How to Confront an Advancing Threat From China

Getting Tough on Trade Is Just the First Step

Mike Segar / REUTERS

The most important international development of the last two decades has been the rise of China as a great economic and military power. As China transformed, many Western scholars and policymakers predicted that economic reform and integration into the world economy would force the country to liberalize politically and become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. The idea, sometimes called “convergence theory,” was that as China grew wealthier, it would become more like the United States. The theory was comforting, but it did not pan out. China grew economically without democratizing. Instead its government became more ideological and repressive, with …