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87 Foreign Aff. 23 (2008)
The Rise of China and the Future of the West - Can the Liberal System Survive

handle is hein.journals/fora87 and id is 29 raw text is: The Rise of China and
the Future of the West
Can the Liberal System Survive?
G. Y'obn Ikenberry
THE RISE of China will undoubtedly be one of the great dramas of
the twenty-first century. China's extraordinary economic growth and
active diplomacy are already transforming East Asia, and future decades
will see even greater increases in Chinese power and influence. But
exactly how this drama will play out is an open question. Will China
overthrow the existing order or become a part of it? And what, if any-
thing, can the United States do to maintain its position as China rises?
Some observers believe that the American era is coming to an end,
as the Western-oriented world order is replaced by one increasingly
dominated by the East. The historian Niall Ferguson has written that
the bloody twentieth century witnessed the descent of the West and
a reorientation of the world toward the East. Realists go on to note
that as China gets more powerful and the United States' position
erodes, two things are likely to happen: China will try to use its growing
influence to reshape the rules and institutions of the international
system to better serve its interests, and other states in the system-
especially the declining hegemon-will start to see China as a growing
security threat. The result of these developments, they predict, will be
tension, distrust, and conflict, the typical features of a power transition.
G. JOHN IKENBERRY is Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and
International Affairs at Princeton University and the author of After Victory:
Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of OrderAfter Major Wars.


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