During a lecture he delivered on behalf of the Lowy Institute in 2017, Sullivan said leading foreign policy expert Owen Harries was “right” to warn against “containment” as a self-defeating policy, much like acquiescence.
“We need to strike a middle course – one that encourages China’s rise in a manner consistent with an open, fair, rules-based, regional order,” Sullivan said. “This will require care and prudence and strategic foresight, and maybe even more basically it will require sustained attention. It may not have escaped your notice that these are not in ample supply in Washington right now.”
During the same lecture, Sullivan said China policy needs to be about more than just bilateral ties, “it needs to be about our ties to the region that create an environment more conducive to a peaceful and positive sum Chinese rise,” he said.