How to Know When China Is Pulling Even With the United States

The Chinese naval frigate Huangshan is seen anchored in the waters off RSS Singapura Changi Naval Base, Singapore, May 15, 2017 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).
The Chinese naval frigate Huangshan is seen anchored in the waters off RSS Singapura Changi Naval Base, Singapore, May 15, 2017 (AP photo by Wong Maye-E).

In a recent article in Foreign Affairs, Kurt Campbell and Ely Ratner—both former senior officials in the Obama administration—noted that over the past 45 years, “neither carrots nor sticks have swayed China as predicted.” From Richard Nixon on, American presidents believed that U.S. diplomacy and military power could “persuade Beijing that it was neither possible nor necessary to challenge the U.S.-led security order in Asia.” But that didn’t prove true. Today, as Campbell and Ratner note, “China is on the path to becoming a military peer the likes of which the United States has not seen since the Soviet Union” […]

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