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PacNet #73A – Consensus Based on Mutual Respect and Equality: the Cornerstone of “Strategic Reassurance”

Recently, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, in an address at the Center for a New American Security, called on China to provide “strategic reassurance” that its intentions were peaceful. Many Chinese argue this term is an important test balloon to establish a new principle for the Obama administration’s approach to Sino-U.S. relations. However, because the term lends itself to different interpretations, it would be better for both sides to build a consensus based on mutual respect and equality, which would promote further dialogue and consolidate a cornerstone for future relations.