Is a war between the United States(US) and China really inevitable?
In theory, the scenario of a US – Chinese military conflict is likely. But…
Thucydides, an Athenian who lived about the year 400 BC. He was at the same time a bad general and a good historian. In his book, The Peloponnesian War, it tells the conflagration that broke out between Sparta and Athens in the 5th century BC. Many see this writing as the first attempt to explain history by resorting to facts. And analysis and not by invoking the designs of the gods.
After examining the factors that led to the conflict in Athens and Sparta. Thucydides argues that it is difficult for a booming power. In this case Athens, to coexist peacefully with the dominant power that was then Sparta. Graham Allison , a professor at Harvard, popularized this phenomenon, which he called the “Thucydide trap”. This professor of political science has studied 16 situations that have emerged over the past 500 years. In which emerges a nation capable of successfully opposing the dominant power. 12 times out of 16, these situations have led to wars!
Statistically, the war between (US) Americans and Chinese is more than plausible
This theory, which can certainly be applied to the modern world, is at the heart of the book Destined For War, Can (US) America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap? (Literally: Destined to war, America and China can escape the trap of Thucydides?) Of Professor Allison. This specialist believes that a war between these two countries in the decades to come is not only possible, but more likely than imagined.
This work is in line with many analyzes – and in recent times this topic has given rise to numerous books, articles and lectures – which warn of the consequences of the rise of the East to the detriment of the ” West.
Easternization , refers to the orientalization of the world. His central message is that the international ascendancy enjoyed by centuries during the Western powers, namely the United States (US) and Europe, is coming to an end. This author explains that the center of gravity of world power has shifted to Asia, especially in China.
Ex-editor of The Economist, is also worried about the fate of the West. In The Fate of the West , he says that “the West is the most successful political idea. “Noting that there is no place. But to a series of notions, values and social and political conditions guided by the preservation of individual freedoms. Economic openness and the pursuit of equality and justice for all. Naturally, the deepening of the inequalities suffered by the Western countries and the political unrest they have engendered concern Bill Emmot. “Without an open society, the West will not succeed, but without equality, it will not be able to continue” .
Those who think that China could achieve true global hegemony underestimate the weaknesses of the Asian giant. They also assume that the difficulties that hamper the international influence of the United States are irremediable and, therefore, permanent. But the reality is quite different: just as the problems of the West are not insoluble, those of China are not negligible. China’s economic growth is surprising, of course. The social progress made in China is indisputable and the modernization of its armed forces can be intimidating. But there are still considerable dysfunctions in this country.
China is lagging behind
Ian Buruma , a Dutch specialist in Asia, believes that of all the recent books dealing with the expansion of this region, the worst is that of Professor Allison. According to him, Graham Allison showed a great lack of knowledge of China and minimized the scourges that handicapped this country. Despite its dynamism, the Chinese economy is weakened by many imbalances and distortions. Rural regions have seen inequalities explode and are still plagued by widespread poverty. In ecological terms, China is a real dunce: every year, more than one million people die because of pollution. On the military front, China is still far ahead of the United States, which also benefits from a large network of allies in Asia. Allies who fear China and feel a deep resentment of history. For example, China and Vietnam have waged war seventeen times.
Perhaps the most significant challenge to the prospect of a China acquiring the status of a global superpower comes from its political regime. This autocratic model is less and less seductive and difficult to perpetuate, as it is true that subjugating hundreds of millions of people to the projects of a dictator is a path which, in current times, leads to political instability . However, a politically unstable country is unlikely to prevail in the conflagrations that correspond to the trap of Thucydides.