Balance of Power

I attended an interesting discussion on U.S. relationship with Russia and China that was held by the National Interest magazine on Thursday, during which Harry Harding raised an important point (and this is not a direct quote): American officials, lawmakers and pundits tend to portary U.S. policy moves towards China (and other powers) as responses to Chinese (and other powers’) policies. Hence, the focus of foreign policy debates in Washington is on why China is doing this or that, say, why are the Chinese saving too much and not spending enough, as opposed to why America is doing this or that, say, why are Americans spending too much and not saving enough. We supposedly react to their actions. Harding insisted that at the end of the day, U.S. foreign policy is determined by the way that we define it. That definition explains why we feel the need to respond (or not to respond) to what the Chinese (and other powers) are doing. (read the rest here and more here.)


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