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This report considers how hacking, cyber-espionage, and the threat of cyberwarfare affect U.S.-Chinese relations.
The Obama administration’s foreign policy has tried to reconcile the president’s lofty vision with his innate realism and political caution. And given the domestic and global situations Obama has faced, pragmatism has dominated. Judged by the standard of protecting U.S. interests, things have worked out quite well; judged by the standard of midwifing a new global order, they remain a work in progress.
Those who worry about the vulnerability of the world's oil shipping lanes should calm down. Oil tankers are more resilient than often presumed, and only the United States has the capability to seriously disrupt maritime traffic -- which it will not do.
Although neither China nor Taiwan wants war, both pursue policies that raise the risk of bloodshed: the first by issuing vague warnings, the second by testing their limits. To stabilize the situation, the Bush administration should help broker a temporary agreement under which Taipei would put off independence and Beijing would stop threatening to attack.
China's reform policies have created economic opportunities, but they have also unleashed political tensions. Some U.S. strategists advocate a containment strategy, yet such a strategy is both undesirable and infeasible. America's fortunes in Asia depend on the evolution of a China that is secure, cohesive, reform-oriented, and open to the world. Failed reform could easily lead to a nationalistic, obstructionist China. In recent years, Washington, while trying to engage the People's Republic, has driven it into a corner over human rights. America must develop a long-term strategy to integrate China into the world community and avert serious damage to this crucial bilateral relationship. And it must begin to do so now.