The Obama Administration’s decision to put more emphasis on East Asia in national security strategy is timely and necessary. After ten years of distraction in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington needed to reassure allies in the Western Pacific of its commitment to the region. However, the administration’s domestic and economic policies seem to be at odds with the goal of curbing China’s rising power in the region. That rise is fueled mainly by China’s rapid economic growth, and there is little recent evidence that America will be able to keep up. Not only has the administration failed to confront China about its mercantilist trade and monetary policies, but it is imposing major burdens on the capacity of U.S. producers to compete. If Washington cannot close the gap between U.S. and Chinese growth rates, then Beijing is destined to dominate the Western Pacific. I have written a commentary for Forbes that you can read here.
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