The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power by Hugh White (Author)

China is rising. But how should the West — and the United States in particular — respond?

This could be the key geopolitical question of the twenty-first century, according to strategic expert Hugh White, with huge implications for the future security and prosperity of the West as a whole. The China Choice confronts this fundamental question, considering the options for the Asian century ahead.


As China’s economy grows to become the world’s largest, the US has three choices: it can compete, share power, or concede leadership in Asia. The choice is momentous — as significant for the future as any the US has ever faced. China is already more formidable than any country the US has faced before — and if America does not want to find itself facing China as an enemy, it must accept it as an equal partner.

Weighing the huge difficulties of accepting China as an equal with the immense cost and risks of making it an enemy, in the end the choice is simple, even if it is not easy. The US simply must share power with China in Asia. The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

Hugh White is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. Since the 1980s he has played a major part in debating, developing and implementing Australian foreign and defence policy, including a period as Deputy Secretary for Strategy and Intelligence in Australia’s Department of Defence, and he was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper. Over the past decade he has become a leading figure in public debates about defence and foreign policy.

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Hugh White on The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power

Professor Hugh White of The Australian National University’s College of Asia & the Pacific discusses the issues raised in his new book, The China Choice: Why America Should Share Power.

In this ground-breaking work, Professor White considers the options for the Asian century. As China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, ascends, America has three choices: it can compete, share power or concede leadership in Asia. The choice is significant for America’s future.

White controversially argues that America’s best option is to share power with China and relinquish its supremacy. As these two behemoths face off across the Pacific, the choice America makes will also have an enormous impact on Australia.

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