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Chinese Realpolitik

Thomas J. Christensen
Foreign Affairs
Vol. 75, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1996), pp. 37-52
DOI: 10.2307/20047742
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20047742
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Chinese Realpolitik
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Abstract

China may be the high church of realpolitik in the post-Cold War world. Its military and civilian elites regard other nations, alliances, and internationalism of any stripe with suspicion. There are only two exceptions. Realpolitik would suggest that any rift between the United States and Japan is good for China. But China fears the remilitarization of Japan more than it dislikes American forces (which maintain the status quo in East Asia). And with Taiwan, China is willing to risk a major confrontation over even a nominal change in the island's status. With a huge stake in the region, America should figure these realities into its strategy.

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