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Fractured China

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At WPR, I bloviate on theoretical and empirical issues regarding China’s fractured foreign policy:

What does China want? Unfortunately, this is a terrible way to approach the problem.

China is full of many people who want many different things. Like the U.S. national security apparatus, the Chinese government harbors a plethora of different foreign-policy perspectives, some focused on trade, others on power, and still others guided by domestic political concerns. Moreover, the Chinese government is no longer the only actor of consequence in China. Chinese public opinion increasingly constrains policymakers, and can even force them into action they don’t want to take. Like all states, China is fractured. Recognizing its fractured nature is the key to developing an effective U.S. policy toward China’s rise.

In the column I mention this SIPRI report on the emerging structure of PRC foreign policy decision-making, which is worth giving and extra-super recommendation. Check it out.

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