The U.S. Is an Irresponsible Stakeholder

Fifteen years ago this September, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick famously challenged the People’s Republic of China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. For too long, he suggested, China had been freeriding on the stable, open world created by the United States and its Western allies, while failing to internalize and embrace some of its most important norms and standards of conduct. It was time, Zoellick argued, for China to become a custodian of the rules-based international order, rather than a mere participant or bystander.

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