China's Future: Constructive Partner or Emerging Threat?

China's Future: Constructive Partner or Emerging Threat?

China's Future: Constructive Partner or Emerging Threat?

China's Future: Constructive Partner or Emerging Threat?

Excerpt

Relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China have become increasingly unsettled. A short time ago, both governments spoke of a "strategic partnership" and sought ways to enhance already substantial economic and political ties. The bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, the release of the Cox report alleging systematic nuclear espionage by the PRC, and angry Chinese reactions to both developments, however, have produced a new round of tensions. So, too, has China's renewed threat to use force against Taiwan to regain the "renegade province." On the positive side, China's probable accession to the World Trade Organization, followed by Taiwan's inclusion, offers hope that future U.S.‐ Chinese relations will improve.

Is China a rising colossus that intends to bully its neighbors and dominate Asia? Should Washington adopt a more hard-line policy toward the PRC on trade, human rights, and national security issues? Or is China a country that has already moved far along the road to a market economy and a more open society and is committed to being a stabilizing, cooperative power? The distinguished contributors to this book examine those questions by considering both the short- and long-run prospects for the evolution of a peaceful and prosperous New China, despite the background of 50 years of communist rule.

The dark side of the Chinese Communist state is disturbing and must not be ignored. But that unsavory record should not be allowed to hide the progress that the Chinese people have made since economic reforms began in 1978. The expansion of markets relative to state planning has given millions of people new opportunities and has substantially raised living standards. China's leaders have reluctantly accepted economic competition while trying to maintain their monopoly of political power. But as people have acquired greater . . .

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