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Chinese Security in the Post-11 September World: Implications for Asia and the Pacific

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In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the Bush administration's policy changes, Chinese strategic specialists are engaged in a wide ranging and increasingly public debate over China's national security strategies and priorities. Although senior leaders continue to argue that most trends remain favorable for Chinese security interests, far more cautionary assessments are also being voiced. In this article, Jonathan D. Pollack, chairman of the Strategic Research Department, US Naval War College, points out that the increased complexity and differentiation in Chinese policymaking reveals multiple trends at work. Even as Chinese policymakers emphasize their keen desire to reinforce regional stability, the longer-term picture remains clouded, from the Taiwan straits to the Korean peninsula to Central Asia to future developments in nuclear weapons policy. Pollack argues that there is a compelling need to invigorate exchanges between senior officials in Beijing, Washington, Tokyo and other major capitals, lest China and other states undertake policies that undermine the prospects for long term regional stability and security.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2002

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