Stay Calm About China

Beijing’s ambitions shouldn’t be treated as an existential threat to the United States.

A central distinction in realist international relations thought is that between vital and secondary national interests. Vital interests are threats to a state’s survival, and can take the form either of conquest and subjugation from outside, or the promotion of internal subversion aimed at destroying the existing political and ideological order—the strategy followed by the Soviet Union across much of the world during the Cold War, and by the United States against the Soviet Union and allied regimes.

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The Global Policy Institute is a research institute on international affairs. It is based in the City of London, and draws on both a rich pool of international thinkers, academics as well as policy and business professionals. The Institute gives non-partisan guidance to policymakers and decision takers in business, government, and NGOs.

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