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A nation must think before it acts.
The eerie normalcy of Sino-American relations in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks constitutes one of the unanticipated consequences of those events. President Bush entered office voicing wariness, if not overt hostility, toward the Chinese leadership, and the early months of his administration did little to dispel Chinese concerns. From the outset, the Bush administration sought to maintain a much more arms’-length relationship with Beijing than the Clinton administration had, consciously pursuing closer links with Japan and India as presumptive balancers of a rising China in Asia.