I recently had the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive dialogue session at the Chinese Embassy in Washington among Chinese diplomats and American experts on China-U.S. relations. Several themes that emerged from engaging with our Chinese colleagues in these discussions deserve wider attention.
The most interesting among them was the odd juxtaposition between Chinese policymakers' concern about the Asia pivot with their feeling that Washington’s domestic priorities and concerns in the Middle East will ultimately derail the planned strategic rebalancing of U.S. diplomatic and military resources toward the Asia-Pacific region.
The Chinese also insisted that their nonproliferation policies toward Iran and North Korea were close to those of the United States. Like Washington, they argued, Beijing supports a dual-track policy of sanctions and diplomacy, with the hope that a combination of such sticks and carrots will induce both Tehran and Pyongyang to curtail their proliferation-sensitive activities.