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

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.