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  • Author: Robert D. Blackwill, Henry A. Kissinger, Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: "China represents and will remain the most significant competitor to the United States for decades to come. As such, the need for a more coherent U.S. response to increasing Chinese power is long overdue," write CFR Senior Fellow Robert D. Blackwill and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Senior Associate Ashley J. Tellis in a new Council Special Report, Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China. "Because the American effort to 'integrate' China into the liberal international order has now generated new threats to U.S. primacy in Asia—and could result in a consequential challenge to American power globally—Washington needs a new grand strategy toward China that centers on balancing the rise of Chinese power rather than continuing to assist its ascendancy." The authors argue that such a strategy is designed to limit the dangers that China's geoeconomic and military power pose to U.S. national interests in Asia and globally, even as the United States and its allies maintain diplomatic and economic interactions with China.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Daniel Markey, Paul B. Stares, Evan A. Feigenbaum, Scott A. Snyder, John W. Vessey, Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If past experience is any guide, the United States and China will find themselves embroiled in a serious crisis at some point in the future. Such crises have occurred with some regularity in recent years, and often with little or no warning. Relatively recent examples include the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1996, the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, and the EP-3 reconnaissance plane incident in 2001, as well as several minor naval skirmishes since then. The ensuing tension has typically dissipated without major or lasting harm to U.S.-China relations. With China's rise as a global power, however, the next major crisis is likely to be freighted with greater significance for the relationship than in previous instances. Policymakers in both Washington and Beijing, not to mention their respective publics, have become more sensitive to each other's moves and intentions as the balance of power has shifted in recent years. As anxieties and uncertainties have grown, the level of mutual trust has inevitably diminished. How the two countries manage a future crisis or string of crises, therefore, could have profound and prolonged consequences for the U.S.-China relationship. Given the importance of this relationship to not only the future evolution of the Asia-Pacific region but also to the management of a host of international challenges, the stakes could not be higher.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Bruce W. MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On January 11, 2007, China launched a missile into space, releasing a homing vehicle that destroyed an old Chinese weather satellite. The strategic reverberations of that collision have shaken up security thinking in the United States and around the world. This test demonstrated that, if it so chose, China could build a substantial number of these anti- satellite weapons (ASAT) and thus might soon be able to destroy substantial numbers of U.S. satellites in low earth orbit (LEO), upon which the U.S. military heavily depends. On February 21, 2008, the United States launched a modified missile-defense interceptor, destroying a U.S. satellite carrying one thousand pounds of toxic fuel about to make an uncontrolled atmospheric reentry. Thus, within fourteen months, China and the United States both demonstrated the capability to destroy LEO satellites, heralding the arrival of an era where space is a potentially far more contested domain than in the past, with few rules.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Dr. LESLIE H. GELB (President, Council on Foreign Relations): Good evening. Welcome, members of the Council on Foreign Relations. Welcome, members of the Council on Foreign Relations Corporate Program and special guests, and our C-SPAN audience. We're here tonight to discuss and explore the substantive issues in the United States-Chinese relationship that will arise in the upcoming summit meeting between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President Bill Clinton.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Mickey Kantor
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The challenges of the era of interdependence will constitute the greatest foreign policy test of the 21st century. The war over globalization and interdependence is at an end. Only the battles are yet to be fought. Those who cower behind walls of fear and fail to accept responsibility do so at their own peril, and will not turn containment into engagement, or mutual assured destruction into mutual assured prosperity. The approach of the new millennium finds us at the intersection of three epochal events: in politics, the end of the Cold War; in economics, the emergence of a global economy; and in technology, the rise of the Information Age. The intersection of economics, strategic issues, and political concerns is creating the glue which will bind together an updated U.S. foreign policy. Vast opportunities lie before us, and more than a few pitfalls. We face fewer serious military threats but an increasing number of competitors. The rise of competition, the need to create new opportunities, and the confluence of major economic and political changes create a need to intensely focus on U.S. priorities and goals. Despite this urgency, we have yet to fully articulate a foreign policy that matches the era in which we now live, especially the appropriate role of international economics. We need to direct our focus toward the lessons we have learned over the past five years. Seekers of universal truths or simple catch phrases should prepare in advance for disappointment. U.S. leadership in both the public and private sectors must accept the challenges represented by these enormous changes. Our willingness to take responsibility, clearly define our goals, and recognize our limitations but pursue U.S. leadership at every opportunity will dictate the success or failure of promoting a stronger United States and a less dangerous world. The goals and objectives are clear: U.S. leadership must pursue peace, stability, economic progress, basic human rights, and sustainable development. In order to address these goals we need to create foreign-policy tools and institutions that are pragmatic, practical, and resilient reflecting the speed with which events, opportunities, and challenges now confront us as a nation. There is no question that global economics has fundamentally changed the nature of foreign policy. Today, economics and foreign policy are no longer separable, and economic security and national security have become synonymous. We live in an interdependent, globalized world. No longer are we self-contained, nor is it in our interest to be so. We can no longer take for granted our global economic dominance and turn our back on foreign markets. It is self-defeating in the short run and impossible in the long run to ignore the problems which occur across the border or across the world, and we cannot overlook our responsibility as the world's remaining superpower. Driven by technological change, freed of Cold War conflicts and connected by economic and strategic interests, the era of interdependence demands negotiation, engagement, and leadership. Interdependence dictates that our foreign policy and economic future are increasingly connected to international trade. Interdependence dictates that terrorism, weapons proliferation, environmental concerns, the drug trade, and economic opportunity are now cross-border issues. These issues profoundly affect the everyday lives of people around the globe. Cross-border issues directly influence policies, laws, and regulations of the countries in question, raising issues such as the rule of and respect for law, regulation and deregulation, privatization, and other concerns heretofore thought to be strictly internal. This new era requires a redefinition of global leadership. Being the only remaining superpower does not simply mean that we are the strongest military power, nor does it mean only that we are the most economically competitive nation on earth. Both of those statements are true, of course. But holding the position of the world's only remaining superpower in the era of interdependence means that we have the opportunity to take advantage of the vast economic potential which is being created around the globe to the benefit of all Americans, and we have a corresponding obligation to rally other nations to pursue common long-term interests, such as strategic and political stability, economic progress, and sustainable development. There are other examples which support the notion of new multidimensional international relations. Brazil has dramatically increased its international standing and influence using its potential economic strategic position. During the Cold War and prior to the dramatic growth of economic power and industrialization, Brazil's strategic position would have been defined and dictated by its ability or inability to have an influence over strategic and political issues especially those concerning East-West relations. But today, and in the foreseeable future, not only do countries increase their influence based on economic potential and achievement, but economic considerations and relationships tend to bring entities together which in other circumstances could not or would not cooperate. The recent Middle East Economic Conferences and the participation of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are obvious examples.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Taiwan, Asia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo