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Sunday, June 26, 2005 

U.S. and European Reactions to China's Rise

Washington Quaterly: The New Strategic Triangle: U.S. and European Reactions to China's Rise

"These structural and perceptual differences underlie divergences in the U.S. and EU approaches to China. The principal difference in their approaches lies in how each understands a “rising China.” The public discourse in the United States concerning China invariably refers to its rise and is dominated by analysis of China’s increasing hard power: the growth in Chinese military power and its effect on U.S. national security interests in East Asia, both with respect to Taiwan and more generally. This is the principal prism through which most U.S. analysts view China’s rise and the main factor that animates the debate in Washington. Notwithstanding popular discontent over the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs as a result of outsourcing to China, even China’s substantial economic prowess and trade surplus with the United States take a backseat in these debates to the national security implications of China’s rise. Europe, on the other hand, considers China’s rise more in terms of China’s domestic transitions, that is, Europeans see China as a large developing country in the midst of multiple transitions leading it away from state socialism and toward a market economy, a more open society, and a more representative and accountable government. Unlike analysts in the United States, who focus on China’s external posture, European analysts focus primarily on China’s internal scene. This is a substantial difference in perspective, from which policy decisions and resources follow."

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