Proponents of the "China threat" theory argue that it is inconceivable for China to have a peaceful rise; a superpower China will inevitably be a threat to the United States. This article analyzes the military and economic aspects of the "China threat" theory from theoretical, methodological, and strategic points of view. The theory’s flaws are in its assumptions, which this article tackles by providing counter examples as well as by highlighting external and internal problems facing China that can complicate its rise to great-power status. In addition, the "China threat" theory is based on linear projection and imperfect historical analogies that are as misleading conceptually as they are strategically counterproductive to Sino-American strategic relations. This, of course, is not to argue that China poses no threat; it is, however, to suggest that the nature of any threat is far more nuanced than the "China threat" theorists claim it to be.


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pp. 41-66
Launched on MUSE
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