Is China's rise our downfall?
Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.
Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense. In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.
Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.
Question: Is China's rise our downfall?
Richard Armitage: Well they would say it's the call to peaceful development because "rise" sounds a little militaristic. It is the case that when exist … historically, that when existing powers try to accommodate a rising power, there is some dislocations in the tectonic plates that undergird security and economic landscape. It is not necessarily the case that the peaceful development or rise of China will be to our detriment because the rising tide can raise all boats. The real question is whether China wants to join the United States on the world stage – and God knows there’s enough heavy lifting to go around – or whether China feels that it’s a zero sum game; and that for them to complete their peaceful development that the United States has to exit stage right. I don’t think China has made up their mind on that. I don’t think anyone knows. In the Middle East, … certainly very vulnerable in Asia, something that has given all our Asian friends something to think about. They’ve tried to make a lot of inroads into Africa and into South America recently. In the Middle East, they are not interested in pushing Iran very much harder because they have such a huge need and thirst for energy. They do have a special relationship with Pakistan, and we’re … responsible for the nuclear weapon. But they don’t have enormous, enormous influence on the other states of the Middle East.
Recorded on: 9/14/07
The case may be in the peaceful development of China that the rising tide can raise all boats.
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