General Michael V. Hayden, Director of the CIA, gave a speech this week at Kansas State University, on, among other things, China’s future relationship with the United States. Hayden had this to say:

China, a communist-led, nuclear state that aspires to—and will likely achieve—great power status during this century, will be the focus of U.S. attention. As such, it deserves special mention today.
As is often the case with issues of real consequence for our national security, there are differing views about where China is headed and what its motivations are. Let me give you Mike Hayden’s view: China is a competitor—certainly in the economic realm, and, increasingly, on the geopolitical stage. But China is not an inevitable enemy. There are good policy choices available to both Washington and Beijing that can keep us on the largely peaceful, constructive path we’ve been on for almost 40 years now.
I say that with full appreciation for the remarkable speed and scope of China’s recent military buildup. The Chinese have fully absorbed the lessons of both Gulf wars, developing and integrating advanced weaponry into a modern military force. While it’s true that these new capabilities could pose a risk to U.S. forces and interests in the region, the military modernization is as much about projecting strength as anything else. After two centuries of perceived Western hegemony, China is determined to flex its muscle. It sees an advanced military force as an essential element of great power status. And it is the Intelligence Community’s view that any Chinese regime, even a democratic one, would have similar nationalist goals.
Don’t misunderstand. The military buildup is troubling, because it reinforces long-held concerns about Chinese intentions toward Taiwan. But even without that issue, we assess that a build-up would continue—albeit one that might look somewhat different.
As important as military strength is to China today, economic development and political stability are just as central to its leaders’ thinking—as Ambassador Zhou himself made clear when he was here just 11 weeks ago. From the U.S. perspective, China’s growing engagement with the rest of the world is driven primarily by two things: a need for access to markets, resources, technology, and expertise, and a desire to assert its influence in the region and with developing countries in other parts of the world.
I should note that even as it aspires to a larger global role, China faces significant domestic challenges and structural weaknesses: things like uneven income distribution, growing dependence on foreign oil and other imported resources, environmental degradation, an aging population, and massive migration from rural areas to cities. All of these factors will influence China’s trajectory, and we can’t ignore them. But to me, the key question for the future is whether China is ready to accept the responsibility that comes along with “great power status.”
Today, China’s behavior in the international realm is focused almost exclusively on narrowly defined Chinese objectives. We saw that in the country’s dealings with Sudan, where protection of its oil interests was paramount. Let me give you another example. Two years ago, Beijing pledged to Pacific Island nations more than $370 million at a forum specifically designed to undermine Taiwan’s ties to the region. Much of China’s aid to the developing world comes with few, if any, conditions attached, which undermines the West’s own efforts to promote good governance.
Whether China begins to engage the world in ways that are less narrowly focused will greatly influence the U.S.-China relationship in the new century. If Beijing begins to accept greater responsibility for the health of the international system—as all global powers should—we will remain on a constructive, even if competitive, path. If not, the rise of China begins to look more adversarial.

I concur.
For more views on this speech, check out the following:
1. “Is China Our Enemy?” By Gordon Chang.
2. “CIA director sounds off on the future of the world,” at FP Passport.
3. “Pundits talk about China,” at Uncommon Misconceptions.”
4. “CIA chief says China’s rapid military buildup troubling,” at 1913Intel.
5. “I’d Agree With This,” at Liberty Pundit.
6. “China and the CIA,” at the Seminal.

Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog ( Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.