Can We Resolve Tensions between the US and China?

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Can We Resolve Tensions between the US and China?

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The Future Center in Dubai publishes Arab language commentary on many issues including security issues


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Can We Resolve Tensions between the US and China? Michael Andregg, University of St. Thomas, The trade war between the US and China worries many people these days, not least the business community. Worst-case scenarios involve real war, because trade and conflict have been connected throughout human history. A Harvard professor recently wrote a book called “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” (2017). Allison’s research suggests a 75% probability for the harsh outcome. A thermonuclear war would set the world economy back by generations at least, and even a “small” military conflict in the South China Sea between a rising China and declining US could cost trillions, and disrupt supply chains all over the world. Economic damage could last decades, even if land armies never met. So peace between these behemoths is imperative for many reasons. Both prefer to behave as empires, however, so neighbors should stay cautious. Therefore, the short answer to whether the US and China can patch up their trade differences must be a “yes” even if the challenges are large, which they are. Current US President Trump enjoys trade wars, and is unrealistic about their consequences. China’s push for dominance in key technologies, like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and 5G cell systems, will not abate. Those trends frighten national security hawks, and businesses that do not want to be left behind like the buggy-whip makers a century ago. In the short term, the most likely place for conflict to turn into bombs and bullets on targets is the South China Sea. China resents the projection of American power into the Pacific, despite the historic fact that American naval power was essential to rescue China from dominance by Japan. Hence, China’s massive engineering project to raise tiny islands in the South China Sea, and turn several into military bases.


This piece is about 1350 words (twice a normal op-ed) requested by the Executive Editor in Chief and Head of Security Studies Unit at "Trending Events Periodical" published in Dubai, UAE. Therefore it is written as clearly as possible, with minimal jargon but maximum relevancy to the extent that can be achieved.

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Since their editor asked for this, I am confident it was translated and published in their journal, but I do not know when

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Andregg, Michael M.. (2019). Can We Resolve Tensions between the US and China?. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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