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February Reading Group

  • 17 Feb 2017
  • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
  • E. Keyser Conference Room of Keyser Co., 4141 N. Scottsdale Road (NE corner of Scottsdale Road and Indian School Road), Suite 110, Scottsdale, AZ 85251



Three articles about U.S. – China relations (21 pages in total, click on each one to download the article):

-“The Cruise That Changed China,” by Julian Baird Gewirtz, Foreign Relations, Nov./Dec., 2016

-“China’s Great Leap Backwards,” by James Fallows, Atlantic, December, 2016

-“The Lessons of Henry Kissinger,” by Jeffrey Goldberg, Atlantic, December, 2016

Meeting and Discussion to be held on February 17, 2017 at 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Leaders across the world emphasize the importance of relations with China. Singapore’s late leader, Lee Kuan Yew, observed: “the size of China’s displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world.”  Perhaps with this in mind, President Obama has noted that “…we have more to fear from a weakened, threatened China than a successful, rising China.”  These articles reflect these themes. 

Description of and Excerpts from: “The Cruise That Changed China”:

Gewirtz describes the 30-year history of economic reform in China beginning in 1985 when “some of the world’s most brilliant economists” met at then Premier Zhao Ziyang’s request to share ideas for reforming China’s economy. What emerged was labeled “a socialist market economy.” Soon after Zhao left power and his ideas were discredited. However, many have re-emerged in recent reforms while the Party eschews foreign influence. “According to [the Party’s current] narrative, only a self-reliant China can succeed in the face of a domineering West.”

Description of and Excerpts from “China’s Great Leap Backwards”:

“China is less free, less open, and more belligerent than it was five years ago or even 10. It has become repressive in a way that it has not been since the Cultural Revolution. What does its darkening political climate—and growing belligerence—mean for the United States?”  Fallows outlines elements of a revised U.S. policy toward China that includes “choosing battles carefully,” dealing with the tensions of the moment without losing sight of a stronger relationship in the future, and “shaping reality in a way that makes it unattractive forChina to maintain its present course.”

Description of and Excerpts from “”The Lessons of Henry Kissinger”:

In this interview, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger criticizes President Obama’s foreign policy and argues, among other things, that the U.S.’s relationship with China is the most important and consequential of our foreign relations in the long term. He describes how conflict with China, whether in the form of a trade war, a military conflict or cyber warfare, would likely “end in destruction, but not necessarily victory…” “More than anything else, a balanced, peaceful world order depends on a stable U.S.-China relationship. “ He concludes by suggesting pathways toward such a stable relationship.

The discussion will take place at 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on February 17, 2017 in the E. Keyser Conference Room of Keyser Co., 4141 N. Scottsdale Road (NE corner of Scottsdale Road and Indian School Road), Suite 110, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

PCFR is grateful to Jonathan Keyser and his team for providing the facilities for our next meeting.

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