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Paper Examines How U.S. Can ‘Outlast China’s Rise’

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U.S. Army
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The U.S. must constantly evaluate its own grand strategy if it wants to stay ahead of China’s global ambitions, much like it did during the Cold War era of competition with the Soviet Union, according to a new paper.

The paper, “The Strategy of a Great Power Competitor,” was written by Capt. Johannes Geist, an active-duty financial manager serving as a congressional budget liaison for Army headquarters, as part of the Landpower Essay Series published by the Association of the U.S. Army.

In the paper, Geist examines the overarching strategies of the U.S. and China through the writings of historians, scholars and a summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which he points out declares that “it is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.”

Citing a Defense Department review of China’s “predatory economics,” Geist points out that the U.S. adversary’s “acts, policies, and practices … related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce, resulting in harm to the U.S. economy of at least $50 billion per year.”

The U.S. should team up with allies and consider “an invigorated approach” to adjudicate China’s economic malpractices through worldwide and regional economic governing bodies. This would involve helping allies such as India develop their own economies to defuse China’s “regional swagger,” Geist writes.

He concludes that the U.S. “must comprehensively determine how to contemporarily work within its long-standing grand strategy to achieve its national objectives.” He also notes that the U.S. has many “feasible options” to preserve its “enduring grand strategy and outlast China’s rise—similar to the prior competition with Soviet Union during the Cold War.”

Read the full paper here.