Mattis, Jamestown Foundation China Program fellow, 2015



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The 2015 cyber agreement is flawed and will create a major letdown between the US and China. Building on the 2015 agreement is necessary to build strategic trust.


Mattis, Jamestown Foundation China Program fellow, 2015

(Peter, “Lingering Questions Over The U.S.–China Cyber Affirmation”, 10-7, http://warontherocks.com/2015/10/lingering-questions-over-the-u-s-china-cyber-affirmation/)



Action rather than words will define what happens next. For PLA watchers, its obedience to the party’s commands is axiomatic. The PLA stood by and saluted as a succession of leaders made decisions that sacrificed military modernization for other political objectives. Deng Xiaoping actually cut the defense budget steadily through the 1980s. Jiang Zemin initiated the PLA’s exit from business that, while partially compensating for defense budget shortfalls, personally enriched military officers. If Xi Jinping and the Chinese government intend to stand by the cyber affirmation, then a dramatic drop-off in Chinese cyber espionage should be visible within weeks because the PLA would be the first of the Chinese agencies involved to draw down systematically and redirect its resources — unless foreign observers have profoundly misread the party–PLA relationship. If such a drop-off is not seen, then the most likely explanation is that Xi had no intention of abiding by the affirmation. I would welcome being proven wrong on these potential problems with the U.S.–China statement. In the best case, China blinked and accepted the nearly unique U.S. understanding that there are distinctions between intelligence collection for companies’ commercial benefit and for the governments’ national security. Moreover, Washington effectively deterred China from continuing to operate on a different set of rules and restored some credibility in an area where the threats of action against China leaked repeatedly to the press never materialized. Unfortunately, it appears both the sides may be setting each other up for another broken promise, and broken promises have undermined the pragmatic but optimistic atmosphere of the U.S.–China relationship as it matured in the 1970s and 1980s. Here are just three examples of significant promises broken over the years. First, Henry Kissinger promised Zhou Enlai a nearly complete withdrawal of the U.S. security presence in Asia and keeping the U.S.–Japan alliance in place to restrain Tokyo’s security options, but the 1990s saw Washington use the alliance to push Tokyo to “normalize” its defense policy and play a greater security role internationally. Second, Beijing made numerous agreements to protect intellectual property in the 1990s, not the least of which were World Trade Organization commitments, but Chinese theft only seems to have gotten steadily worse. Third, Washington reneged on its commitments to decrease and eventually cease arms sales to Taiwan in the Third Joint Communique issued in 1982: Arms sales have increased slowly but steadily since the early 1990s. Both sides have overpromised, seemingly choosing expediency in dealing with each other rather than thinking through the implications of broader policies. These broader views of appropriate policy seem to make the cyber affirmation untenable, as both sides will continue to collect intelligence with potential commercial value. As others have noted, China views its activities in cyberspace in the commercial, economic, and national security realm as a part of comprehensive national power and protecting China’s developmental path. Accepting the U.S. interpretation requires Beijing to disaggregate its policy toolkit in unprecedented ways. Additionally, the vast scientific and industrial information complex in China serves to promote national development, not Chinese companies’ competitive advantage. Such a distinction probably will not find open ears in Washington, nor will China’s acquisition of dual-use technologies in strategic fields, like telecommunications, for national defense modernization. DNI Clapper says the United States should “trust but verify;” however, verification almost certainly would demand the use of invasive intelligence methods to access Chinese corporate networks — or, at least, their communications. This would require Beijing to trust that the United States will not pass on that information to American companies. Moreover, the fine distinctions that Americans want to draw between supporting commercial companies and collecting intelligence on foreign scientific developments and their related economic base also ask Beijing to accept U.S. government support to defense-industrial companies that now increasingly compete internationally, including with some Chinese firms. This seems like a little too much trust to ask of two governments that increasingly mistrust the intentions of one another — or at least of a Chinese government fearful that the United States secretly intends to subvert and change the regime. Strategic distrust may be a popular buzzword for discussions of the U.S.–China relationship, but the way some experts have characterized it suggests misunderstanding. Both sides justifiably think the other made promises, and both sides have broken some of these promises. They do not misunderstand each other; broken promises mean legitimate grievances. If the affirmation not to use national intelligence assets to steal intellectual property fails to be a signal success, then the consequences of this broken promise may be difficult if not impossible to amend. Probably more than any other issue, cyber has poisoned the well of U.S.–China relations as reports and leaks confirmed each side’s worst suspicions of the other’s activity in cyberspace.

Resolving cyber issues is a prerequisite to cooperation on other issues


Harold, RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy associate director, 2016

(Scott, “Getting to Yes with China in Cyberspace”, http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1335.html)



Chinese interlocutors recognize that the cyber issue is an irritant in relations between the two countries and that it erodes strategic trust (as the Chinese put it). A reduction in strategic trust, in turn, may complicate the resolution of other issues (e.g., trade, environment, geostrategic matters). It may also increase the odds of future conflict, either accidental or intentional. Thus, even if one believes that little in cyberspace makes much difference compared with controversies in the physical world (e.g., South China Sea), resolving issues in that medium could have a knock-on effect outside it and vice versa.

Declining relations causes war in Asia , ruin climate change solutions, and tanks the world economy


Ash, Oxford European studies professor, 2015

(Timothy, “If US relations with China turn sour, there will probably be war”, 10-16, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/16/us-relations-china-war-america)



What is the biggest challenge facing the next president of the United States? How to deal with China. The relationship between the emerging and the enduring superpower is the greatest geopolitical question of our time. If Washington and Beijing do not get it right, there will probably be war somewhere in Asia some time over the next decade. Vladimir Putin’s neo-imperialist Russia and the brutality of Islamic State are medium-sized regional challenges by comparison. Climate change and the world economy cannot be managed without American-Chinese cooperation. All this demands a bipartisan American grand strategy for the next 20 years, but US politics seems incapable of generating anything more than a partisan soundbite for the next 20 minutes.

Economic decline causes global nuclear war


Tønnesson, Oslo Peace Research Institute professor, 2015

(Stein, “Deterrence, interdependence and Sino–US peace”, International Area Studies Review, 18.3, Wiley)



Several recent works on China and Sino–US relations have made substantial contributions to the current understanding of how and under what circumstances a combination of nuclear deterrence and economic interdependence may reduce the risk of war between major powers. At least four conclusions can be drawn from the review above: first, those who say that interdependence may both inhibit and drive conflict are right. Interdependence raises the cost of conflict for all sides but asymmetrical or unbalanced dependencies and negative trade expectations may generate tensions leading to trade wars among inter-dependent states that in turn increase the risk of military conflict (Copeland, 2015: 1, 14, 437; Roach, 2014). The risk may increase if one of the interdependent countries is governed by an inward-looking socio-economic coalition (Solingen, 2015); second, the risk of war between China and the US should not just be analysed bilaterally but include their allies and partners. Third party countries could drag China or the US into confrontation; third, in this context it is of some comfort that the three main economic powers in Northeast Asia (China, Japan and South Korea) are all deeply integrated economically through production networks within a global system of trade and finance (Ravenhill, 2014; Yoshimatsu, 2014: 576); and fourth, decisions for war and peace are taken by very few people, who act on the basis of their future expectations. International relations theory must be supplemented by foreign policy analysis in order to assess the value attributed by national decision-makers to economic development and their assessments of risks and opportunities. If leaders on either side of the Atlantic begin to seriously fear or anticipate their own nation’s decline then they may blame this on external dependence, appeal to anti-foreign sentiments, contemplate the use of force to gain respect or credibility, adopt protectionist policies, and ultimately refuse to be deterred by either nuclear arms or prospects of socioeconomic calamities. Such a dangerous shift could happen abruptly, i.e. under the instigation of actions by a third party – or against a third party. Yet as long as there is both nuclear deterrence and interdependence, the tensions in East Asia are unlikely to escalate to war. As Chan (2013) says, all states in the region are aware that they cannot count on support from either China or the US if they make provocative moves. The greatest risk is not that a territorial dispute leads to war under present circumstances but that changes in the world economy alter those circumstances in ways that render inter-state peace more precarious. If China and the US fail to rebalance their financial and trading relations (Roach, 2014) then a trade war could result, interrupting transnational production networks, provoking social distress, and exacerbating nationalist emotions. This could have unforeseen consequences in the field of security, with nuclear deterrence remaining the only factor to protect the world from Armageddon, and unreliably so. Deterrence could lose its credibility: one of the two great powers might gamble that the other yield in a cyber-war or conventional limited war, or third party countries might engage in conflict with each

US-China cooperation solves climate change – leads to technology transfer and international agreements BEFORE anthropogenic thresholds are surpassed


Lempert, RAND senior scientist, 2014

(Robert, “A Global Shift?”, 12-9, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2014/12/09/us-china-global-warming-deal-could-signal-shift-on-climate-change)



The U.S.-China agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions represents a significant and welcome shift in the international approach to addressing climate change. For the first time, a large developing country has agreed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions – a crucial step since these countries have become the world’s largest sources. But the agreement also represents an important step in reorienting the international community toward a new and more constructive role in slowing climate change. Nearly 20 years ago, the world’s governments committed to preventing “dangerous anthropogenic interference” with the earth’s climate. Governments agreed at that time to define dangerous with a precise number – a 2 degrees Celsius (or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) global average temperature increase above average temperatures in the 18th century, before humans began burning significant amounts of fossil fuels. In annual negotiations hosted by the U.N. since 1995, over 190 countries have been seeking consensus agreement on emissions reduction targets consistent with meeting this 2 degrees Celsius goal. So far, such a global agreement has proved impossible to reach. The U.S.-China deal represents a fundamentally different framework. It's a bilateral agreement between two large emitters, rather than a consensus among nearly 200 nations like that being discussed this week in Lima, Peru. It is also a type of agreement called “pledge and review,” that is, individual countries pledge to meet targets and share data so others can review their progress. Whether either country can actually meet its commitments will become clear in the review process. In addition, the U.S.-China accord expands technology cooperation, aiming to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. This agreement between the world’s two largest emitters makes it more likely that the pivotal U.N.-sponsored Paris 2015 climate negotiations will succeed by adopting the same format. Rather than seek legally binding regulations, the U.N. climate negotiations could become a forum for mutual pledges and multilateral technology cooperation, with a formal mechanism for review. A global climate conference organized around a pledge and review framework is much more likely to lead to agreement than one aiming for legally binding emissions reductions. But more importantly, such a framework can be expanded to create a dynamic that might actually reduce emissions fast enough to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate. Limiting climate change will require a sustained, decades-long effort to transform the way societies fuel their homes, businesses, farms and transportation. To date, no society has ever become or stayed wealthy without burning significant quantities of fossil fuels. China’s emissions have skyrocketed in recent decades because they have lifted half a billion people out of poverty. Limiting climate change requires a technology revolution that can reconcile economic growth with eliminating carbon emissions. But crafting policies to launch and sustain such a technology revolution can prove difficult, for at least two reasons. First, technology revolutions follow unpredictable paths. A large group of mostly cautious governments seeking consensus on legally binding targets will tend to focus on the least, rather than the most, transformative possibilities. Second, the benefits of less climate change are spread among many people over many generations, while the costs are disproportionately focused in the short-term on certain sectors of the economy. Those benefiting (today and in the future) may not prove as vocal as those who suffer the main costs. History offers many examples of policy reforms that have succeeded and failed when faced with such dynamics. In some cases, major policy reforms persist and grow for decades, while others quickly fade away. The reforms that persist are often ones that create specific constituencies that strongly favor their continuation. Important examples in the United States include social security and airline deregulation. The former empowered retirees and the latter airlines, which increased their earnings with hub and spoke networks that made them strong supporters of the new policies. Recent studies have examined how creating constituencies could speed a low-carbon technology revolution. Recent RAND work suggests that using revenues from a carbon price to reduce corporate taxes could significantly speed U.S. decarbonization rates by creating business constituencies that favor an expanding climate policy. Economist William Nordhaus recently proposed that countries voluntarily group themselves into a “climate club,” whose members would set a domestic carbon price on themselves, and impose equivalent carbon tariffs on trade with countries outside the club. Over time, more countries would have an incentive to join the club as the costs of remaining outside it grew. Other policies that create constituencies for reduced emissions include international standards for calculating the carbon footprints of goods and services as well as financial reporting requirements for the embedded carbon in investments. The former would empower environmentally conscious consumers and the firms that serve them. The latter would help steer funds to low carbon investments and create constituencies for strengthening the standards. The current U.S.-China deal includes no explicit climate constituency expanding measures. But the pact between the two countries does open the door for agreements that include such measures among small groups of nations in the future. An international process that empowers small groups of countries to take the lead in creating constituencies for decarbonization could end up limiting climate change far more effectively than any consensus global agreement. The U.N.-driven process of international consensus would still have a role in shaping standards for fairness in multilateral agreements and the rules for what types of carbon tariffs are appropriate, but it would no longer be the driving force for international agreements. After 20 years, it may be time for a change.

Warming is real, anthropogenic, and threatens extinction --- prefer new evidence that represents consensus


Griffin, Claremont philosophy professor, 2015

(David, “The climate is ruined. So can civilization even survive?”, 4-14, http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/14/opinion/co2-crisis-griffin/)



Although most of us worry about other things, climate scientists have become increasingly worried about the survival of civilization. For example, Lonnie Thompson, who received the U.S. National Medal of Science in 2010, said that virtually all climatologists "are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization." Informed journalists share this concern. The climate crisis "threatens the survival of our civilization," said Pulitzer Prize-winner Ross Gelbspan. Mark Hertsgaard agrees, saying that the continuation of global warming "would create planetary conditions all but certain to end civilization as we know it." These scientists and journalists, moreover, are worried not only about the distant future but about the condition of the planet for their own children and grandchildren. James Hansen, often considered the world's leading climate scientist, entitled his book "Storms of My Grandchildren." The threat to civilization comes primarily from the increase of the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, due largely to the burning of fossil fuels. Before the rise of the industrial age, CO2 constituted only 275 ppm (parts per million) of the atmosphere. But it is now above 400 and rising about 2.5 ppm per year. Because of the CO2 increase, the planet's average temperature has increased 0.85 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Although this increase may not seem much, it has already brought about serious changes. The idea that we will be safe from "dangerous climate change" if we do not exceed a temperature rise of 2C (3.6F) has been widely accepted. But many informed people have rejected this assumption. In the opinion of journalist-turned-activist Bill McKibben, "the one degree we've raised the temperature already has melted the Arctic, so we're fools to find out what two will do." His warning is supported by James Hansen, who declared that "a target of two degrees (Celsius) is actually a prescription for long-term disaster." The burning of coal, oil, and natural gas has made the planet warmer than it had been since the rise of civilization 10,000 years ago. Civilization was made possible by the emergence about 12,000 years ago of the "Holocene" epoch, which turned out to be the Goldilocks zone - not too hot, not too cold. But now, says physicist Stefan Rahmstorf, "We are catapulting ourselves way out of the Holocene." This catapult is dangerous, because we have no evidence civilization can long survive with significantly higher temperatures. And yet, the world is on a trajectory that would lead to an increase of 4C (7F) in this century. In the opinion of many scientists and the World Bank, this could happen as early as the 2060s. What would "a 4C world" be like? According to Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (at the University of East Anglia), "during New York's summer heat waves the warmest days would be around 10-12C (18-21.6F) hotter [than today's]." Moreover, he has said, above an increase of 4C only about 10% of the human population will survive. Believe it or not, some scientists consider Anderson overly optimistic. The main reason for pessimism is the fear that the planet's temperature may be close to a tipping point that would initiate a "low-end runaway greenhouse," involving "out-of-control amplifying feedbacks." This condition would result, says Hansen, if all fossil fuels are burned (which is the intention of all fossil-fuel corporations and many governments). This result "would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans." Moreover, many scientists believe that runaway global warming could occur much more quickly, because the rising temperature caused by CO2 could release massive amounts of methane (CH4), which is, during its first 20 years, 86 times more powerful than CO2. Warmer weather induces this release from carbon that has been stored in methane hydrates, in which enormous amounts of carbon -- four times as much as that emitted from fossil fuels since 1850 -- has been frozen in the Arctic's permafrost. And yet now the Arctic's temperature is warmer than it had been for 120,000 years -- in other words, more than 10 times longer than civilization has existed. According to Joe Romm, a physicist who created the Climate Progress website, methane release from thawing permafrost in the Arctic "is the most dangerous amplifying feedback in the entire carbon cycle." The amplifying feedback works like this: The warmer temperature releases millions of tons of methane, which then further raise the temperature, which in turn releases more methane. The resulting threat of runaway global warming may not be merely theoretical. Scientists have long been convinced that methane was central to the fastest period of global warming in geological history, which occurred 55 million years ago. Now a group of scientists have accumulated evidence that methane was also central to the greatest extinction of life thus far: the end-Permian extinction about 252 million years ago. Worse yet, whereas it was previously thought that significant amounts of permafrost would not melt, releasing its methane, until the planet's temperature has risen several degrees Celsius, recent studies indicate that a rise of 1.5 degrees would be enough to start the melting. What can be done then? Given the failure of political leaders to deal with the CO2 problem, it is now too late to prevent terrible developments. But it may -- just may -- be possible to keep global warming from bringing about the destruction of civilization. To have a chance, we must, as Hansen says, do everything possible to "keep climate close to the Holocene range" -- which means, mobilize the whole world to replace dirty energy with clean as soon as possible.

US-China cooperation solves nuclear proliferation – they have the leverage to pressure proliferating states


Lin 11 – William, “Suppressing Nuclear Proliferation: Why China Cooperates with the United States” http://polisci2.ucsd.edu/honorstheses/files/Lin.pdf

Future Applications The implications of this study are two-fold. The first implication is that China seems increasingly concerned about international stability and feel compelled to take on a leadership role in global affairs. China may participate more in global affairs but not always cooperate. China's growing economy and military strength presents the US with a new world power. The United States can either gain a potentially power ally or a potentially powerful adversary. Thus, discovering the best strategy to achieve Chinese cooperation will help America's foreign policy objectives. Second, these factors indicate how best to achieve China's cooperation. This study can contribute to the future crafting of strategies to compel China to exert influence on North Korea and Iran. Peace on the Korean Peninsula and with Iran still has not materialized and the regions could still deteriorate into war. As long as North Korea continues to act provocatively while wielding nuclear weapons and Iran still refuses to halt its research program, the United States need solutions. According to this paper, a constant reminder and emphasis of how North Korea's nuclear weapons and Iran's potential nuclear weapons threaten the stability of their regions serves as a powerful tool to convince the Chinese to act more aggressively. The practical applications of this study could go beyond stopping North Korea and Iran's nuclear weapons program. The United States would also like to see China participate more in helping the United States and its allies mediate global conflicts. China is beginning to gain considerable economic leverage over many nations either through oil trade, food imports, or commodities exports. China could use this new found influence to pressure countries that are violating human rights or stop bloody conflicts. For example, in Sudan, the US needs China to exert its economic pressure in the region to promote human rights and help refugees. The US may still be the only superpower in the world but would have to spend a lot of its resources to resolve conflicts without the help of allies. A partnership between US and China would not only serve America's interests but China's as well. Global 59 stability allows China's economy to grow as it reaches out to new markets and the US would maintain peace. The two nations may seem destined to polarize the world but they possess enough common goals to form a partnership rather than a rivalry.


The spread of nuclear weapons results in nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, instability, and a constrained US military


Kroenig 15 – Matthew, Associate Professor and International Relations Field Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow in the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at The Atlantic Council, “THE HISTORY OF PROLIFERATION OPTIMISM: DOES IT HAVE A FUTURE?” http://www.npolicy.org/books/Moving_Beyond_Pretense/Ch3_Kroenig.pdf

In this chapter, I argue that the spread of nuclear weapons poses a grave threat to international peace and to U.S. national security. Scholars can grab attention by making counterintuitive arguments about nuclear weapons being less threatening than power holders believe them to be, but their provocative claims cannot wish away the very real dangers posed by the spread of nuclear weapons. The more states that possess nuclear weapons, the more likely we are to suffer a number of devastating consequences, including nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, global and regional instability, constrained U.S. freedom of action, weakened alliances, and the further proliferation of 47 nuclear weapons. While it is important not to exaggerate these threats, it would be an even greater sin to underestimate them and, as a result, not take the steps necessary to combat the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons.




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