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Thomas J. Christensen
Vol. 75, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1996), pp. 37-52
Published by: Council on Foreign Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20047742
Page Count: 16
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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.
Foreign Affairs © 1996 Council on Foreign Relations