Center for American Progress

RELEASE: A New U.S. Strategy to Meet the China Challenge
Press Release

RELEASE: A New U.S. Strategy to Meet the China Challenge

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress is announcing a new strategy that will better position the United States to succeed in the 21st century vis-à-vis China by focusing on our comparative advantages: the American people, our democratic values, and our allies and partners.

This new, three-part strategy would limit China’s ability to exploit America’s openness and leverage China’s growing capabilities in ways that benefit the global community. At the same time, it encourages the United States to invest in the fundamental drivers of economic prosperity and national security—public education, infrastructure, innovation, and research and development—in order to compete at full strength.

“This strategy—limit, leverage, and compete—will put the United States in a stronger position considering the realities that China poses today and provide ample off-ramps to adjust if China changes its path to one that allows for more collaboration,” said Melanie Hart, a senior fellow specializing in China and co-author of the report.

So far, the Trump administration has pursued a course that weakens and isolates the United States and makes the problem worse, the report says. Economically, it is failing to make needed investments to rebuild the U.S. workforce and set the United States up to compete in new technologies and markets. Politically, it is withdrawing from its role as global leader and alienating potential allies and partners whose help we need to take on China.

If the United States stays the current course, China will dominate key global markets and technologies and use its growing economic footprint to exert diplomatic and military influence in ways that undermine U.S. national security and erode democratic values.

The goal of CAP’s new strategy is to put the United States in the best possible strategic position, regardless of how China acts. Ideally, China returns to a more peaceful and collaborative purpose, engaging in fair competition instead of tilting the economic playing field. But, as the United States continues to encourage China to change course, Washington must have policies that respond to the realities of a more assertive China that is actively undermining U.S. interests around the world.

Read a fact sheet summarizing the new strategy on China.

Read the report: “Limit, Leverage and Compete: A Three-Part Strategy on China” by Melanie Hart and Kelly Magsamen.

For more information, or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org, or 202-478-6327.