Why Our Hardliners Are Wrong

If we step back and evaluate the issues fairly, two truths come clear: China is not a "rogue state", and U.S. policy has made important gains in affecting Chinese behavior over a wide range of issues bearing on important American interests.

Issue: Fall 1997

Critics of U.S. China policy have been enjoying unprecedented
attention lately. Between those who want to get tough with China and
those who want to be more accommodating, the Clinton administration's
second-term project to consolidate and expand cooperative Sino-U.S.
relations has been vastly complicated. Advocates of nearly every
stripe have had a hand in distorting China's impact on American
interests and Washington's policy record since the late 1980s, which,
despite its bad press, has had important successes. Character
assassination has been so rampant and policy critiques so politicized
that the normal rules of evidence used to evaluate a serious,
complicated set of policy choices have been among the first
casualties. Lost, too, in many cases, has been any sense of the
geopolitics of the problem--that cool-headed assessment of
capabilities and motives that ought to be our first task, not an

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