This piece first appeared on the Asia Society’s ChinaFile . It has long been presumed that economic integration can and will mitigate U.S.-China security competition. But to put it bluntly, this does not seem to be happening. So when President Xi Jinping visits Washington next month, it is essential that the U.S. and China use his visit to confront, not tiptoe around, the underlying reasons for this. The central problem in Asia today is the collision between economics and security. In “Economic Asia,” a dynamic group of countries, including China and the United States, trades, invests and increasingly innovates together. This Asia is a prosperous $21 trillion juggernaut and, especially since the 2008 global financial crisis, has become the center of gravity in the world economy. But another Asia, “Security Asia,” has locked many of these same countries into an increasingly debilitating cycle of competition, arms buildups and clashing security concepts. Instead of an “Asian century,” the region’s story resembles a “Tale of Two Asias,” with economics and security colliding, not running in parallel. That is precisely the dynamic that confronts Presidents Xi and Obama. The United States and China have never been so economically integrated: Two-way trade has reached… Read full this story
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