September 22, 2009

China's Arrival: A Strategic Framework for a Global Relationship

China’s rise is one of the most significant geopolitical events in modern history, with important ramifications for U.S. interests, regional power balances, and the international order. As the Obama administration confronts a broad set of worldwide challenges, questions remain as to how the United States should engage China amidst uncertainty about its long-term intentions and how to balance this important relationship against concerns regarding China’s behavior in the international community.

This report takes into account the global significance of China’s rise, examines the ever expanding U.S.-China relationship, and proposes a strategy for future engagement.


CNAS Fellow Nirav Patel provides a sweeping introduction that details the historic significance of China’s rise and places U.S.-China relations into the broader context of the Asia-Pacific region.

CNAS Fellow and Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program Abraham Denmark provides a capstone chapter offering practical recommendations to Washington policymakers for the future of U.S.-China relations.

Dr. Joshua Busby of the University of Texas provides a groundbreaking examination of how energy security and climate change will influence the future Sino-American relationship.

Robert Kaplan, CNAS Senior Fellow and contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, delivers a provocative and insightful look at the contours of China’s emerging naval strategy and its implications for the United States and the region.

Ambassador Linton Brooks, former Director of the National Nuclear Security Administration, breaks new ground in his discussion of the future of the Sino-American nuclear balance.

Dr. Richard Weitz, CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow, details China’s emerging importance in the areas of counter-proliferation and arms control.

Dr. G. John Ikenberry of Princeton University continues his groundbreaking work on international security mechanisms and Asian regionalism.

Dr. Michael Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Daniel Twining of the German Marshall Fund, co-authored a provocative piece on the importance of norms and values in the American approach to China and the Asia-Pacific.

Lindsey Ford, former CNAS Research Associate, gives key insights on the role of bureaucracies in decision-making within Beijing and Washington.

Download the full report.


  • Abraham M. Denmark

  • Nirav Patel

  • Reports
    • April 30, 2024
    Beyond China's Black Box

    China’s foreign and security policymaking apparatus is often described as a metaphorical black box about which analysts know little. That is true to an extent, but at the same...

    By Jacob Stokes

  • Commentary
    • Sharper
    • April 3, 2024
    Sharper: Maritime Security

    The importance of securing the maritime domain is rapidly increasing. From the South China Sea to the Red Sea, the U.S. and its allies are experiencing escalating challenges t...

    By Anna Pederson & Charles Horn

  • Reports
    • March 29, 2024
    Countering Coercion

    The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC or China) has been engaging in gray zone activity—coercive behavior that is aimed at changing the status quo but that is below a threshol...

    By Lisa Curtis & Nilanthi Samaranayake

  • Congressional Testimony
    • March 26, 2024
    Deterring the Powerful Enemy

    It is a privilege to testify here on matters that are important to the vital national security interests of the United States, as well as those of our other allies and partner...

    By Tom Shugart

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia