Photo; Book cover of “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust” by Wang Jisi and Kenneth Liberthal.
By Jane Perlez, April 2, 2012 — BO’AO, China — The senior leadership of the Chinese government increasingly views the competition between the United States and China as a zero-sum game, with China the likely long-range winner if the American economy and domestic political system continue to stumble, according to an influential Chinese policy analyst.
China views the United States as a declining power, but at the same time believes that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China’s becoming the world’s most powerful country, according to the analyst, Wang Jisi, the co-author of “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust,” a monograph published this week by the Brookings Institution in Washington and the Institute for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University. . . .
In contrast, China has mounting self-confidence in its own economic and military strides, particularly the closing power gap since the start of the Iraq war. In 2003, he argues, America’s gross domestic product was eight times as large as China’s, but today it is less than three times larger. . . .
Both Mr. Wang and Mr. Lieberthal argue that beneath the surface, both countries see deep dangers and threatening motivations in the policies of the other. . . .
“It is now a question of how many years, rather than how many decades, before China replaces the United States as the largest economy in the world,” he adds. . . .
See also Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust:
The Brookings Institution
MARCH 30, 2012 —
Although both Beijing and Washington consider the U.S.-China relationship to be the most important in the world, distrust of each other’s long term intentions ("strategic distrust") has grown to a dangerous degree.
The coauthors of this path-breaking study—one of America’s leading China specialists and one of China’s leading America specialists—lay out both the underlying concerns each leadership harbors about the other side and the reasons for those concerns. Each coauthor has written the narrative of his government’s views without any changes made by the other coauthor. Their purpose is to enable both leaderships to better fathom how the other thinks. The coauthors have together written the follow-on analysis and recommendations designed to improve the potential for a long-term normal major power U.S.-China relationship, rather than the adversarial relationship that might otherwise develop.