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PacNet #2 – U.S.-China Relations: Avoiding “Tests”

How will the election of George W. Bush as America’s next president affect U.S.-China relations? The conventional wisdom was that a Gore administration would be more favorable to China, but I believe this assumption is questionable. It is based, in part, on the belief that Gore would be more inclined to continue the Clinton policies of engagement and support for "one China," which are the real litmus tests for Washington as far as Beijing is concerned. However, these policies have been consistently followed for years by Republican and Democratic administrations alike (including by Bush’s father) and there is no reason to believe that any future U.S. administration is going to change these basic policies, absent some dramatic destabilizing action by Beijing.