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A view of Asia

June 23, 2008

Re "Who'll lead in Asia?" Opinion, June 18

Kim Holmes and Walter Lohman convincingly argue that Asia demands greater strategic attention from Washington. But they overstate the inevitability of incompatible American and Chinese roles. U.S. policy needs to work with China to lift Asia up rather than work with Asia to hold China down.

There is no doubt that the U.S. and its Asian partners should insist that China meet higher standards on military restraint, free trade and the environment. But to help change and accept China, Washington must lead as a rising moral power, not a declining superpower.

Leif-Eric Easley

Los Angeles

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