TWQ: A Forward-Looking Partner in a Changing East Asia - Fall 2008
October 1, 2008
Since the beginning of the Bush administration, many changes— some quite unexpected— have occurred in East Asia as well as in the United States itself. Even though some have expressed a level of complacency with President George W. Bush's achievements in Asia, U.S. Asia policy practices have been driven by events— its China policy moved from a perception of Beijing as a "strategic competitor" to seeking cooperative and constructive relations after the EP-3 spy plane midair collision and the September 11 terrorist attacks— or by the situation— the North Korean nuclear issue— rather than guided by a deep understanding of the changes occurring in the region and their implications for the United States. The U.S. political elite have yet to reach a consensus on a sound and farsighted Asian policy. They must address three key questions: How should the United States perceive the changing East Asia as well as evolving Chinese and U.S. roles there? How can it construct a more sensible policy toward the region as a whole? How should the United States deal with a rising China?