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An assortment of readings: from inside-the-Beltway jockeying over the Bush administration's China policy, to a hundred-year-long perspective on China and its engagement with the world, to reasons why China may not be a threat in the 21st century.

China, Japan, and East Asia--A Summary of U.S. National Interests at Stake

This is a short overview of vital issues confronting America in this region of the world, as summarized in the July 2000 report from the Commission on America's National Interests. China and Taiwan are prominent concerns: "In the Taiwan Strait, the situation is more dangerous. Even as Taiwan and China have expanded their economic ties, the cross-Strait political relationship has grown steadily worse." The Commission states its goal is to help focus Americans' thinking on the core national interests for which they must prepare. (Available in PDF and Microsoft Word formats at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government site.)
China and the World

The Atlantic Monthly, which has reported on China for more than a century, offers a collection of its articles tracing some of the central issues confronting China's social, economic and political development this past century, as well as China's relationship with the U.S. and the world. Included in this interesting selection, dating from 1906 to 2000, are articles by Robert D. Kaplan, Mark Hertsgaard, Warren I. Cohen, Xiao-huang Yin, Orville Schell and John K. Fairbank.
Blue Team Takes on Red China

J. Michael Waller, writing in Insight magazine, reports on a group of top congressional staffers, academics, journalists, scholars and intelligence officers who are "posing the biggest ever challenge to the generously funded China lobby of the Democratic and Republican establishments." Given the debate over China within the Republican Party and among Bush's advisers, Waller's piece on the "Blue Team" captures one part of the battle underway to change the soft view of Beijing which was in ascendancy during the Clinton administration.
China and America: Spy Planes, Papers, Cults, and the Future

This interview with noted China specialist and author Orville Schell ranges through various issues confronting U.S.-China relations, including the EP-3 spy plane incident, the revelations of the "Tiananmen Papers," the Chinese government's fortress of secrecy, the problems in regarding China as a "strategic partner," and how China's past and traditions help explain its attitude on human rights, the law and a free press.
Summary: The China Challenge in the 21st Century

China specialist Chen Jian, an associate professor at Southern Illinois University, writes on why China is unlikely to be an international threat in the new century, how a "profound victim mentality" underlies the PRC's external behavior, and what should be the future U.S.-China agenda. His summary is from his full report in the June 1998 issue of Peaceworks published by the United States Institute of Peace.
The China-Taiwan Political Impasse Continues

In this June 2001 issue of American Foreign Policy Interests, the journal of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Inc., the focus is the Taiwan Strait. This brief article offers reasons Beijing is unlikely to resort to force against Taiwan in the near term, underscores the strong human and economic interactions that have developed between the two sides across the Strait, and advises U.S. policy on the Taiwan issue should continue to be cautious, patient and even-handed.

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