The U.S. faces a most daunting foreign policy task in managing its relations with a rising China. Only by adapting themselves to a changing regional political and security landscape will the U.S. and China be able to peacefully coexist. Given the relative power imbalance, Washington has far greater leeway to adjust its security policy in Asia. The Taiwan question lies at the crux of U.S.-China security entanglements. It is probably the only issue that can ignite a major military conflict between Beijing and Washington. To untie this knot, the United States should take a fresh look at the issue. It has to understand that this is basically a matter of nation-building for China, not an American geopolitical or ideological issue.
PacNet #44 – Managing U.S.-China Relations
November 3, 2000