China policy in every area will require patient and consistent efforts, but getting the strategy right
from the beginning of the next administration is critical. The United States must always ensure it retains adequate military and diplomatic capacity to handle a variety of scenarios that could result from China’s strengths and weaknesses. The uncertainties regarding China’s possible future pathways cut across a broad range of issues, from internal governance, to military modernization, to consumer protection, to nationalism, and to Taiwan. Indeed, the likeliest scenarios for the foreseeable future is a China with a “mixed record,” meeting U.S. expectations and requests in some areas, but falling short in others. We must be prepared for every contingency.
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