I never intended to become a China hawk. Indeed, for years I prided myself on cultivating a relatively detached view of the reality of the power dynamic between the United States and the People’s Republic. But I have slowly and reluctantly come to a much more hawkish view, and it is one that fills me with foreboding.
For decades, America’s policy toward China aimed at smoothly integrating it into the existing U.S.-led international order, with strategists divided mainly on whether carrots and sticks should be deployed. The Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” its deepening security cooperation with Australia and Vietnam, its opening to Myanmar and embrace of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, were all efforts to demonstrate the risks of challenging the United States while leaving the door open to a deeply cooperative relationship.