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Zegart: Should the US be bullish or bearish on China's rapid rise?

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Richard Liu, CEO and founder of China's e-commerce company JD.com, poses next to a Wall Street bull after ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ Market Site building at Times Square in Ny Yrok on May 22, 2014.
Photo credit: 
Reuters

CISAC Co-Director Amy Zegart writes in The American Interest that the United States should be concerned about both a strong and rising China, as well as a weak and unstable one. But perhaps most troubling of all, she writes, is the uncertainty about which scenario will eventually play out – and Washington’s strategic orientation toward Europe and the Middle East.

“Today opinions range between nervous hope that everything will turn out all right to outright fear that things will be worse than we can possibly imagine,” she says. “Part of the fear stems from the fact that that the U.S. and China are both literally and figuratively worlds apart, with vastly different political and cultural histories.”

Regardless of these vast differences and uncertainties in China, Zegart argues, Asia will be the most important strategic region for American national security in the 21st century.