In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Will Inboden, executive director of the Clements Center at the University of Texas at Austin, sits down with Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute to discuss his book, The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State. Blumenthal’s thesis is that China is a rising power with extraordinary strategic capabilities that make it a strong competitor for the United States. Where his thesis may diverge from conventional wisdom is that he argues China is also beset by significant vulnerabilities including questions of how to deal with dissent and pluralism within their own population, demographic effects of the “one child” policy, and risks posed by a stagnating economy.
Blumenthal adds that the most dangerous time in the competition between great powers does not come when one is rising and one is declining, but when a state like China sees the risk that their status may go away and feels the need to lock in gains.
© Clements Center for National Security 2019