November 05, 2014

Engagement and Assurance: Debating the U.S.-Chinese Relationship

By Ely Ratner

In “How China Sees America’s Moves in Asia,” Professor Lyle Goldstein highlights the disturbing conclusion of a recent essay by three Chinese analysts: China is under siege, pinned down by a U.S. strategy of “containment” that aims to encircle their country and undermine its security interests.

Professor Goldstein is right to point out that concerns about U.S. "containment" are pervasive in Chinese foreign policy and national-security assessments, and that this is a fear the United States cannot ignore as it strengthens its focus on Asia. Professor Goldstein’s article is also an important reminder that to be successful, a strategy of deterrence requires a corresponding message of assurance. Security-studies scholars and military strategists have long recognized that deterrence and assurance are two sides of the same coin, and that some level of assurance is required to encourage a potential adversary to exercise restraint.

Read the full piece in The National Interest.

  • Commentary
    • March 27, 2020
    Sharper: Global Coronavirus Response

    As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...

    By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

  • Podcast
    • March 27, 2020
    China, Europe, and COVID-19 with CNAS’s Ashley Feng and Kristine Lee

    Ashley Feng and Kristine Lee join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to explain China’s response to COVID-19 on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts. Feng is a Research ...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Kristine Lee & Ashley Feng

  • Commentary
    • The National Interest
    • March 21, 2020
    Can the G7 Stop the Coronavirus?

    The world’s leading governments are throwing all they have into the coronavirus fight. Recent days have seen dramatic social distancing requirements, novel border controls, ma...

    By Gary Edson & Richard Fontaine

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • March 20, 2020
    Virus Competition Is Wrecking China-U.S. Cooperation Hopes

    As Washington shifted its worldview over the last several years to a sharp focus on China competition, even the most claw-bearing hawks generally left open the possibility of ...

    By Richard Fontaine

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia