Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Insider Sees China Closing the Gap with U.S

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Insider Sees China Closing the Gap with U.S

Article excerpt

BO'AO, China -- The Chinese government senior leadership increasingly views competition between the United States and China as a zero-sum game, with China the likely long-range winner if the U.S. economy and domestic political system continue to stumble, an influential Chinese policy analyst contends.

China views the United States as a declining power, but believes at the same time that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China's becoming the world's most powerful nation, says analyst Wang Jisi. He is the co-author of "Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust," a monograph published this week by Washington's Brookings Institution and Peking University's Institute for International and Strategic Studies.

Mr. Wang, who has an insider's view of Chinese foreign policy from his positions on advisory boards of the Chinese Communist Party and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, contributed an assessment of Chinese policy toward the United States.

Kenneth Lieberthal, director of Brookings' John L. Thornton Center for China Studies and a National Security Council member under then-President Bill Clinton, wrote the appraisal of the U.S. attitude toward China.

In a joint conclusion, the authors say the level of strategic distrust between the two nations has become so corrosive that, if not corrected, the two risk becoming open antagonists.

The United States is no longer seen as "that awesome, nor is it trustworthy, and its example to the world and admonitions to China should therefore be much discounted," Mr. Wang writes of the general view of China's leaders. In contrast, China has mounting self- confidence in its own economic and military strides, particularly the closing power gap since the start of the Iraq War. In 2003, he argues, the U.S. gross domestic product was eight times as large as China's, but today, it is less than three times larger.

The candid writing by Mr. …

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