Taiwan is not the only area over which Washington and Beijing have disagreements. On a whole range of strategic, political and economic issues the perceptions of American and Chinese policy-makers differ profoundly. This could have a major impact on US-China relations. Indeed, my recent research, based on a variety of primary and secondary sources, suggests that elite perceptions will play a significant part in shaping East Asian security.
This is not to say that the two nations do not have common interests. US and Chinese leaders are fond of using the term ‘constructive strategic partnership’ to describe their relations. It would certainly be beneficial for both to have such a relationship, but it has yet to be established.