lørdag 18. september 2021

Is conflict between the US and China inevitable? Not if they talk to each other

Is  China-US conflict inevitable? That question, long debated in academia, has burst into the real world. Since former US president Donald Trump launched the trade war against China in 2018, their bilateral ties have been in free fall, particularly with rising tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea. This has heightened concerns about the so-called Thucydides Trap, a theory surmising that a rising power and an existing power will inevitably come into conflict, leading to war.

The risks of this were highlighted in the bombshell revelation this month that a top US general had held two secret phone conversations with his Chinese counterpart in the final months of Trump’s presidency to reassure Beijing that Washington would not attack China.

The revelation came just days after Chinese President Xi Jinping had held a lengthy phone call with his American counterpart Joe Biden over a wide range of strategic issues and tried to set a framework for bilateral ties.