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Can America and China Be Stakeholders?

Robert B. Zoellick

By Robert B. Zoellick (original source Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

“The daily news about China reports deals on and off, sales off and on, more and steeper tariffs on and off…and who knows what’s next?

It’s not easy to tell what’s going on—although costs are mounting and real results are missing. America has been wasting time and squandering international capital.

In describing effective diplomacy, Alexander Hamilton once counseled, “mildness in the manner, firmness in the thing.” “Strut is good for nothing,” advised America’s first practitioner of economic statecraft. Instead, Hamilton recommended “combin[ing] energy with moderation.” Or as James Baker, my former boss at Treasury, the State Department, and the White House would say, “Pick your shots” and “Get things done.”

This evening, I’ll step back from today’s tactics to offer a wider-lens perspective on U.S.-China relations.”

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