O’Hanlon ’82 *91 Deciphers the U.S.-China Dilemma

steinberg-o'hanlon coverStrategic Reassurance and Resolve: U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century by James Steinberg and Michael E. O’Hanlon ’82 *91 (Princeton University Press).

The Authors: O’Hanlon ’82 *91 is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in national security policy, and a visiting lecturer at Princeton. Steinberg is a former deputy secretary of state.

The Book: Strategic Reassurance and Resolve sets out to determine whether conflict with China is inevitable. As U.S.-Chinese tensions grow, many argue that the burgeoning rivalry between the two countries will result in a showdown, while others think that economic interdependence will bring about peaceful collaboration. In Strategic Reassurance, Steinberg and O’Hanlon chart a middle course, arguing that confrontation is possible, but avoidable. To prevent conflict, they suggest specific policies designed to help the two nations reassure one another of their cooperative intentions.

Opening Lines: “On March 7, 2012, in a speech to mark the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s historic trip to China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton observed that ‘the U.S.-China project of 2012…is unprecedented in the history of nations.’ ”

Review: “If policy makers on either side of the Pacific are looking for a handbook — and they should be — Steinberg and O’Hanlon have written one,” writes the Financial Times. Publishers Weekly says that the authors’ arguments “deserve the attention of all readers interested in the connection between U.S. and China going forward.”

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