Handbook of US–China Relations
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Handbook of US–China Relations

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

This Handbook addresses the key questions surrounding US–China relations: what are the historical and contemporary contexts that underpin this complex relationship? How has the strategic rivalry between the two evolved? What are the key flashpoints in their relationship? What are the key security issues between the two powers? The international contributors explore the historical, political, economic, military, and international and regional spheres of the US–China relationship. The topics they discuss include human rights, Chinese public perception of the United States, US–China strategic rivalry, China’s defence build-up and cyber war.
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Chapter 25: The United States and China: why does their relationship matter to the rest of the world?

Kerry Brown


The relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been called the most crucial of the twenty-first century. On most measures, economic or military, geopolitical or diplomatic, they compete with each other. Both powers, in different ways, see themselves as intrinsically global – the United States more through promotion of what it regards as universally valid political and social values, and China simply because of the vast importance of its economic and developmental reach. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the relationship between the two impacts on almost every other country, sometimes enforcing them to take sides, or creating problems in their allegiances. China and the United States are not only indispensable to each other, they are also indispensable to everyone else. This chapter looks at the ways in which how they relate to each other inevitably impacts on the rest of the world, and in what ways this manifests itself, and attempts to provide a holistic framework from which to understand this relationship.

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