When America was struck by global terrorism on September 11,
international support was both urgent and essential as the US faced
the imperative of eradicating terrorist bases around the world.
China's support for U.S. aims remains problematic. Alarmed by the
appearance of U.S. troops in Central Asia, China expressed
concerns-including its own domestic terrorist threat, Taiwan
independence, improving U.S.-Russia relations, missile defense,
Washington's weapons proliferation sanctions, and its status as a
respected world power.
Much has changed since September 11. The moment of truth approaches
as President Bush decides on what military option to use against
Baghdad. The war on terror has unwelcome byproducts for Beijing: a
U.S. presence in Central Asia, a more active Japan, a far deeper
U.S. influence in South Asia, and a new American commitment to a
"revolution in military affairs" - in short, China faces an
entirely new strategic context. Further complicating Beijing's
calculus is a renewed sense of nationhood in Taiwan. In response,
Beijing continues a fast-paced military buildup designed to coerce
Taiwan, and insists on unrealistic preconditions for meaningful
dialogue with Taiwan. Some of these issues require immediate and
What, if anything, should the United States do to maximize PRC
cooperation in the war on terror without compromising other
important U.S. interests? Will President Bush be drawn into quid
pro quo diplomacy during the Jiang Summit? Professor Thomas
Christensen, an expert on China security issues at MIT will answer
these questions and more at The Heritage Foundation.
More About the Speakers
Prof. Thomas J. Christensen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John J. Tkacik, Jr.
Senior Research Fellow