THE ROLE OF DETERRENCE IN U.S. CHINA POLICY
Managing the rise of China constitutes one of the most important challenges facing the United States in the early 21st century.
—Swaine and Tellis (2000), p. 1.1
China's reforms since 1978 have given rise to unprecedented economic growth; if this course of development is sustained, China will be able to turn its great potential power, derived from its huge population, large territory, and significant natural resources, into actual power. The result could be, in the very long term, the rise of China as a rival to the United States as the world's predominant power.2 However, long before that point is reached, if it ever is, China could become a significant rival in the East Asian region, one that might attempt to reduce and, ultimately, to expel U.S. forces and influence from that region.
In this context, the issue for U.S. policy is how to handle a rising power, a problem that predominant powers have faced many times throughout history. The various possible fundamental policy directions that predominant powers have pursued are well known: preemption, containment, balancing, and accommodation (or____________________