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167 Foreword In addition to fulfilling his other considerable duties, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick has been charged with leading the Senior Dialog, our highest-level, diplomatic discussion with China. To share the thinking behind that process with interested Americans, he delivered a remarkable address before the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations on September 21, 2005 in New York. In his remarks he established a new benchmark in United States China policy by providing a sophisticated assessment of China’s rise and a comprehensive rationale for U.S. strategy. Hailed by many as groundbreaking, the speech detailed Washington’s questions and concerns that follow China’s successful integration into the international economy and global institutions. Zoellick suggested that it is time for the United States to “foster constructive action by transforming our thirty-year policy of integration: We need to encourage China to become a responsible stakeholder. As a responsible stakeholder, China would be more than just a member—it would work with us to sustain the international system that has enabled its success.” The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is pleased to present four essays that evaluate the implications of the deputy secretary’s speech. Two scholars, Richard Baum and Robert Ross, and two former policymakers, Kurt Campbell and James Kelly, bring their experience to bear in analyzing the problems elaborated by Zoellick. The authors’ frank and keen assessments respond to Zoellick’s emphasis on the overarching framework for future U.S.-China relations and focus largely on how to deal with China as a great power. In the first essay, Professor Richard Baum, Director of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, suggests that Secretary Zoellick’s speech has inserted strategic clarity into often contradictory Bush administration statements on China over the past five years. He also appreciates the recognition given in the address to inevitable differences in national interests between the United States and China, and hopes that “Zoellick’s proposed framework is a concept whose time has come.” Dr.KurtCampbell,SeniorVicePresidentattheCenterforStrategicandInternational Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and the Pacific, argues that the speech was directed specifically at domestic audiences in order to placate increasingly vocal concerns over China’s rise. He writes that the speech serves both as a timely reminder of the need for the United States to remain engaged in Asia and as a baseline from which Washington can recalibrate and clarify its China policy. He would like to see the address establish a pattern of considered discussion of China’s importance to the United States. 168 James Kelly, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, argues that minor changes amid overarching continuity have characterized U.S. policy toward China throughout three decades and seven presidential administrations. He writes that Zoellick’s speech has brought together disparate elements of U.S. China policy into a cohesive and comprehensive statement for the second Bush term, and that it properly raises concerns over opaque, yet ambitious Chinese foreign and defense policies . In addition, he cautions both countries to adjust their domestic economic policies to ameliorate growing trade frictions and stabilize the international economy. In the closing essay, Robert Ross, Professor of Political Science at Boston College, contends that the speech’s lack of attention to Taiwan as well as its stress on China’s constructive role in the Six-Party Talks are both causes for optimism, as they reflect relaxed geopolitical tensions in these two areas. Likewise, the address unequivocally endorsed a renewed commitment to engage China. Professor Ross warns, however, that U.S. policy must “recognize … China’s legitimate interests,” and that China cannot be expected “to accommodate itself to U.S. values or conceptions of a just global order.” In the months and years to come, effective political reform in China would increase the likelihood that we will see across the Asia-Pacific compatible conceptions of interests , values, and international order, which will strengthen stability and expand prosperity among the nations of the region and beyond. Zoellick’s speech was notable for all the reasons mentioned in the paragraphs above, plus this one: its frank recognition of the positive role of democratic reform—consonant with Chinese culture—in China’s achieving full, responsible participation in an open and stable international system. Bob Zoellick was an inspiring NBR director from 1993, just a few years following NBR’s founding, to 2001. We at NBR also deeply admire and...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781939131225
MARC Record
OCLC
868219407
Pages
230
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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