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Afghanistan: An Opportunity for U.S.–China Cooperation?

Oct 13 , 2015

Michael Auslin has called for a “new realism” in U.S. foreign policy toward China in these pages, one that “begins with an official acceptance that we are locked in a competition with China that is of Beijing’s choosing.” Moreover he suggests that Sino-U.S. dialogue must be “reset” and “conducted not as an unearned gift to Beijing, but only when there are concrete goals to be achieved.”

While some, such U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, may dispute the first claim as “lazy rhetoric,” the second admonition to structure the relationship through a focus on the concrete goals and interests of each party isn’t as easily dismissed.

The problem in the current climate of Sino–U.S. relations, however, is to identify areas in which those interests overlap to “mutual benefit” more than they diverge. China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) strategy is an area that holds potential.

According to John Hudson, where U.S. officials see China’s resurgence and ambition in the Asia–Pacific as the core driver of regional insecurity, in Eurasia they see a “surprising convergence of U.S. and Chinese interests” that “boils down to one mutual goal: security.”

From this perspective, Beijing shares Washington’s desires to see a stable and secure Afghanistan and Pakistan due primarily to Beijing’s own concerns with Uyghur terrorism in Xinjiang.

The strength of this view is based on two major factors.


Copyright: The National Interest

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