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China isn’t an enemy of the United States. But coercive diplomacy with China today is arguably more complicated than it was with the Soviet Union in the Cold War, at least after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

One reason for this is that no consensus exists in East Asia on the territorial status quo, as there did between the two Cold War camps in most regions of the world. China, in the center of a region of great importance, has maritime sovereignty disputes with several of its neighbors, including two formal U.S. allies (Japan and the Philippines) and one security partner (Taiwan).

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