Should China be "contained"?
July 4th, 2011
08:33 AM ET

Should China be "contained"?

Editor's Note: Joseph S. Nye, Jr. was an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration and is currently a professor at Harvard University. He is the author of The Future of PowerFor more from Nye, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.

By Joseph S. Nye

This month marks the 40th anniversary of Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to Beijing, which launched the process of mending a 20-year breach in diplomatic relations between the United States and China. That trip, and President Richard Nixon’s subsequent visit, represented a major Cold War realignment. The U.S. and China put aside their intense hostility in a joint and successful effort to contain an expansionist Soviet Union.

Today, the Soviet Union has vanished, and Chinese power is growing. Some Americans argue that China’s rise cannot be peaceful, and that the U.S., therefore, should now adopt a policy of containing the People’s Republic. Indeed, many Chinese officials perceive that to be the current American strategy. They are wrong.

After all, Cold War containment of the USSR meant virtually no trade and little social contact. Today, by contrast, the U.S. not only has massive trade with China, but also extensive social contact, including 125,000 Chinese students attending American universities.

With the end of the Cold War, the containment of the Soviet Union ushered in by Kissinger’s visit could no longer serve as the basis for U.S.-China relations. Moreover, relations with China cooled after the Tiananmen Square shootings in 1989, and the Clinton administration had to devise a new approach.

When I was supervising the Pentagon’s East Asia Strategy Review in 1994, we rejected the idea of containment of China for two reasons. If we treated China as an enemy, we were guaranteeing an enemy in the future. If we treated China as a friend, we could not guarantee friendship, but we could at least keep open the possibility of more benign outcomes.

In addition, it would have been difficult to persuade other countries to join a coalition to contain China unless China resorted to bullying tactics, as the Soviets did after World War II. Only China, by its behavior, could organize the containment of China by others.

Read: From Fukushima to disarmament.

Instead of containment, the strategy that the Clinton administration devised could be termed “integrate but hedge” – something like Ronald Reagan’s “trust but verify” approach to strategic agreements with the Soviets.

On one hand, the U.S. supported China’s membership in the World Trade Organization and accepted Chinese goods and visitors. On the other hand, the Clinton-Hashimoto Declaration of April 1996 affirmed that the U.S.-Japan security treaty, rather than being a Cold War relic, would provide the basis for a stable and prosperous East Asia.

Clinton also began to improve relations with India, a strategy that has enjoyed bipartisan support in the U.S. The Bush administration continued to improve bilateral relations, while deepening and formalizing the economic dialogue with China.

Then Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick made clear that the US would accept the rise of China as a “responsible stakeholder.” That policy continues to guide the Obama administration, which has broadened the annual economic consultations with China to include security issues.

Read: Ending nuclear evil.

As I argue in my new book The Future of Power, one of the major power shifts of the twenty-first century is Asia revival. In 1800, Asia represented half the world’s population and half the world’s economy. By 1900, the industrial revolution in Europe and North America drove down Asia’s share of global output to 20%. By the middle of this century, Asia should again represent half the world’s population and GDP.

This is a natural and welcome evolution, as it enables hundreds of millions of people to escape from poverty. At the same time, however, it has given rise to fears that China will become a threat to the U.S.

Such fears appear exaggerated, particularly when one considers that Asia is not one entity. It has its own internal balance of power. Japan, India, Vietnam, and other countries do not want to be dominated by China, and thus welcome a U.S. presence in the region. Unless China develops its “soft power,” the rise in its military and economic power is likely to frighten its neighbors into seeking coalitions to balance its rise. It is as if Mexico and Canada sought an alliance with China to balance U.S. power in North America.

Read: Is China overtaking America?

After the 2008-2009 financial crisis, as China recovered rapidly and resumed 10% annual economic growth, some Chinese officials and commentators urged a more assertive foreign policy to reflect China’s new strength. Many mistakenly believed that the U.S. was in decline, and that the crisis presented new strategic opportunities for China.

For example, China began pressing territorial claims in the South China Sea, as well as escalating a longstanding border dispute with India. The net result is that over the past two years, China has worsened its relations with Japan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and others – quite a remarkable record that confirms the U.S. strategic premise that “only China can contain China.”

But it would be a mistake to focus only on the hedging part of American strategy. The U.S. and China (as well as other countries) have much to gain from collaborating on transnational issues. One cannot devise and implement solutions to global financial stability, climate change, cyber terrorism or pandemics without such cooperation.

If power is the ability to obtain the outcomes one wants, it is important to remember that sometimes our power is greater when we act with others rather than merely over others. This important dimension of a “smart power” strategy for the twenty-first century is not captured by the concept of containment. When Kissinger landed in Beijing four decades ago, he ushered in not only a Cold War transformation, but also a new era of U.S.-Chinese engagement.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Joe Nye. Copyright:Project Syndicate, 2011.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Trip Richert

    The complete focus on the Soviet Union during the Cold War caused many problems. Countries across the world were treated as pawns. Cruel dictators were supported that oppressed their people. Both the US and the USSR believed that they had no choice, that the other would destroy them, given the chance. Because both countries saw each other as completely evil, both of us may have been right. Obviously we managed to get out of this vicious cycle. Much credit should be given to US and USSR leaders and diplomats for reestablishing trust.

    The consequences of the Cold War can very much still be seen today:

    The Korean War was fueled by both the US and China, and North Korea is controlled by a military dictator because the Soviet Union saw anything as better than a government friendly to the US.

    In Iran, the US supported the overthrow of a democratic government in favor of a US puppet military dictator (Operation AJAX). After years of oppression, the Iranian people rebelled and overthrew that dictator, only to replace him with the oppressive government in power today.

    Most notoriously, the US supplied and funded the Mujaheddin, the "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan, through channels in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. That organization turned into the Taliban and Al Qaeda, both of which were supplied and funded through similar channels in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to the ones that we set up.

    Many more conflicts occurred in the Cold War, some of which still cause problems, but these three are obvious ones that are causing major long term problems for the US.

    My point is that the Cold War was caused by a complete lack of trust of both sides, a hatred that proved to have few solutions and fueled short sided decisions that had vast negative long term consequences. Both the US and China need to maintain a dialog and provide understanding of each others' objectives. We will have foreign policy disagreements with China. In many countries, we will be the counterweight to China's influence. However, both sides need to remember that destroying the countries that we both have interests in through civil war will produce no winners in the long run. If we can both trust each other to maintain that interest, many lives will be saved, in the US, in China, and around the world.

    July 4, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Amrullah Yousafzai in Mingora, Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP)




      July 4, 2011 at 10:09 am | Reply
  2. Amrullah Yousafzai in Mingora, Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP)

    Oh yes those chinese should be contained so that the ugly black bhaRATis can share their precious national drink,gau jal, with the rest of the world.


    Slurp,Slurp...Yum, Yum..

    July 4, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • munsoor

      to NWFP,

      thnx for ur worry about the indian drink dude, to ur info Indians (0.000001% of indains) does this act but not very one, did u find any vending machines, restaurants , etc which serve this drink, so how u think that Indians use this a lot. if i can say abt ur eating habits then ....... , I think indian food culture is a way better where vegetarianism is still followed when compared to gulf, east asain countries n etc. some countries r there where they eat people, insects, animals n etc what ever they find on the way to home, Also u can find eat outs in those countries where they openly sale those food which is made from insects, animals of every type u name it, birds n etc (yak yak yak.......) . Still some people complain on the Indian food may be bcoz they r afraid to point out others who really eat dangerously ugly food.

      July 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • lol

      I actually saw this and laughed. But honestly if I had to choose between Pakistan or India as an American, I'd go with India. Sorry your plan didn't work though, good luck in Mecca.

      July 19, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Reply
  3. T E Low

    The rise of China allows countries to hedge against the US. As of right now, even countries friendly to the US no longer bend over for them (the US); they know that if the US offers a bad deal to them, they can always work together with the Chinese.

    Therefore, the rise of China is good for the world, because it means that the once former sole superpower can no longer bully everyone else militarily and economically. China itself is a hedge against the US.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • kiramgm

      If we allow red china rule the world.....everything, both living things and non-living things, in this world must be chinese.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:07 am | Reply
  4. Sam

    dear Fareed/CNN /Time- thanks for this valuable platform to put forward our views, a healthy sounding-off! We think America is smart enough to understand how important it is to have good workable relations with all the countries of the world including china, pakistan, iran , etc. We are sure you will never do anything to provoke their animosity. Friendships can solve all problems. Love one and all. Peace and harmony is what we all should strive for. Only then can americans live happily and prosper. One request please use moderators on this Board to prevent immature slanging, and keep the forum clean and healthy. There are a few cavemen who are determined to take this world back to their caves.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
  5. RAJ

    USA's active presence in Asia is must. At sub-conscious level China's psyche is operating in its old ways which comes out consciously by demanding more territories from its neighbouring countries like India. India alone do not have inner guts to tackle China and need USA's support and same way many other Asian countries do need USA's support.

    July 4, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • That'snotTrue:[

      Why bring India into this? Why's someone always involving India when ever China's involved? And the US is more likely going to mess up the Asian countries....just look at the middle east so no thank you!

      July 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • Maersk

      You must be another typical Indian diaperhead. Loser!

      July 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  6. j. von hettlingen

    The author failed to mention that the word "contained", inspired by George Kennan's containment strategy during the Cold War is totally inappropriate. Today we live in a world of advanced informationa and communication technology, which makes containment the more meaningless. Besides a country is never alone in the international community, an enemy of the U.S. can be seen as a friend by another country.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:52 am | Reply
  7. lpc1998

    The world has been extremely lucky to escape from the worst consequences of the Cold War. It may not be so lucky the next time. To avoid another Cold War, the world’s top powers must treat each other with mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and no attempt to subvert or damage each other. Moreover, they have to work together for the greater good of the world and to lead it by taking the path of commerce, development and prosperity and not the path of tensions, conflicts and destruction.

    July 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  8. That'snotTrue:[

    The US is the one that should be contained not China considering who's the war monger, killing innocent people, being a hypocrite politically ect. Why take such a hostile view to a rising nation that was there long before the US was even re- founded, the natives were here in America (as a whole) first. The US really should take some time to learn some history and not just the "red era" of China, really there's 5000 years, stop pointing at the last fifty. Peaceful talks, like many commentors say IS the way, the problem...the US does war better than talk, so unless they can sit down without attempting to threaten another country or "attempt to reform another country's political system." Nothing will be done.

    &&& Author, I find the picture of the panda entertaining, a panda does not need to be contained, their cute and cuddly, and only eat bamboos and unless you really provoke them, they don't care.......a Chinese dragon would make a better point or "threat".......but the America eagle I'm pretty sure can do some real damage, they're vultures so back to my fist point. National animal, or country wise, the US needs th restrain itself.

    July 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • musthaq

      Very well said, That'snotTrue:[. Thank you.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:56 am | Reply
  9. Onesmallvoice

    This is the one of the most ludicrous posts I've seen here yet. It's us, and not China that needs to be contained. After all, who invaded Iraq without any provocation whatsoever and who took the lead in the invasion of Afghanistan? Would anyone here be naive enough to disagree with me? The defense rests!!!

    July 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • musthaq

      Quite true, Onesmallvoice. The U.S. does need to be contained in a bad way. Most of all, we need to stop the obscene butchery in both Afghanistan and Pakistan with the use of those godless drones to butcher people needlessly!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • musthaq

      if u ever heard about Saddam hussian n his cruelty to his own country people them u would have taken ur army too to destroy his regime n also hanged him with some countless ropes(but both these chinese head head n Saddam share same principles). Furthermore, do u think America wants to invade afghan, did u saw or heard about 9/11, did u know how many american n other country civilians died with those attacks. do u know with that incident every country around the world(may be not china) suffered a lot as their economies shrinked to a unrecoverable deep hole. With that so many people lost lives , sold their fortunes, living a bizzare life, so many r doing awful jobs n etc with that depression. so every country does what US has did and will continue to do it to ruin or completely destroy those organizations for the safe guard of not only American people but also for world peace(also for chinese people). I Had a query "did china would have spent astronomical amount of money from their own pockets to perform this gargantuan task for the welfare of their and other country citizens" which USA is doing till now from 9/11 2001.
      If this incident was not happened, ginormous amount of money n blood would have been diverted to some projects in n around US, and china would have never come near or can't even sniff the American economy rise.

      July 5, 2011 at 10:18 am | Reply
      • sd12345

        You get your standable reason, and please also understand Chinese standable reason. No one will win except small group of top powers.

        September 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  10. musthaq

    i want Pakistan to help US in fighting with terrorism n fighting with rising china(by bullying).
    usa helped pakistan over a decade to rebuild its nation n stills continues to. so add p, all south asian nations should stop china from conquering. their communism must end and treat their own people as people but not as machines, cruelty to people to fulfill one's own deep pockets will not stand against a rising democratic power well supported by other nations.

    July 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Onesmallvoice

      The above is one of the most ignorant posts I've seen here yet. Where do these people come from?

      July 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Reply
      • musthaq

        Sorry Onesmallvoice, I'm just an ignorant right-wing jerk here. Actually, the only information I have is mostly made up since I don't like the Chinese in the first place!!!

        July 5, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • sd12345

      Obviously, you do not understand Chinese history and Chinese people also. Please do not feel better than others as you always did.

      September 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  11. musthaq

    thousands yrs of history is not welcomed n is not appreciated if u don't show respect to a normal chinese ie., to Ur own chinese person who stays in china from generations by melting his blood to earn for himself n to pay taxes. If u see history a bunch of nations r there which too have thousands of yrs of golden history but not every country treats like chinese govt does.
    1st help ur own poeple, don't take their lands intentionally for building towers to showcase the Chinese wealth.
    Don't loot their homes, bank acc's, businesses n etc by keeping a pile of army and bulldozing their hard earned wealth.
    further more, try to develop ur own knowledge on space technology, electronics, weaponry(all types), nuclear fuel usage, computers, European clothing designs n etc ,plz for God sake(mankind) don't steal any countries knowledge on these and make a duplicate of these and indirectly don't sell to them itself. I have seen lots of electronics items which r developed in US/Germany/Aus/ n European countries are ending up in a 2nd world country like china where they make a duplicate of the same item or they will do little adjustments to it and release with a new name(has mostly faulty features) in all countries all over the world. so 3rd world countries r using faulty products(mostly china made) by still paying good money. I blame Countries who sell the designs/code/practices/models to china, so that they can make a product for lesser price n in more quantity but they r not realizing that by this they r loosing a really good chunk of people from all nations who want to buy a real genuine product n more over Americans n Europeans r loosing their own jobs which r shifted to china. In long run also those people can't get their jobs back as china's populations increases slowly or alarmingly, so than also their(chinese) govt. need to fund and provide jobs to the growing youngsters.
    Then also chinese govt plays all cards correctly to keep their manufacturing n etc companies(jobs) in tact n tries to get more n more export orders from richer countries by lowering their currency rates intelligently and by buying lots of US debts. so that they can keep US under then always.

    so much to be said but one thing china, respect ur people 1st , don't try t showcase ur wealth n ur rise to word by bullying ur own poeple. If every country does dat, it takes less time for them to become rich also.

    Developed countries, keep ur jobs with yourself at any cost as u don't them back if u loose them to china, try to educate ur people to work for little lower wages, educate ur young how to compete with china to safe guard their country from chinese hackers who steal everything from ' safety pin" knowledge to national security information.

    thanx for ur patience, think 1st.

    July 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Kwan

      Hey Musthaq, I'm Chinese and I live here in China. I just want to tell you that people here don't feel like they are bullied, I don't know where you are getting the information. Sure, some people are not happy with the government for many things, but so is the US and so does every country in the world. You obviously have never been to China, so I suggest you come and have a visit and then tell me the people are being bullied.
      You are truly ignorant!

      July 5, 2011 at 4:49 am | Reply
      • kiramgm

        we donot need to go there in Red China...there are many evidences available that supports the fact that chinese government is brutal to its people and to the outside world. You are just like a monkey who see nothing, hear nothing, and speak nothing and thats what your government want you to do......

        July 5, 2011 at 8:56 am |
      • That'snotTrue:[

        @ kiramgm
        Ignorance will get you no where, "the red scare" should have been long gone by now. Looking at both governments, the US's government is degrading the standard of life for it's common people while the one party system in China is improving it. Like I said in my last post there's 5000 years, STOP looking at the last 50.
        &&& You're being a hypocrite, there are worse regimes to began with, and all government no matter what type would surpress the people against it by any means in some cases.

        July 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • kiramgm

        You know why you have Great Wall???....Because you to many enemies...You need to construct it because from north to south, east to west you have to many enemies....shame on you...

        July 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
      • That'snotTrue:(

        Such generalization, the US sees everyone as a potential enemy (South Korea chemical dump), and considering the time the great wall was built, it WAS during war time......all your showing is that you don't know alot.....about history, what's happening in other countries nor your own......

        July 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  12. Mike Smith

    Chinese Human Rights Abuses:



    July 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Onesmallvoice

      Can you prove any of that, Mike Smith? Those pictures you put on display here could just as easily have been taken in Indonesia.

      July 5, 2011 at 9:42 am | Reply
  13. musthaq

    hi kwan,

    u might not know what sort of bad things happening in china as u live in china where everything(information n etc)is screened by ur loved govt first and them released into public. if ur govt. removes their customized filters or don't try to divert normal public servers information to their govt. servers then u can find whats really going in "mainland" china and how ur govt. bluffing u n etc. Every developed country is facing protests from their own elected people as they r unable to deliver their promises to keep their jobs safe within them n these days every MNC is shifting their production (other departments too ) to china to save little bucks. U said right that US/others face these problems but these govt's don't bully their people to rob normal people, here they have laid well democratic laws where anyone can fight for a wrong doing by any dignitary in govt or private sector. here courts(federal laws) support right doing for the welfare of people not for.......... i appreciate ur govt. for doing all these things in some 1+billion population n still nobody knows there what's happening in n around china. i think ur govt. also built an invisible grt wall btw every person in ur china n is trying to mask ur thoughts, feelings n etc. i have been to other countries but will not come to china(filter), i can't digest by seeing things lively. today i heard Microsoft paired with ur baidu(local Chinese search engine), soon micro will release that they landed in some hot water. now micro servers r in safe hands, i think..

    July 5, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • musthaq

      My apologies, Kwan. Most of what I posted above is gobbleddy-gook anyway as I never set foot in China so I have no way of knowing what goes on there. These right-wing fanatics brainwashed me!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • That'snotTrue:[

      ...........................I'm guessing by your many posts that you are trying to make fun of some of the cocanuts in the US who have either Asia-phobia or China-phobia, who base their views on pure nonsense?.......I think I'm the only one so far that's getting the joke here.... =.=

      July 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  14. musthaq

    to inform u all that , some body by using my name is posting apologies to chinese n to my previous sentences. i never made an apology, n will not try to apologize to a communist country

    July 5, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • A Chinese

      Musthaq, as a Chinese, I'm just amazed to see people like you claim to know everything about China and every truth about China even you've never set a foot in the country or talked to its people. Please first allow me to introduce you to some of the culture differences between China and the West. e.g. There's a bus taking 20 people to work in the morning and one passenger's wallet got stolen. In the West, the thieve is like to get away since the bus driver is going to stop and the police has no rights to search everybody. In China (although it's changing rapidly), the bus drive would close the door and drive straight to the bus station and police would search everybody and the thief would get caught. For Westerners, Chinese police definitely violated human rights by searching innocent passengers and by delaying their work. But to Chinese, justice is served since thief got caught. Another example, my hometown (Chongqing) was building a highway between us and another City about 150km away. Due to diffcult terrain (surrended by mountains), there were very few possible routes. On a vital passage, there were about 7 family's land and they did not want to sell land to the government although government did provide reasonable compensation in this case. So government took over their land by force (still paid them and relocated them to new houses) and completed highway within two years. In this case, yes, those farmer's rights definitely was violated but the new high cut traffic time by 2/3 and stimulated billions of dollars of economy alone the route. The land prices alone the highway tripled for the past two years. So not only people living in the City benefited, most farmers alone the road also benefited handsomely. That city that was 150Km away grew average 14% a year for the past two years due to the highway. 7 family's rights was violated but benefited millions more in this case. I'm not trying to suggest Government did the right thing here. All i'm trying to tell you is that issues in China are way more complicated than what you want to believe or what foreign media is trying to say. Most issues are not black or white and never will be.

      July 5, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
  15. musthaq

    i'm not bothered if china is on top of the hill or on top of the world. every country has a chance to be there but not by surpassing the human rights.
    i read above messages n saw that Chinese r really try to mask the truth very fast by showing some little true examples there by hiding the biggest blunders on humanity n on their social living by chinese govt. I don't need to be in china to know about china ,the information we have n everybody knows how a chinese govt. operates is sufficient for now to show ur loop holes which r hidden by chinese govt(i feel sometimes that very few normal chinese also don't want to come out of these burden). just by giving an small uneducated ex of a bus scenario that doesn't mean that chinese rules r very true which r made purely for public, westerner's too have a very good heart n always try to mend them(rules) for the good welfare of people n environment. protecting "human rights" is not just searching every passenger or taking bus to station(small covering eg), human rights r where every person have a right to say good thing and the govt. is there to take a note of a good thing if he says, protecting their lives, wealth, jelling with public n treating their wounds n etc.., always i found in these messages that chinese r very proud of their old 5k yrs history(don't know how those kings operated, i think present govt inherited those polices) but they r not bothered about the present scenarios in china n about their bullying domination on 3rd world countries. Tibet which has a weak govt. can't withstand a chinese army pressure n have to surrender their country(if not chinese would have killed so many residents and matter could be just behind those chinese closed rooms), grt Buddhist monk "dalia lama " who tried to free some people n Tibet has to take care himself in some small city of India under little care(i really doubt that, was Tibet is a part of china as these days chinese govt. is demanding "Google maps" n other "applications" to change every country's border physical map which has a border with china to gain the land n accommodate it with inc. Chinese population n there by looting the ground natural wealth like minerals, fuels, hill stations n etc., ) I pity those border counties how they can save(tackle) their lands from intruders. news is that china is supporting Pakistan by building dams,roads etc., for a bad sake ie., to gain their(Pakistan) land later n use their land as a battle ground to fight with US/India n thereby occupy those territories n place their rising Chinese flag. These days they helping(buying their material) African n South American countries for the same bad sake ie., to loot them later by providing some help n showing some interest on innocence people n there by they can get near to the American territories.
    Also don't try to throw stones on foreign media always, they have done just their part to tell everyone around the world what's happening in every Corner part of the world(not just china), they r the true messengers.

    July 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • A Chinese

      Musthaq, I don't know how in the world anyone can claim knowing a complete difference people on a different continent by actually visiting or seriously studying its history. I've lived in the US for 12 years and still learning new pieces of American culture everyday. Believe me, a 5 minute news presenation or couple of books do not make you an expert. You need to LIVE there, attending local's everyday events, holidays, schools. Please revisit you what you wrote. You completely ignored a native Chinese grew up in China,experiencing 20 years of economic reform. Please trust me when I tell you that your vision of abosulte good vs. evil won't apply to most people or country. Talking about Tibet, which is very controversial, go read some history books about Tibet history around 17th and 18th century and tell me how much control Qing Dynasty had over it. Even new Dala Lama has to be approved by Qing Emporor. As a matter of fact, current selection process of new Dala Lama was set by the Chinese emperor to stop potential candidates/high level monks from killing each other. If the Emperor has the power to point local government officials or sending/station troops, even approving highest religious figure, that sounds like sovereinty to me. Don't forget India got good chunk of formal Tibet. If Tibet would be independent, India would lose a good chunk of land. Again, go read some history books and see how big Tibetan empire used to be at times through out the history. Now again, I absolutely agree that China should better preserve Tibetan culture and give them more freedom on their own affairs. But do you know there are Han Chinese poeple fake their identify to be Tibetans to gain special treatment? e.g. Tibetan students automatically got 15 points for college entrance exam just because of their background? Actually they can easily go to good Universities because schools have quotas for them. I konw China is just this evil Country but we must be doing a poor job "suppressing" Tibetan people by triple its population and double their average lifes since 50s. In Africa and South America, China actually PAYS for the goods, not looting. Go see how many hospitals, schools and roads are built by the Chinese in Africa. China had built more roads and hospitals in the past 10 years than your "advaned and civilized" friends had done for the past 500 years. And I really don't think you want to go back that far when it comes to Aferican history. If you have to exchanges views, please use facts and satistics, not your emotions.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
      • A Chinese

        First sentence, i meant without actually visiting or studying. sorry

        July 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • A Chinese

      Musthaq, by the way, the example i used above (bus example) was taught by an American Professor in Asian History classes at University of Illinois. Guess he got brain washed too.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  16. musthaq

    i have no answers,as these these Chinese come back quickly with good cooked answers which all r truth to just them only but every nation knows abt ur mentality n ur "inner need".

    July 8, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • That'snotTrue:(

      Huh.......................inner needs, what?! Well they're better than your's, if there are two people using the same aren't even using propering can anyone take you, the self righteous one seriously?????

      July 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • A Chinese

      Musthaq, again, debate with facts and satistics, not one's emotions. Not sure where I "cooked" my answers. Don't trust me. Go do some research and find out by yourself. Unless you don't want to, to feed your "inner need". The reason you have no answer is because you can't put personal feelings or bias over facts. You can't argue with facts.

      July 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  17. Will

    What complete arrogance for a huge debtor nation like America to think they could "contain" their main creditor. Dream on, dream on. America is living on nothing but a little past glory and success, and trillions and trillions of borrowed dollars.

    July 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  18. Jason

    The US is hardly in the position to contain anyone, least of all China. It's really quite an insane notion, considering that the Chinese could send the US into collapse quite quickly with little more effort than calling in it's loans and a trade embargo, In case you have not noticed yet, Cold War is over and we lost. The govt would be wise to do its best to stay on China's good side.

    July 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  19. Greg Autry

    This piece completely ignores all questions of ethics in evaluating the "rise of China" and accepts the fallacious assumption that China's motives are the same as other Asian countries not run by an authoritarian regime that uses fear to achieve complete control in every aspect of people's lives. There is no reason to believe a powerful China will treat its neighbors or the West with any more respect than it treats its own people – that is to say none. In fact, there is every reason to believe it will treat the barbarians much worse once it has gained sufficient economic and military leverage.

    Yes, China is giving its neighbors plenty of reasons to want to contain it! However, Nye seems to assume that their wish for continued US presence is sufficient to provide such a presence. The Chinese Communist Party on the other hand is well aware of the "only China can contain China" theory and their mercantilist strategy to de-industrialize America is as much aimed at creating the economic disaster that renders the US incapable of projecting power as it is aimed at enriching the Chinese elite.

    That is why CHINA MUST BE CONTAINED until it has developed a modern political structure. To do that, we have to being the victim of their economic warfare or we will have no military or geopolitical power to exert against the communist regime.

    Greg Autry, co-author of Death by China

    July 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • sd12345

      From your points, everyone is devil or devil's offsprings (look back to the cruel history). You hurt most Chinese people. that's the result.

      September 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
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