Meet­ing China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerg­ing US-China Ri­valry


While the prospect of a grow­ing US-China se­cu­rity ri­valry wor­ries schol­ars and pol­i­cy­mak­ers, Lyle Goldstein ar­gues that both coun­tries have failed to pur­sue bold and cre­ative ap­proaches that could not only re­duce the po­ten­tial for such ri­valry but en­able a more co­op­er­a­tive bi­lat­eral, re­gional and global fu­ture.

Based on his re­search on a wealth of Chi­nese sources on the his­tory of China-US re­la­tions in the past, Goldstein pro­poses 10 “co­op­er­a­tion spi­rals” that could en­able en­dur­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion be­tween the two large pow­ers.

In ev­ery chap­ter on US-China re­la­tions on key is­sues re­gard­ing Tai­wan, Ja­pan and the Korean Penin­sula to South­east Asia and India, he lays out the US and Chi­nese per­cep­tions of where their in­ter­ests clash and then pro­poses bold new paths to ease bi­lat­eral ten­sions through com­pro­mise.

“This valu­able book will frame the China pol­icy de­bate for years to come,” wrote Su­san Shirk, a China hand and for­mer US deputy as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state and now a pro­fes­sor at UC-San Diego.

“If one fore­sees the fu­ture of this key bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship to be a pro­tracted ne­go­ti­a­tion, Goldstein’s pro­posal of spi­rals of co­op­er­a­tion lays out a plau­si­ble way to take con­struc­tive steps. His ideas merit se­ri­ous thought and dis­cus­sion,” wrote Joseph Prue­her, US am­bas­sador to China from 1999 to 2001 and com­man­der of the US Pa­cific Com­mand from 1996 to 1999.

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