The American People Aren’t Ready for China

My piece from last year on the rise of China and the U.S. political response has been reposted at The National Interest:

How should the United States respond to the rise of China? Scholars and practitioners of foreign policy are divided on this question. The battle lines are familiar. Optimists about the future of U.S.-China relations, who believe that China can and should become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international community, argue that the United States must adopt strategic restraint and conciliatory behavior towards China so that Beijing will reciprocate in kind. Pessimists, regarding it as inevitable that China will seek to overturn the American-made international system, counter that only by maintaining a favorable balance of power can the United States and its allies protect their interests in the context of China’s seemingly inexorable ascent to material preponderance.

For all their differences, these two stylized responses to China’s rise share a common focus on U.S. external relations. That is, each approach consists of a set of foreign policy prescriptions for dealing with China. Yet it is not just in the realm of foreign policy that the U.S. must prepare for China’s rise. In domestic politics, too, there are significant moves that must be made to prepare the U.S. for relative decline vis-à-vis China—and, indeed, other rising states…

Read the full feature here.