Economic, Not Military Tools Will Rein in China

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In the ongoing great power competition between the United States and China, it is quickly becoming clear that Washington’s economic leverage, not military might, could be the deciding factor.

At the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, many Western analysts predicted that Beijing would be watching closely to see how American-made arms fared against the Russian war machine. But despite Ukrainian successes, China has refused to back down from its increasingly aggressive stance in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month, Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu confirmed that China would “not renounce” the use of force against Taiwan. Shangfu made no attempt to conceal his aggression, saying that China “would not hesitate” to launch a full-scale war if Taiwan “insisted on independence and resisted” unification.

A day after those comments, a Chinese warship nearly rammed a U.S. destroyer in the …

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