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Only force to contain China is Beijing

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By Tom Plate

American foreign policy rarely rises to the level of coherence recommended by its policy intellectuals and thoughtful diplomats. However, without their persistence, it would be bereft of any coherence at all. When World War II ended, for example, the American establishment came to rally around the containment concept as the Rx to the communist Russian virus.

This emerged particularly from the insight of diplomat George Kennan, later to establish himself at the Institute for Advanced Study and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. But in the late 1980s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Washington was left with scarcely anything ominous to contain, except perhaps its own bumptious ego. That, for sure, was one containment campaign that was destined to flop.

When the great Kennan left us, from his home in Princeton at the age of 101, he died a prophet summa cum laude. Rather than leaving honorably along with him, his "containment" notion stayed behind on this earth to fill in the blank about China. It would have been so much better had it not. Kennan himself refused to recommend a simplistic policy of containment for China in a 21st century world that he knew would not respond to a simplistic formula.

In fact, by the mid-1990s, a different perspective was surfacing. Professor Joseph Nye ― long of Harvard but lured into State Department service during the Clinton presidency ― painted a public policy canvas in broad strokes that gave to the American commitment of about 100,000 military forces........

© The Korea Times