19 Items

Aerial view of Shanghai World Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower

Mgmoscatello/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Stop Obsessing About China

| Sep. 21, 2018

The United States is a deeply polarized nation, yet one view increasingly spans the partisan divide: the country is at imminent risk of being overtaken by China. Unless Washington does much more to counter the rise of its biggest rival, many argue, it may soon lose its status as the world’s leading power. According to this emerging consensus, decades of U.S. investment and diplomatic concessions have helped create a geopolitical monster. China now boasts the world’s largest economy and military, and it is using its growing might to set its own rules in East Asia, hollow out the U.S. economy, and undermine democracy around the globe. In response, many Democrats and Republicans agree, the United States must ramp up its military presence in Asia, slap tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods, and challenge China’s influence worldwide.

But this emerging consensus is wrong and the policy response misguided. China is not about to overtake the United States economically or militarily—quite to the contrary. By the most important measures of national wealth and power, China is struggling to keep up and will probably fall further behind in the coming decades. The United States is and will remain the world’s sole superpower for the foreseeable future, provided that it avoids overextending itself abroad or underinvesting at home.

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- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

International Security

| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

A sampling of articles in the Fall 2017 of the Belfer Center's journal International Security.

International Security is America’s leading journal of security affairs. The International Security journal is edited at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and published quarterly by the MIT Press. Questions may be directed to IS@harvard.edu.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship Kurama, Sagami Bay, south of Tokyo, Japan, October 18, 2015.

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Journal Article - International Security

The Emerging Military Balance in East Asia: How China’s Neighbors Can Check Chinese Naval Expansion

| Fall 2017

China’s maritime neighbors can prevent China from dominating East Asia militarily, allowing the United States to avoid the costs and risks of expanding its forces in the region. These states have developed antiaccess/area-denial capabilities that can deny China command of its near seas. The United States should support these capabilities while taking steps to enhance crisis stability.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the international press corps during a news conference that followed a NATO Ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on December 3, 2013.

State Department photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Myth of Entangling Alliances: Reassessing the Security Risks of U.S. Defense Pacts

| Spring 2015

How often do alliance commitments draw the United States into military conflicts that it might otherwise avoid? An analysis of U.S. conflicts over the past several decades reveals that the number is significantly smaller than many observers assume.