Is the United States on the way to making China a foe? Or will China's growing economic, political, and especially military power, fueled by broader ambitions, make a collision with the United States and other nations inevitable? And what role if any can or should the U.S. Navy play in shaping a favorable outcome?
The official Washington perception of China is becoming increasingly pessimistic. Once tempers cooled following the April 2001 mini-crisis over the knockdown of a U.S. Navy Orion reconnaissance aircraft in international waters near China's Hainan Island, the Bush administration favored balanced policies towards Beijing. It supported China's entry into the World Trade Organization and had been open-minded in expanding business and trade. It talked about keeping China as a friend.