The U.S.-China Competition

Project Expert

Ely Ratner
Ely Ratner

Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies

About the Project

Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy toward China has been predicated on the belief that Beijing would gradually come to support and accept the U.S.-led order in Asia and globally. Instead, Beijing is using its newfound wealth and influence to refashion international rules, norms, and institutions in ways that are increasingly at odds with U.S. interests. If left unfettered, China will lead Asia toward a future that is less democratic, less open to U.S. trade and investment, more hostile to U.S. alliances and military presence, and too often dictated by raw Chinese power rather than mutually-agreed upon standards of behavior. Washington’s ability to muster the strategy, attention, and resources to prevent this future will go a long way in determining the character of international politics in the twenty-first century. In my forthcoming book, I describe what’s at stake in the U.S.-China competition for the United States and the world. I assess why U.S. policy has failed to address the China challenge to date, and what Washington has to do differently to sustain its vital interests in Asia. As part of this project, I also direct a roundtable series on U.S. strategy in Asia that examines the economic, security, and political dimensions of the U.S.-China competition.



Is it possible for the United States to avoid a confrontation with China?