The G-2 Mirage

Why the United States and China Are Not Ready to Upgrade Ties

Courtesy Reuters

It took just one month for U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy team to establish its line on China: more cooperation on more issues more often. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enthusiastically declared during her brief visit to Beijing in late February, "The opportunities for us to work together are unmatched anywhere in the world."

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The Obama team is in good company. Henry Kissinger has called for the U.S.-Chinese relationship to be "taken to a new level" and Zbigniew Brzezinski has advocated the development of a G-2, a group of two comprising China and the United States that could address the international financial crisis, tackle climate change, limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and maybe even help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Early notes of potential discord -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's description of China

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