, no matter how radical its domestic policies, was a status quo power on the international stage, dispatching troops beyond its borders rarely, reluctantly, and then only defensively. But in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, China is rapidly demonstrating in word and deed that it now views its East Asian neighborhood in expansionist terms. With its armed forces no longer tied down by a Soviet military threat to the north, China's military power relative to its neighbors has suddenly increased. Yet China has increased its officially acknowledged military spending by 52 percent since 1989. Some of that money is being spent on making the military better able to suppress domestic uprisings, particularly in border areas peopled by non-Han Chinese minorities. But much of the increase is committed to a military buildup aimed at giving China its first capability to project naval and air power well beyond its shores.

No group has been more enthusiastic about the recent, fire-sale prices at Russia's arms bazaar than Chinese generals. China is buying both advanced hardware and the modern technology needed to build it. It recently purchased 24 Su-27s, the most advanced warplanes China has ever deployed, and is reportedly negotiating for two additional squadrons. It is also negotiating the purchase of advanced missile guidance systems from the Soviets. China has also been modernizing its military-industrial complex by entering into joint ventures with foreign companies, including some in the United States, in order to acquire up-to-date technology in electronics and other fields. This spring, an increasingly assertive China conducted its largest ever nuclear test, breaking the informal international ban on large detonations. The armed forces are also proclaiming their growing offensive capabilities with well-publicized military exercises.

Simultaneously, China is adopting a strikingly assertive stance toward its neighbors. It is transforming Burma into a satellite, reestablishing its sphere of influence in Laos, and ensuring itself veto power over events in Cambodia. While none of these developments directly affects vital U.S. interests, the same cannot be said of China's actions elsewhere in East Asia. China claims U.S.-ally Japan's Senkaku Islands south of Okinawa. It also reserves the right to invade or, more realistically, to blockade Taiwan. The United States is legally obligated under the Taiwan Relations Act to defend Taiwan, an obligation that has deepened over the years as Taiwan has become an increasingly open and democratic society.

Aggressiveness in South China Sea

Nowhere has China recently been more aggressive, or set off more international alarm bells, than in the South China Sea. In 1974 and again in 1988, the Chinese military routed Vietnamese forces from islands they occupied. Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea as Chinese territory, including islands currently held by Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Tensions have grown since February, when the National People's Congress, China's parliament, passed a law reaffirming those claims in uncompromising language. In May, China humiliated Vietnam by granting an offshore oil concession to Crestone Energy Corporation of Colorado for a tract hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland, but only 84 miles from Vietnam's coastal islands. Vietnam's subsequent protests counted for very little since, weak and friendless, it could do nothing about China's de facto territory grab. (Washington has taken a hands-off stance. If Vietnam were rash enough to attack a Crestone platform, China would happily seize the excuse to thrash Vietnamese forces.) In July, China further humiliated Vietnam by placing a marker on a partly submerged reef claimed by Hanoi.

China is clearly rushing to establish an overwhelming military presence in the South China Sea area that can't be challenged by any combination of Southeast Asian military forces. It has built an airbase on one island that could be used as a staging area for military operations against the islands still occupied by rival claimants. There are credible reports that a brigade-sized, rapid-deployment force with amphibious capabilities--clearly meant for operations in the South China Sea-- has been deployed in South China. China also has acquired in-flight refueling technology so that it can keep its warplanes over the Sea's southernmost islands for extended periods. And there are persistent reports that indicate China will soon purchase an aircraft carrier recently built in Ukraine, primarily for use in the South China Sea area.

China's actions prompted a recent spate of articles suggesting that military conflict is imminent. Indeed, China will probably continue to harass, and possibly to attack, Vietnamese forces in the area. Otherwise, China will likely continue on its present course: establishing de facto control of the South China Sea while ignoring the Philippines' and Malaysia's largely symbolic military garrisons. Characteristically, Chinese authorities have combined their aggressive actions with conciliatory words, claiming they favor peaceful joint development of the Sea's islands and seabed resources. The Southeast Asians are wary, suspecting that China would manipulate any agreement on joint development to force them into acquiescing to its sovereignty claims.

Beijing's claim that the entire South China Sea is Chinese territory is legally and historically flimsy. But the realities of China's size and military power make Chinese domination of the South China Sea virtually certain. As the Sea becomes a Chinese lake and the nations of Southeast Asia adjust to a Chinese military presence that in some cases will be just offshore, the balance of power in Asia is going to shift. The United States can live with this historical shift if it succeeds in convincing China not to overplay its hand. Clearly there is little standing in the way of China's routing Vietnam from its island bases, even though this would cause alarm in the region. But if Chinese forces were to attack and wipe out a Malaysian or Philippine island garrison, for example, all of Southeast Asia would be compelled to treat China as a hostile power. Japan also would feel threatened and vulnerable, since Japan views Southeast Asia as a vital market and source of raw materials and has huge investments there. These U.S. friends wouldn't expect us to go to war to wrest back the islands, but they would ask us to forge closer military ties and to join them in diplomatic and economic actions aimed at punishing China. If we did any less, we would have little choice but to give up our military access agreements with countries like Singapore and limp back across the Pacific to Hawaii.

An even starker test of wills would occur if China ever demanded that foreign vessels obtain its permission before using what are now the Sea's international shipping lanes. This possibility isn't farfetched; China's new law explicitly asserts its right to use military force to prevent foreign ships from entering the South China Sea. Such an action would be an attack on the vital interests of the United States, for which the South China Sea serves as a link between the Pacific and Indian Oceans; on Japan, for which the Sea is its petroleum lifeline; and certainly on Southeast Asia itself. In such a situation, the United States would have to choose between defying China and retreating entirely from Asia.

Washington at Sea

China today is deeply ambivalent about the important role that the United States plays in Asia. Internal party documents portray the United States as, on balance, a threat to Chinese interests. Yet Chinese leaders consider the U.S. military presence in Asia to be "useful as long as we defend Japan," thereby discouraging it from full-fledged rearmament. Nevertheless, it is only the U.S. military presence that prevents China from realizing its strategic goal of being the dominant and unchallenged military power throughout East Asia. China's current military buildup suggests that China is preparing for the day when the United States will withdraw militarily from Asia. By then, China intends to be so strong that Japan will be forced to come to terms with China's domination of the entire region.

Clearly, this new Leninist, capitalist, mercantilist, expansionist China now emerging poses a major challenge to the basic economic and strategic interests of the United States. Inevitably, the U.S.-China relationship is going to be difficult, complicated, and dangerous for the foreseeable future. Yet Congressional Democrats, the Bush administration, and the media don't seem to have noticed. For Washington, the key issue in U.S.- China relations is how best to promote Chinese democracy and human rights. Since Tiananmen, Congressional Democrats have in effect been trying to punish China for its human rights violations by increasing tariffs on Chinese imports. The Democrats don't put it that way, of course. Specifically, what they're proposing is conditioning the renewal of China's Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status on specific improvements in China's human rights policies that are patently unacceptable to Beijing. (The Democrats' task is made easier by widespread misunderstanding of what MFN means. Most Favored Nation status indicates only that a country has a normal trade relationship with the United States. Imports from a country without MFN status are subject to prohibitively high tariffs.)

A characteristically reactive Bush administration has compounded the air of unreality by accepting the Democrats' terms of debate. Senior administration officials continue to insist (as recently as this summer) that the first priority of U.S. China policy is furthering human rights and democracy. The Bush administration defends MFN status for China with the argument that foreign trade and investment promote reform and liberalization in China. That argument is superficially correct but deeply flawed. The best that can be assumed is that U.S. trade and investment dollars will aid China's economic growth, which in turn will have some positive impact on Chinese politics in the future. It is hard to imagine a flimsier rationale for U.S. China policy.

Safeguarding U.S.-China Trade

The debate about how best to promote human rights and democracy in China is the latest manifestation of the old "We-can-change-China" myth that has warped U.S. thinking about China for a century. At best, any U.S. administration can bring about only a tiny, marginal improvement in Chinese political conditions. Conversely, U.S. China policy can have a huge impact for good or ill on America's economic and strategic interests. This will never be truer than in future years, when the United States comes to grips with China's growing economic and military power.

The most urgent issue is trade. The soaring U.S. trade deficit with China will not be significantly reduced by the market-opening measures that the Bush administration is currently pressuring China to accept. Even with those measures in place, the still powerful Communist state will use the many levers at its command to subsidize its exports and limit U.S. imports. With China indefinitely and instinctively continuing its mercantilist ways, not even the entire U.S. International Trade Administration could cope. The U.S. government should negotiate a U.S.-China trade agreement that would compel China to increase its imports from the United States or decrease its exports to the United States whenever the U.S. trade deficit with China approached a target zone. Few immediate prospects for the American economy are more appealing than growing and balanced two-way trade with China. Americans as disparate as wheat farmers and aircraft builders already rely on the booming China market for their livelihoods. Meanwhile, low- and middle-income Americans increasingly depend on inexpensive clothing, footwear and household goods imported from China.

To safeguard the potential of U.S.-China trade, the administration that takes office next January must act quickly. Already, the U.S. garment industry is donning human rights clothing to call for new trade barriers against Chinese imports. Unless measures are taken to reduce the ballooning U.S. trade deficit with China, an alliance of protectionists and human-rights advocates will seize control of U.S. trade policy toward China. The U.S.-China trade war that they would inevitably provoke would have only one set of winners--our trade competitors, primarily Japan and Europe, who would seize the opportunity to increase their exports to China at our expense.

Human Rights Challenge

Both the administration and the Congress must break from the post-Tiananmen era and stop treating trade primarily as a lever to promote human rights and democracy. Only after that is accomplished can the United States realistically fulfill its unique obligation to promote democracy and human rights in China without jeopardizing American interests. U.S. officials can and should continue to emphasize the need for political liberalization in China, without linking that stance to the threat of sanctions. We should continue to intervene on behalf of jailed and persecuted dissidents and, of course, maintain our import ban on products made by prisoners. We should step up exchanges and visits of all kinds in both directions, since they are subtly but profoundly subversive. Washington's information offensive, from the State Department's annual human rights report to the Voice of America's immensely popular broadcasts to China, should be strengthened.

At the same time, it must be recognized that much of the struggle for human rights and democracy is best waged outside government. Human rights organizations as well as private media must continue to expose and embarrass China's persecution of political dissidents. Religious organizations should continue their quiet, good, and subversive work. Washington should make better use of our special relationship with democratic and capitalist Taiwan. U.S. officials should remind officials of the Republic of China that they have a unique responsibility for promoting greater political and economic freedom on the mainland. Taiwan should have a plan for pumping not just its exports and investment dollars into the mainland, but information as well. Taiwan, not America, has the unique resources to run successfully the proposed new radio service to the mainland.

Long-Term Danger: Chinese Expansionism

Ultimately, the biggest problem in U.S.-China relations will be neither human rights nor bilateral trade. It will be the fundamental conflict between the security interests of the two nations. Here we can learn little from our long struggle with Soviet imperialism. In sharp contrast to the Soviets, the Chinese have never viewed conflict with the United States as global, zero- sum, or primarily ideological. It will be basically an old- fashioned, bilateral contest over power and influence, focused on the Asian region.

While an expansionist China tries to assert itself as East Asia's dominant military power, Japan, Taiwan, and capitalist Southeast Asia will try to strengthen existing military ties with their old friend, the United States, as a balancer against China. India, too, might look to the United States as a balancer against the rival Asian colossus. Such a trend would mesh, although imperfectly, with the fundamental and long-term U.S. interest in an Asia not dominated by a single power. (Where a united Korea would stand is uncertain; Korea's deep-seated antipathy toward Japan might cause it to draw closer to China.)

But the United States must navigate this new Asia with great caution. We must do everything possible to avoid stepping across the line that separates the role of the balanced from that of the leader of a hostile, anti-China alliance. We must also avoid applying the containment model to China. It would be tragic if the United States found itself compelled to maintain a huge naval and air presence in the western Pacific specifically aimed at restraining China. Nor should we ever be drawn into a fight over the rocky atolls and coral reefs of the South China Sea. Our vital interests will not be threatened if China consolidates its hegemony over Burma, Laos, or even Vietnam. Up to a point, it is in our interest--and Southeast Asia's--to accommodate China's growing economic and military power.

In reassessing the American relationship with an awakening China, we can learn something from the Chinese leaders in Beijing. They view the United States as a threat, but they never forget that it is in China's national interest to continue working with us on several levels. The United States could do worse than adopt this approach toward China.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Hoover Institution Press
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Munro, Ross H.
Publication:Policy Review
Date:Sep 22, 1992
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