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Reaching the Limits: China as a Responsible Stakeholder

By: John Lee |

Given the U.S.-China economic relationship and China’s importance in Asia, America’s temptation is to seek a comprehensive cooperative framework to perpetuate its leadership and “tame” a rising China in order to promote stability in the region. Increasing economic interdependence does create common interests, and structured dialogues can reduce misunderstanding. But as Asia’s preeminent power and civilization for all but 200 of the past 3,000 years, China is too big, proud, and independently minded for America to “tame” or “manage.” Washington cannot hope to decisively determine the endgame for an authoritarian China-in which the CCP, leading a country of 1.4 billion people, will choose to become a “responsible stakeholder” within a U.S.-led order.

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