July 26, 2019

America must invest in expertise and skills to compete with China

By Elsa B. Kania

For the United States, a smart and serious approach to competition with China requires improving our understanding of this key rival. American strategy must be informed by careful assessments commensurate with the complexity of this “new era” of relations between the United States and China. There is no shortage of issues for which expertise on China is essential, from trade and technology to defense and counterintelligence.

For American policies to be designed and implemented appropriately requires leveraging the insights of those with relevant skill sets, including language proficiency and knowledge, which can remain scarce and in high demand. The American national security community must prepare for the cognitive and human capital challenges of great power rivalry.

The government should address impediments to improving expertise on China within its workforce. The broken security clearance process has presented impediments to hiring and must be improved. The delays and protraction of investigations for anyone who has extensive international experience, combined with the intense scrutiny of those who have family overseas that often results in outright denials, can discourage Americans eager to serve our country or even deny them the opportunity to do so.

Read the full article in The Hill.

  • Reports
    • January 8, 2020
    Total Competition

    China’s coercive attempts to wield hegemonic control over the South China Sea threaten the sovereignty of Southeast Asian states and international freedom of the seas, both of...

    By Patrick M. Cronin & Ryan Neuhard

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • December 27, 2019
    The U.S.-Chinese Trade War Just Entered Phase 2

    The Trump administration’s “phase one” trade deal with China may mark the end of the first chapter of the trade conflict between the United States and China, which saw Washing...

    By Peter Harrell

  • Reports
    • December 18, 2019
    Crossed Wires

    The United States’ current diplomacy with North Korea has enduring implications for its strategic competition with China....

    By Kristine Lee, Daniel Kliman & Joshua Fitt

  • Commentary
    • The Hill
    • December 13, 2019
    Why policymakers and universities need to collaborate for democracy

    Policymakers have singled out the higher education system as a critical area of vulnerability in American society. Christopher Wray memorably stated before the Senate Judiciar...

    By Kristine Lee & Joshua Fitt

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia