Why America and China can't trust each other

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  • Title:

    An Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century
  • Format:

    HardCover
  • Hardcover Price:

    50.00
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    978-0844772356
  • Buy the Book

Article Highlights

  • The American focus on Chinese transparency is misplaced.

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  • American distrust of China is intimately linked to the very nature of the People’s Republic, and the reverse is true as well.

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  • For the foreseeable future, true Sino-American trust will remain illusory.

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The release of China’s biennial defense white paper has been getting some press for its revelations about the People’s Liberation Army’s force structure. Chinese media outlet Xinhua, for example, reported that “the Chinese government on Tuesday declassified the designations of all 18 combined corps of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as the latest step to increase transparency of its armed forces.”

While it is difficult to applaud the PLA for declassifying information that was already common knowledge (see, for example, the sinodefence.com page on army organization, last updated four years ago), more transparency is certainly better than less. Still, the American focus on Chinese transparency is misplaced. Of course, the Pentagon would like to see its Chinese counterpart be more candid about PLA capabilities and investments; to the extent the United States can coax China towards such candor, it should do so.

The full text of this article is available on the CNN Global Public Square website.

 

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About the Author

 

Michael
Mazza
  • Currently the program manager for AEI's annual Executive Program on National Security Policy and Strategy, Michael Mazza has studied and lived in China. At AEI, Mr. Mazza studies defense policy in the Asia-Pacific, as well as Chinese military modernization, cross-Strait relations, and security on the Korean peninsula. He also writes regularly for AEI's Center for Defense Studies blog. In his previous capacity as a research assistant in AEI's Foreign and Defense Policy Studies department, Mr. Mazza contributed to studies on American strategy in Asia and on Taiwanese defense strategy. He is a 2010-2011 Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader.
  • Phone: 202-828-6027
    Email: michael.mazza@aei.org

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