Rethinking U.S. Strategy Toward China

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Understanding China and its future ambitions is a fundamental first step in assessing the U.S.’ options on how to best engage China as an important strategic and economic partner.  We asked former Acting Director and Deputy Director of the CIA John McLaughlin to lay out the framework for understanding the challenges of China, which provides the context for the differing perspectives of our contributors today.

The fundamental U.S. policy problem regarding China resides in two key facts:  First, China is absolutely certain to be a powerful and important country far into the future.  Second, its ultimate character – whether it will be an adversary, competitor, or partner – remains highly uncertain.

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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