Author: Thomas J. Christensen, Princeton William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics of Peace and War
Publisher: W.W. Norton, Paperback, 2016
Many see China as a rival superpower to the United States and imagine the country’s rise to be a threat to U.S. leadership in Asia and beyond. Drawing on decades of scholarship and experience as a senior diplomat, Thomas J. Christensen argues against this zero-sum vision. Instead, he describes a new paradigm in which the real challenge lies in dissuading China from regional aggression while encouraging the country to contribute to the global order.
The China Challenge shows why China is nowhere near powerful enough to be considered a global “peer competitor” of the United States, but it is already strong enough to destabilize East Asia and to influence economic and political affairs worldwide. Despite China’s impressive achievements, the Chinese Communist Party faces enormous challenges. Christensen shows how nationalism and the threat of domestic instability influence the party’s decisions on issues like maritime-sovereignty disputes, global financial management, control of the internet, climate change, and policies toward Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Analyzing U.S.-China policy since the end of the Cold War, Christensen articulates a balanced strategic approach that explains why we should aim not to block China’s rise but rather to help shape its choices so as to deter regional aggression and encourage China’s active participation in international initiatives that benefit both nations