• Heritage Action
  • More

U.S.-China Relations A Year After 9-11

Recorded on September 24, 2002

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 decisive attention:

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.