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US must outcompete China for a stable relationship: Daniel Russel

Beijing's aggression comes from perception that America is declining, former official says

Daniel Russel says Chinese behavior became much more troubling after leaders in Beijing begun to believe that the U.S. is getting weaker. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Institute of Peace)

WASHINGTON -- The secret visit of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to Beijing on July 9-11, 1971, kicked off an American policy of engagement with China. Fifty years later, with China on track to overtake the U.S. economy as early as 2028, bilateral relations are at a crossroad.

In an interview with Nikkei, Daniel Russel, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs during the Obama administration, said the nature of the relationship is changing, and it would be wrong to assume that Washington would return to the "good old days," supporting China's growth while making an effort to avoid friction and confrontation.

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