SHANGHAI -- China and the U.S. have more constructive interaction in the Middle East than in some other regions of the world. The two countries have overlapping interests in maintaining peace and stability of the whole region in general and the Gulf sub-region in particular: managing the Iranian nuclear issue, continuing the Palestine-Israel peace process, safeguarding vital energy supply lines and supporting orderly and peaceful transitions of political, social and economic systems in the countries concerned.
Goldstein performs two critical tasks in his new book, Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging U.S.-China Rivalry (Georgetown University Press). First, he acknowledges the legitimacy of the PRC's desire for a greater international role. Second, he offers a strategy of cooperation for the two nations, which includes recognizing natural but much-reviled "spheres of influence."
OXFORD, England -- China seems to be trying to "create facts on the ground" -- what Admiral Harry Harris, the US commander in the Pacific, calls a new "great wall of sand." The U.S. response is designed to prevent China from creating a fait accompli that could close off large parts of the South China Sea. Nevertheless, the original policy of not becoming embroiled in the sovereignty dispute continues to make sense.
Many in China perceive that the United States has not, and never will, accept the fundamental political legitimacy of the Chinese administration because it is not a liberal democracy. There is also a deeply held, deeply "realist" Chinese conclusion that the U.S. will never willingly concede its status as the pre-eminent regional and global power, and will do everything within its power to retain that position.