Over the last five years, the United States has struggled to influence Chinese behavior. Washington’s responses to Beijing’s increasingly assertive activities—ranging from economic espionage to artificial island construction—have been largely ineffective. Yet U.S. leaders are now considering a new option: economic sanctions. Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S.-Chinese economic relationship is “too big to fail” and that Washington therefore has little economic leverage with Beijing. Indeed, U.S. policymakers should be realistic that extensive sanctions against China would be unwise and infeasible. Nevertheless, certain limited, conduct-based sanctions may be able to shape Chinese behavior at an acceptable cost.
Read the full opinion in The National Interest.