, Volume 92, Number 4

Jingdong Yuan
The rise of China both presents challenges and offers opportunities for Sino-US relations, transforming the Asia–Pacific region. Washington and Beijing have common interests and have cooperated on a range of global and regional issues, from climate change to nuclear non-proliferation. But, at the same time, China’s more assertive foreign policy and growing military buildup in the region are perceived as direct challenges to the primacy and staying power of the US. In recent years, tensions over Chinese activities in the East and South China Seas and US rebalancing to Asia have created a serious risk of escalation and of a direct showdown between these two Great Powers. The books under review offer timely, realistic and balanced analyses of the historical Great Power rivalry; the extent and limitations of China’s rising power status and its impact on the regional geostrategic and geo-economic landscape; the choice between cooperation and conflict that defines US–China relations in a period of power transition; and finally, they suggest pragmatic approaches that both countries can and should adopt to minimize misunderstanding and miscalculation, while striving to work out a modus vivendi that would allow them to contribute to global and regional governance, rather than being at each other’s throat.

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