Special Forum

The biggest strategic challenge for policymakers in the Asia-Pacific is the peaceful integration of China into the international order. Within three decades, China has transformed from a rural society to the second largest economy in the world. As China continues to grow economically and its interests and influence expand, its neighboring countries and the United States will have to find a modus vivendi that fosters peaceful growth and cooperation. However, if history serves as a guide for the future, ascendance of new great powers tends to create tension, rivalry, and even war. Looking for historical analogies, some China watchers argue that with China’s rise the contours of a new cold war are beginning to take form. They see evidence for this in the arms build-up in the Asia-Pacific region, the growing rivalry over political influence, and the competing ideological and economic models that the United States and China follow and advance.

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