"Future presidents will need to find the right balance in China policy, so as to maintain America's strength and watchfulness but not fall into the classic security dilemma, wherein each side believes that growing capabilities reflect hostile intent and responds byproducing that reality. I believe that President Obama struck that balance."—From Obama and China's Rise
In 2005, veteran diplomat and Asia analyst Jeffrey Bader met for the first time with thethen-junior U.S. senator from Illinois. When Barack Obama entered the White House afew years later, Bader was named the senior director for East Asian affairs on the NationalSecurity Council, becoming one of a handful of advisers responsible for formulating andimplementing the administration's policy regarding that key region. For obviousreasons—a booming economy, expanding military power, and increasing influence overthe region—the looming impact of a rising China dominated their efforts.
Obama's original intent was to extend U.S. influence and presence in East Asia,which he felt had been neglected by a Bush administration fixated on the MiddleEast, particularly Iraq, and the war on terror. China's rise, particularly its militarybuildup, was heightening anxiety among its neighbors, including key U.S. alliesJapan and South Korea. Bader explains the administration's efforts to develop stablerelations with China while improving relationships with key partners worried aboutBeijing's new assertiveness.
In Obama and China's Rise, Bader reveals what he did, discusses what he saw, andinterprets what it meant—first during the Obama campaign, and then for theadministration. The result is an illuminating backstage view of the formulation andexecution of American foreign policy as well as a candid assessment of both. Bader combines insightful and authoritative foreign policy analysis with a revealing and humanizing narrative of his own personal journey.
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