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Foundation
By Rosalie Bolender, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

CMSI Study 9NEWPORT, R.I. – The Naval War College’s newest China Maritime Study is now available online. This installation in the series is entitled, “Not Congruent but Quite Complementary: U.S. and Chinese Approaches to Nontraditional Security,” and was edited by Professor Lyle Goldstein.

This volume was the end result of the May 2010 China Maritime Studies Institute’s annual conference. The conference, held in Newport, was attended by nearly a dozen Chinese specialist presenters as well as
American representatives to address "Chinese and American Approaches to Non-Traditional Security Challenges: Implications for the Maritime Domain."

The principal focus of the meeting was to discuss topics of mutual concern for both China and The United States. Even though the Chinese Navy decided not to attend, the Chinese presenters that were present
became “convinced that [The U.S. Navy’s] impulse to cooperate is sincere.”

Both the conference and the subsequent volume place an emphasis on cooperation instead of rivalry between the United States and China, as both American and Chinese perspectives on non-traditional security (NTS) are explored side by side.

Michael Swaine, author of America’s Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century, states that, “without strong U.S.-China cooperation, such transnational threats will prove virtually impossible to manage.” Although the public views concerning Chinese and U.S. relations are pessimistic, Professor Lyle Goldstein thinks that “we can be optimistic in China’s view on NTS.” This idea is likewise prevalent in the volume, as the manuscript itself seems to “evolve another approach toward cooperation.”

Aside from the uniqueness of cooperation, this volume offers several other distinctive attributes. First, the assembled papers “offer a glimpse into the rapidly developing and wide-ranging Chinese-language
discussion about NTS issues and their role in Beijing’s future foreign policy.” The volume also includes views and opinions from both “policy insiders” as well as “individuals outside of government.”

While generally optimistic in tone, the articles are not blind to limits on NTS capabilities, and those limits are addressed clearly. However, the chapters reveal that though American and Chinese opinions on NTS issues are “hardly congruent,” they are “surprisingly complementary.”

The July 2012 Publication is the ninth in the China Maritime Studies series.

Posted by Cmdr. Carla M. McCarthy