Security Challenges
Volume 10, No.1 (2014)

Acknowledge and Commit, Disagree and Continue: US China Policy for the 21st Century

Case study comparison of the China Policies of US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush can provide insight into how the relationship can be managed in the 21st century. A relationship built on trust and communication creates stability between America and China; trust acknowledges disagreement and reinforces commitments. Breaking agreements, making unreasonable demands, or acting for short term self interest undermines the relationship, reduces opportunity for genuine cooperation, and hampers communication when crises occur. Bush‘s management of the relationship was a highpoint of recent US-China interaction, and serves as a blueprint for the 21st century relationship for Australian and American elites.

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