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PacNet #59 – The Asia-Pacific’s “Balance of Relations” and Dangerous Choices

July 30, 2013

The shirtsleeves summit between Presidents Obama and Xi at Sunnylands, California earlier this summer, important as it was, was no milestone in United States-China relations. But the meeting inadvertently confirmed the balance of relations in the Asia-Pacific region: US-China and US-Asia relations are better than China-Asia or intra-Asia relations. This balance, favorable to the United States and also to regional stability and prosperity, will oscillate in relation to the ups and downs in US-China relations, but the larger framework – better US relations with China and Asia than those between China and Asia and within the region – will persist.