Contending with the Rise of China: Build on Three Decades of Progress

Revised September 2008

The next President should embrace the strategy of engagement initiated by President Nixon and sustained by all his successors to date. Presidential candidates should avoid tendentious condemnations of China and instead signal their intention to develop a personal relationship of trust with their Chinese counterpart soon after taking office.

Specifically, the next President should:

  • convince Chinese leaders that they can best promote their country’s national interests by working in concert with the United States and other great powers to meet challenges to international peace and security, for example, by cooperating to restrain Iranian and North Korean nuclear arms development
  • further China’s integration into the network of international organizations and regimes and facilitate China’s contribution to their future evolution
  • encourage Chinese economic reforms that will foster a stronger foundation for equitable two-way trade and investment ties with China
  • act to modernize the Asia-Pacific security structure to assure the United States is not excluded
  • actively promote Chinese cooperation on energy issues
  • lead in building a domestic consensus supporting his or her China policy

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