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The meaning of 'strategic reassurance'

After reading the column I co-authored with Dan Blumenthal yesterday, a senior official called me to correct my understanding of the administration's "strategic reassurance" strategy toward China. I had focused on what I understood to be the American side of that equation: what the United States had to do to reassure China. The administration official explained, however, that the main thrust of the new policy focuses on what China needs to do to reassure the United States and the world, and in this sense, the official explained, is actually a toughening of the previous administration's concept of "responsible stakeholder."

Thus, the official continued, China must reassure the United States and its neighbors that it will not impair their security or seek regional dominance; that it will not use its economic clout to create a China-dominated economic zone; and that it will conduct itself in its domestic affairs, regarding human rights, in such a way as to give greater assurance to neighbors that its foreign policy and role in the world will not reflect a dictatorial approach. In return, the United States will welcome China as a player on the international scene.

If this is the meaning of "strategic reassurance," then I would indeed find much to support in it. I hope the administration does more to flesh out what it expects of China during President Obama's coming trip.

By Robert Kagan  | November 11, 2009; 7:46 AM ET
Categories:  Kagan  | Tags:  Robert Kagan  
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Comments

Roseann Roseannadanna Kagan: Never mind...

Posted by: joebanks | November 11, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

After Bush, this guy is still around? time to show him the door. too bad the washingtonpost's door is a revolved door

Posted by: infoshop | November 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

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