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Book Review: The China Choice


I reviewed Hugh White’s The China Choice for H-Net:

In The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power, Hugh White argues that competition between the United States and China is inevitable, but that the nature of that competition depends on choices made in Washington and Beijing. China’s growth as a military and economic power will inevitably create friction with the United States and with other regional powers. This competition can play out with more or less conflict, depending on whether the United States acknowledges a Chinese sphere of exclusive interest.

Spoiler: Didn’t love it.

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  • Ezra

    “Americans […] generally prefer lower defense spending”

    I object to the notion that favoring lower defense spending is equivalent to accepting or acquiescing to diminished power. On the contrary, I favor lower defense spending precisely because I think that policy, under current conditions, will help keep the power differential between the US and China as high as possible.

  • shah8

    My attitude has always been that China is incapable of being the regional actor it desires to be. Insofar as it can, it’s by free-riding on US generated security and trade.

    Conflict starts the way conflict usually starts. Hotheads on each side playing ratchet games with each other, so they can marginalize more sane folks, until an accident happens and guns start booming. There isn’t really a policy that guarantees a peace, because there is always a constituency for war.

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