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This article, featured on the online national security platform War on the Rocks, considers how the Biden administration can create a political consensus on China. It was written by Evan Medeiros, a U.S.-China Research Group on Managing Strategic Competition participant and senior fellow at the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue, and Jude Blanchette, Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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March 19, 2021

Beyond Colossus or Collapse: Five Myths Driving American Debates About China

Author: Evan Medeiros

The central China policy challenge facing the Biden administration is this: how to build and sustain a political consensus—both at home and abroad—for a balanced approach of competition without catastrophe. This is no easy task. The American public’s views of China are at historic lows, undermining support for stable relations. While Congress displays broad consensus in favor of a more competitive approach, China policy has also become deeply partisan. U.S. allies and partners, both in Europe and Asia, hold a diversity of views about Beijing. And China isn’t standing still, but rather adopting policies to blunt—or circumvent—U.S. power. As American policymakers seek to navigate the debates at home and abroad, a critical challenge will be ensuring these discussions are based on sound analytical judgments about China and U.S.-Chinese dynamics.

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