The Emergent Security Threats Reshaping China's Rise

Ely Ratner
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Winter 2011
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Asteady stream of research and analysis over the last two decades has flowed from the near consensus in the U.S. foreign policy community that, in the words of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, ''few countries are poised to have more impact on the world over the next 15-20 years than China.'' Yet many of these efforts to foretell China's future behavior have paid disproportionate attention to divining Beijing's ''strategic intentions.'' This approach offers only limited insight into the factors that will ultimately determine how China pursues its interests and exerts global influence. It profoundly overestimates the importance of present intentions as a guide to future behavior, and severely underestimates the constraints that China's security environment will place upon Beijing's decisionmakers.
Political Geography
United States, China, Beijing