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Avoiding War with China: Two Nations, One World

By Amitai Etzioni

University of Virginia, 2017

The looming specter of war between a rising China and the United States has become a frequented topic among pundits in Beijing and Washington. Amitai Etzioni, a renowned scholar of communitarian studies and former military commando, is not convinced that China poses an eminent military threat to the United States. Drawing from a bevy of opinions on both side of the Pacific, Etzioni reveals that the U.S. is geared up for war despite lacking a cohesive military strategy, and that leaders are not asking the critical questions in assessing China’s capabilities and intentions. What is the difference between assertiveness and aggression when analyzing China’s naval ambitions? Is there a way for the U.S. to bring China into the rules-based international order through accommodation? Etzioni presents a unique strategy for reducing tension without mitigating the U.S.’s existing interests and alliances in the Asia Pacific.

  • Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of the history and current state of U.S.-China relations, Etzioni sorts out the many myths and common misconceptions and contrasts them with reality. His book outlines the truly essential issues concerning competition and cooperation between the two countries. His proposal for realistic ways to construct a more peaceful relationship is poised to inspire important debates over U.S.-Asia policy.

    Ho-fung Hung

    Johns Hopkins University, author of The China Boom: Why China Will Not Rule the World
  • If the United States and China ever go to war, everybody on this earth stands to lose. And if the United States and China are friends, the entire world stands to gain. Indeed, things that make the United States and China interdependent in this world are much more and far greater than things that divide the two. In this book, Etzioni clearly points out that in this globalized world, relationships between great powers should adopt geoeconomic principles, which often result in a win-win situation, and should shy away from geopolitical considerations, which are always zero-sum games.

    Patrick C. P. Ho

    Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the China Energy Fund Committee
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