IN RECENT issues of The National Interest, there have been a series of articles that take China's rise to both regional and global pre-eminence as a given.1 But it is worth stepping back to take a sober look at some of the very real challenges China faces-and in particular, how China's neighbors assess these developments. Sometimes the view from Washington and New York can be a bit overly optimistic.
Of course, over the past six months, that confidence about China's continued progress was shaken as governments across the world witnessed an explosion of terrifying stories about Chinese exports. News reports detailed toothpaste tainted with poisons, fake baby formula and pet food packed with illegal substances. Though China vowed better safety standards-and executed the head of its own food and drug administration-it also stonewalled in many cases, blaming complaints on overaggressive foreign news reporters and claiming that American exports also can be dangerous.