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of 2008, as dissident journalists, political activists, and social critics were

systematically harassed and intimidated.


Meanwhile, Chinas ongoing economic dynamism has raised concerns
of a growing China threat in Europe, America, and Japan. The PRCs
dramatic rise has generated widespread fears of lost or outsourced jobs
and has heightened global competition for energy resources, minerals,
and industrial raw materials. Despite repeated Chinese assurances that the
countrys intentions are entirely peaceful, China is viewed by many as a peer
competitor and potential adversary.

Scope

Notwithstanding worrisome projections of growing Chinese economic and


military power and nationalistic fervor, recent Chinese behavior provides
some grounds for cautious optimism. Since joining the World Trade
Organization in 2001, China has conformed rather closely with prevailing
international norms and standards in its legal, commercial, and financial
dealings. Chinas relations with Taiwan have calmed down considerably
since 2005. And China has supported initiatives against nuclear weapons in
Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. In all these respects, China is seen as behaving
as a responsible stakeholder.