According to an assessment prepared for Congress as mandated by the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act, the United States and China are “locked in a strategic competition over the future of the Indo-Pacific.” The authors of the report, including Ely Ratner, executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security, describe competing visions for the rules, norms, and institutions that will govern international relations in the future and make more than 100 policy recommendations. The United States is free and open; by contrast, China has, in recent years, turned in an increasingly closed and illiberal direction. If China should succeed in its efforts in the Indo-Pacific, the result would be less regional security and prosperity, and the United States would be less able to exert power and influence in the world.

The National Committee hosted a virtual event on March 31, 2020, with Ely Ratner to discuss these issues. He presented recommendations to address the critical areas of U.S. policy toward China that could be more consistent, coordinated, and productive.

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