Recalibrating on China

Part of the Global Forecast 2015

Sustaining the rebalance into 2015 will require crafting fresh approaches to managing the bilateral U.S.-China relationship while reassuring the region and encouraging Chinese leaders to understand Washington’s abiding commitment to Asia without further exacerbating Chinese suspicions over U.S. intentions. On overall strategy, the administration needs to acknowledge more honestly that President Xi Jinping is not responding to the heavy dose of traditional U.S. messaging and cueing on maritime tensions and other security sore spots—or at least not in the way Washington would want. This does not require U.S. acquiescence to China’s new policy tack, but it should give U.S. policymakers pause and a desire to reflect on whether—and how—U.S. actions may need to be recalibrated to deal with this dilemma.