COMPELLING READ: Hugh White has prepared a speech for President Barack Obama to give on China and it is very much worth a read. For those who have read White’s past essays on the topic, the themes will be easily recognised. Have a read and let us know what you think.
As China’s economy grows, the other dimensions of its power will grow, too. We need to recognise this, but we need also to keep it in perspective. China will remain a strong country, but it will never rule the world. It will have to deal with many other strong states – Japan, India, Russia, the EU and, of course, the United States. While its interests will expand around the world, it will remain focused on East Asia. But as China’s power grows, I believe it will want to be a great power again, and to be treated as a great power by others. That raises a question: how will China use its power? Will it be a harsh bully or a co-operative partner in a regional order? The answers are not yet clear. One thing, however, is clear. China’s ambitions are not compatible with the old order, the one that has kept the region peaceful and prosperous for four decades since Nixon met Mao. Since 1972, America’s role as the leader of Asia has been uncontested by any other major power.
The speech is an extract from The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power, by Hugh White, published by Black Inc.
This read was recommended by AIIA NSW Business Manager Jenny Sayle.