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HomeGeopolitical CompassEast AsiaThe U.S.-China Power Transition: An Assessment of China’s Internal View

The U.S.-China Power Transition: An Assessment of China’s Internal View

Author: Sungmin Cho

Affiliation: Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, an academic institute of the U.S. Department of Defense

Organization/Publisher: Melbourne Asia Review/Asia Institute

Date/Place: March 18, 2022/Australia

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 1726 



Keywords: China, U.S, Power Transition




The writer sheds light on the escalating competition between the United States and China on the military and security fronts. The Taiwan Strait has become a flashpoint between the two sides due to their respective policies with regional countries in the Indo-Pacific. To understand China’s policy, the writer explains China’s internal view of the regional system in the Indo-Pacific region and discusses its strategic implications. The author investigates critical statements of Chinese President Xi Jinping and explores additional insights from the writings of Chinese analysts published in the Chinese language. Chinese civilian publications can serve as a window into the internal view of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) precisely because they pass censorship as constantly reflecting the party’s views. The author believes that the gap in perception between Chinese and American analysts may lead to further destabilization of the regional order of the Indo-Pacific region. The idea that China is rising and the United States is declining began to emerge within China when the global financial crisis of 2008 hit the economies of the United States and Europe in particular. After Donald Trump took office in 2017, the belief strengthened that China was no longer a trading partner but a security threat. The more the United States stumbles in times of crisis, the more opportunities the Chinese Communist Party finds to propagate such failures in its favor. The commonly expressed Chinese view is that the more confident China becomes, the more anxious the United States must become. Many American scholars’ pessimistic predictions of China’s national strength and foreign policy behaviors contrast with Chinese leaders’ optimistic views and confidence. In light of American scholars’ evidence for China’s decline, this study suggests that Chinese leaders may be mistaken for overconfidence. This misunderstanding will exacerbate the security dilemma between China and the United States, which has worsened in recent years. In the author’s opinion, China and its leaders will realize that their confidence has been wrongly inflated.


By: Taqwa Nedal Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant



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