The emergence of China on the world scene constitutes the most significant event in world politics since the end of World War II. Given its size, location, dynamism, and unconventional approach to many global issues, a rapidly growing China will reshape the global distribution of power and major issues confronting the international community.

As the world's predominant political, economic, and military force, the United States faces a significant challenge in responding to China's rising power and influence, especially in Asia. This challenge will require more effective U.S. policies and a reassessment of America's fundamental strategic assumptions and relationships.

In America's Challenge, Michael D. Swaine offers a fresh perspective on current and future U.S. policy toward China. Swaine argues that three new sets of variables—China’s growing power and global presence, the forces of economic and social globalization, and an array of nontraditional security threats—are reshaping in fundamental ways the strategic assumptions, policy priorities, and internal decision making structures that have governed U.S. policy toward Beijing since at least the 1980s. He concludes that to successfully manage the growing number and types of challenges China’s emergence presents in the twenty-first century, U.S. policy makers will need to reexamine some of their most fundamental beliefs and assumptions toward China, the Asia region, and American power, and undertake some significant changes in strategy and policy.



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"As Washington gropes for a new paradigm to structure this all-important bilateral relationship, diplomats, military strategists, and concerned citizens on both sides of the Pacific would do well to reflect carefully on Michael Swaine’s new treatise, which is a masterpiece that will set the standard in the field of policy analysis for decades to come." — Naval War College

"Swaine comprehensively reviews the U.S.-Chinese relationship, which he sees as marked by an awkward combination of suspicion and interdependence." — Foreign Affairs


Michael D. Swaine is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where he specializes in Chinese security and foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international relations. Before coming to Carnegie, he worked for RAND where he served as a senior political scientist and research director of the RAND Center for Asia-Pacific Policy.

The Carnegie Asia Program in Beijing and Washington provides clear and precise analysis to policy makers on the complex economic, security, and political developments in the Asia-Pacific region.

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