A Strategic Economic Engagement: Strengthening U.S. Chinese Ties
By Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury
Reviewed by John Sylvester, Jr., U.S. Foreign Service (retired)
When the current administration came into office in 2001 there were intimations that the convenient enemy of choice might be China. Osama Bin Laden soon provided a more starkly dangerous enemy and thus perhaps much helped the conduct of our relations with the People's Republic of China. In the record of this presidency's diplomacy our relations with China seem to be one of the scarce clear successes.
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson stresses in his sensible summary of our economic ties with China that we have become interdependent. China needs its sales to us to finance the impressive growth so badly needed for social stability and for public tolerance of continued control by the Communist Party. We have profited greatly from cheap Chinese products and China's vital purchases of our government bonds.
Paulson states that engagement with China is "the only path to success" in our relations. He notes his own frequent visits to Beijing to talk to the Chinese economic leadership in the context of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue. President Hu Jintao's policy of "harmony" has reinforced Beijing's tendency to caution in decision-making. Paulson notes that...