Just days before the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, a
senior State Department official has called on the Beijing government to
reassure the United States and other countries of its peaceful and constructive
intentions as its military continues to grow and it plays a greater role in
Deputy Secretary of State
James Steinberg says the United States is eager to continue to work with China
to address a variety of global and regional issues, including those where the
two countries disagree. But he told a conference sponsored by the Center for a
New American Security that China's "size and importance" create a "risk of
competition and rivalry that can thwart" such cooperation.
Steinberg says what is needed is what he calls "strategic
"Strategic reassurance rests on a core, if tacit, bargain.
Just as we and our allies must make clear that we are prepared to welcome
China's arrival as a prosperous and successful power, China must reassure the
rest of the world that its development and growing global role will not come at
the expense of security and well-being of others. Bolstering that bargain must
be a priority in the U.S.-China relationship," Steinberg said.
that the United States and China have recently raised the level of their
Strategic and Economic Dialogue process. He said other aspects of reassurance
involve greater transparency about China's military spending and intentions, and
actions on both sides to demonstrate a willingness to cooperate. He said that
would include making military exchanges permanent, and not subject to
interruption by incidents at sea or U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
said China's relationships with rogue regimes and disregard for human rights at
home and abroad make other countries concerned about China's intentions. The
deputy secretary of state said transparency and cooperation are particularly
important in three areas.
"The risks of mistrust are especially acute in
the arena of strategic nuclear weapons, space, and increasingly in the cyber
realm. Achieving mutual reassurance in these areas is challenging, but, as we
learned during the Cold War, essential to avoiding potentially catastrophic
rivalry and misunderstanding. Both sides need to devote creating thinking into
how we might address these thorny challenges," said Steinberg.
noted the potential for competition between the United States and China for
natural resources. He criticized China for trying to monopolize resources in
some areas, and called on its leaders to work within the world market system.
He said the United States is open to China's rise, but China must
provide the world with clear reassurance about its intentions.