Wednesday, September 14, 2005

America must show wisdom in relations with China

By Chuck Hagel
Published: August 9 2005 20:35

China is a hot topic in Washington. Its currency, exports to the US, oil interests and military capabilities have all been significant issues in Congress. While these concerns are important and real, none should stand alone. Each is part of a larger and more complex US-China ­relationship. In that light, today’s overheated US rhetoric over China needs to be tempered with sound judgment and wise long-term considerations.

Both competition and co-operation will feature in US-China bilateral ties in the 21st century. That does not mean relations are destined to be hostile...although they could be if mishandled. The US has an opportunity to shape a co-operative relationship that would allow us to influence China’s overall strategic choices. It would be a colossal mistake if misguided assumptions, rhetoric and actions led to a dangerous and conflicted relationship. This is not a time to let paranoia chart the course for US policy toward China.


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