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PacNet #10 – The Future of U.S.-China Relations

With China’s defense budget set to increase by 14 percent next year, U.S. analysts are divided about future of the U.S.-China security relationship. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago has flatly proclaimed that China cannot rise peacefully, and predicted that “the United States and China are likely to engage in an intense security competition with considerable potential for war.”Others, like Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment, point out that China has engaged in good neighbor policies since the 1990s, settled border disputes, played a greater role in international institutions, and recognized the benefits of using soft power. Skeptics reply that China is just waiting for its economy to continue to lay the basis for future hegemony.