10 Reasons U.S.-China Strategic Competition is Good

Ian Easton

Security, Asia

May the best great-power win?

10 Reasons U.S.-China Strategic Competition is Good

On October 1, 2018, the Peoples Republic of China celebrated its 69th birthday. The Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. held an event to mark the occasion that was attended by a high-ranking White House official and Marine, Matt Pottinger. During his formal remarks to the assembled dignitaries, the National Security Councils senior director for Asian affairs, Pottinger, was quoted as saying, In the United States, competition is not a four-letter wordWe at the Trump administration have updated our China policy to bring the concept of competition to the forefront.

He was undoubtedly referring to the U.S. governments new National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. Both are remarkably candid documents. They state that the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) is a revisionist power and strategic competitor that seeks to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.

These policy declarations should not have come as a surprise. American strategists Andrew Marshall, Robert Kaplan, and Aaron Friedberg predicted U.S.-PRC strategic rivalry well over a decade ago. While the Obama administration prized cooperation over competition, there are indications that it, too, suspected Americas long-standing China policy was failing.

For instance, in February 2016, then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that great power competition had become the Pentagons top priority, an....

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