China Leadership Monitor

Optimistic Trends and Near-term Challenges: Sino-American Security Relations in Early 2003

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

In the last edition of China Leadership Monitor, I explored the ways in which the leadership transition to the "fourth generation" of Chinese leaders might possibly affect Sino-American security relations in the future. At the time (late December 2002), it was difficult to draw very many conclusions, particularly since I had not visited China after the Crawford summit and the 16th Party Congress. I subsequently traveled with a Harvard entourage to Taipei, Shanghai, and Beijing in January to interview government elites, government and nongovernment think-tank scholars, and university academics. The main topic of our discussions was relations across the Taiwan Strait, but we also discussed other issues related to U.S.-China security relations, especially questions regarding North Korea, arms proliferation, and Iraq.