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PacNet #34 – China. There, I Said It

Despite the trend lines over the last decade, there is a frightening reluctance on the part of government officials to speak openly about the challenges we face from the People’s Republic of China. This needs to end. US officials must come to accept that while there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation with the PRC, there are also elements of our relationship that are and will remain competitive. Indeed, we are engaged in an extended peacetime competition with the PRC that at its heart is a clash of visions for the international system. This is not to say that conflict between our countries is inevitable. But if US leaders are expected to marshal the diplomatic and military resources necessary to engage in this long-term competition, they must first be willing to speak more candidly about Beijing’s growing capabilities and strategic intentions.