The U.S.-China relationship has not always been an easy one, but it has evolved in a way that has been generally mutually beneficial. The logic of the relationship, however, is now open to serious debate on both sides of the Pacific. After a period of American preoccupation with the Middle East, President Obama attempted a rebalancing of U.S. interests toward the Asia-Pacific region. With the Trump administration in office, the U.S.-China relationship appears to be at a crossroads. In “A Glass Half Full? Rebalance, Reassurance, and Resolve in the U.S.-China Strategic Relationship” (Brookings Institution Press, 2017)—a follow up on their 2014 book—Michael O’Hanlon, co-director and senior fellow of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, and James Steinberg of Syracuse University provide a more balanced assessment of the current state of relations and suggest measures that could help stabilize the security relationship, without minimizing very real problems to address.
On April 26, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted an event focused on the U.S.-China relationship in context of the new book. Kurt Campbell of The Asia Group and Mike Green from the Center for Strategic and International Studies joined co-authors O’Hanlon and Steinberg for a discussion on these issues.