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Is World War Between the US and China Inevitable? The obscenely fast rise of China as a major power over the past few decades has led many to argue that world war between the US and China is a real possibility. Already, we have seen a trade war erupt between the two countries, with tariffs imposed in both directions. The major concern that world war could erupt between the two powerhouses stems from the fact that their relationship contains a historical dynamic which often leads to war: known as the Thucydides trap. In relation to the potential outcome of the relationship between the US and China, some parallels may be found if we look closer at the case when America challenged and surpassed the power of the British Empire.
In relation to whether a hot war between the US and China is inevitable, a key question emerges: how connected was America to the rise of China? The answer, quite simply, is that America was deeply connected to the China’s rise. In fact, the US in many ways facilitated China’s rise on the world stage, as the US under Nixon made the decision to bring China in from isolation. Without Nixon, Kissinger and Rockefeller bringing China in from the cold, it is highly improbable that China would be anywhere near as powerful as it is today. Given the vast amount of connections between America and the rise of China, it seems reasonable to conclude that world war is not inevitable between the two powerhouses.
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