The End of China’s Period of Strategic Opportunity

In the early 2000s, Chinese leaders foresaw a period of strategic opportunity that they believed would enable the country’s rapid development. By the 2010s, however, the benign international environment became more hostile as an increasingly powerful China experienced a rise in tensions with the United States and some of its allies and partners. More importantly, China’s domestic situation deteriorated as decades of rapid growth generated destabilizing levels of inequality, corruption, and discontent over official malfeasance. Anxious Chinese leaders have elevated national security as a priority and sought to manage various international and domestic risks.

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

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