Robert Kagan: Challenging the U.S. Is a Historic Mistake

From an essay by Robert Kagan in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Challenging the U.S. Is a Historic Mistake”:

Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping rests on certain basic assumptions: that in a just world, China should be hegemonic in East Asia, the center of a system in which the other regional powers pay their respect and take direction from China, as was the case for two millennia prior to the 19th century; that regions once considered by Beijing to have been part of China should be “reunified” with it; and that a revived China should have at least an equal say in setting the norms and rules of international life. These goals are achievable, Mr. Xi asserts, because the world is undergoing “great changes unseen in a century,” namely, the “great rejuvenation” of Chinese power and the decline of American power. “Time and momentum are on our side,” according to Mr. Xi.