by Stephen D. Krasner
July 28, 2014
There may be good reason to be concerned about China’s growing prominence as a world power, especially if Germany’s ascendance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is a model. Yet much has changed since Germany nearly conquered Europe – nuclear weapons have made the prospect of war between developed nations supremely distasteful, and territorial conquest has become much less attractive. Nevertheless it is already obvious that the United States and China will contest each other for control over the western Pacific. The most important thing that the United States could do would be to maintain a robust military presence in this region, one that would give China pause with regard to its expansive territorial claims in the South and East China Seas.