臺灣戰略研究學會 Taiwan Strategy Research Association 臺灣國際戰略研究中心
Taiwan Center for International Strategic Studies, TCISS

An analysis of whether the United States and China are destined for War

An analysis of whether the United States and China are destined for War

 

Chang Han-Ching

Vice-secretary of TSRA

 

In his writings, Graham Allison believes there are three main points of observation on Sino-US relations. First: When a rising powerful threat replaces the ruling power, alarm bells should sound, extreme danger ahead. This is a big earned for us by Thucydides, and Thucydides said, famously, “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable. So, in the Thucydides trap study here at the Belfer Center. In the last five hundred years, there have been 16 instances in which a rising power threatened to displace a ruling power, so in 12 of these cases, the outcome was war. In four of the cases, the outcome was not war. It was the rising Spain with the Portugal in the 15th century, the rising United States with the Britain in the early 20th century, the rising Soviet Union with the United States in 1940-1989 and the rising Germany with the Britain and the France to date in 1990.

Second: Thucydides says, why do nations fight? For three reason that are Interests, fear and honor. Thucydides was the founder of what we think of as Realpolitik, or realism, in current international affairs. As he says, right, as we think about it, is really a concept that only arises between equal powers. Otherwise, “the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.

Third: Graham Allison belief is that the cardinal challenge for the rest of your professional lives and its impact on the US and the US and international order that has been the foundation for the 70 years of peace, that is, not great power war that our colleague at Yale calls The Long Peace, a very unusual period if you go at a broad historical sweep. When will China become number one? On the current trend lines, China GDP compare with US it will be about 40% larger In 2024. China’s leaders serious about displacing the US as the predominant power in Asia in the foreseeable future? Of course. Why not? How could they not aspire to be Number One Asia, and in time the world? -Lee kuan Tew(2013)

The final question that can America and China escape lucidity the book has a professorial no and yes. So the answer is “no”, if we settle for business as usual for diplomacy, then we should expect history as usual in this case would be a catastrophic war, but on the other hand “yes” only those who refuse to study history are condemned to repeat it so we’re not obliged to make mistakes that were made by our predecessors. So I’m hoping we’re have some imagination about how to escape through Citadis trap.

Chairman, 13D Global Strategy & Research Kiril Sokoloff say: The US and China that the major issue is not going to be trade as much as it is technology and military technology. If we think about conventional nuclear weapons that’s a 20th century weapon, it’s no longer where the future is the weaponization of space, in some of these areas China is leading.

For US President Trump, the people who had been left behind and they were going to vote against the existing power structure and the elites that had abandoned them. This could put off this confrontation which based on history is inevitable and more importantly based on the differences in culture and belief between America and China, so America believes there’s one truth, it’s democracy, it’s human rights, it’s enterprise, in China they are proud of their unique cultural differences they don’t want to be part of the American.

Exceptionalism spreading its model that is a huge difference from the past and makes this much risky and then you add to that military superiority as a possibility with the advanced technology and the China that has three advantages. First, it has a late movie advantage meaning that they can leapfrog over the existing legacy systems to move right into the latest technology without any problems of the legacy hindrances. Second, China is developing technology that doesn’t have a commercial application which doesn’t happen in the United states at the moment when DAPPA was up and strong it exists. Third, China have industry and the government are working together very closely on a target for dominance in certain areas.

The Fear in a word it’s psychological, the word fear was used by Thucydides so this is his idea and in the story of a rising power and a ruling power this dynamic is one in which the rising power thinks I’m bigger, I’m stronger, I deserve more say I deserve more sway, we should do some things more my way and the current arrangements that were put in place didn’t even take me into account they were put there before I ever got there, that’s all seems quite reasonable. As the rising power syndrome and ruling power whether say wait a minute just like that incumbent and an upstart in the business would what the hell do you think you’re doing on, so the fear that’s instilled in the ruling power is completely normal if you think of it in Psychological terms and then it can get to be exaggerated, because after fear comes from paranoia.

Today China is US’s rival, strategy rival or strategy adversary, so what to do with China in Obama, Bush, Clinton integrate them into the international order and they’ll become more responsible stakeholders, they’ll help support this structure and then they’ll become to have human rights like we understand them and they’ll have democracies like we haven’t that we understand them. But Trump administration it says that was a bet, big bet that was made for a long time that bit turned out to be false and this view of the Trump administration is reflected not just simply in the Trump administration literate.

These fundamental assumptions turned out to be wrong, so there’s a big reassessment going on in Washington today about China and how to relate to China and it’s informed by this fear some of which is rational that is it really is true sadness bigger and stronger and willing to change things and part of which is exaggerated in just the way ruling power often get things wrong.

For the current competition between the United States and China, Professor Alison is basically based on the theory of realism, hegemonic stability and the theory of power balance and from the perspective of American might to look at the rise of powerful China. Whether the United States and China will be destined to go to war, we can discuss from the next 3 aspects: first, the future war pattern between China and the United States; Second: whether China wants to replace the US as a world hegemony; third, whether the United States allows rising power to share power.

the future war pattern between China and the United States: Professor Alison believes that the so-called Cold War triggered by the United States against the rise of the Soviet Union, until the eventual disintegration of the Soviet Union, was free of war. The core issue no longer lies in the absence of military confrontation among themselves, but in proxy wars under the fear of nuclear retaliation, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Arab-Israeli wars in the Middle East and the Syrian civil war in recent years. Even if the current US military confrontation against China, whether the United States can withstand the mutual destruction of the nuclear war is worth pondering, after all, a rich hegemony is basically unwilling to bear such a loss. Therefore, it can be predicted that in today's hegemonic competition, the traditional limited war is the main means, in order to serve as a bargaining chip for the interests in the negotiations. The annihilation operation of the previous two wars, as well as the use of territory as a bargaining chip for hegemony, will not happen again in the future.

whether China wants to replace the US as a world hegemony: The United States can become a global hegemony, mainly because the two seas of the Americas can’t compete with the United States of the enemy. In the other two world wars, the United States was a creditor of the world's powers, and a great power (a country with heavenly resources and vast territory and population) to dominate the world's financial system, which in turn created the United States to rely on the development of maritime rights to become a worldwide power. If, from a historical point of view, a land regional power has to develop into a world power on its own, it has not happened in history and it is unlikely to happen in the future. Because the countries of Eurasia have always had a neighbouring land power to contend with, even if China has lifted the threat of land borders, it still lags behind the United States for more than 50 years in the development of maritime rights. Therefore, when China is able to surpass the United States in economic, technological and military capabilities, China's national development strategic goal is not to challenge the status of American world hegemony.

whether the United States allows rising power to share power: The assumption must clarify whether the US is "forced" or "proactive" if the US is willing to share power with a rising China. If it is "proactive", the United States will recognize that it can’t effectively suppress China's development and that China has the power to jointly dominate the world governance system before China has challenged American hegemony. If it is "forced," it means that the United States is powerless to confront China, and that when China does not want to challenge the hegemonic position of the United States, its representatives that China have a certain hegemonic position. On the assumption, this should not be the case that the United States would like to see, but it is undeniable that China is not a Western power, such as Japan and Western Europe, but a large country with abundant resources, vast land, large population and sustainable development of high-tech technology. The United States is bound to make China a power-sharing person in the world's governance system.

To sum up, Professor Alison's development from the history of Western hegemony, looking at the relationship between the United States and China, believes that the development of China's military power, China will eventually expand through the war with American hegemony. The way to avoid it is for China to recognize America's world hegemony and maintain world peace under its hegemonic rule. From the point of view of China's historical development, the Han nationality of China is not an outward-expanding people. The outward expansion of the Han and Tang dynasties was aimed at addressing nomadic peoples plagued by long-term threats in the north, not active outward expansion, and pro-policy(和親政策) is a typical example. So whether there will be military conflict between the United States and China lies mainly in the loss and insecurity of American political elites, rather than in the threat of China's rise. Even if there is a military conflict between the United States and China, it is only a small and limited regional conflict, such as the South China Sea, the East China Sea, etc., there will be no large-scale war, because no country has undertaken a nuclear war.



picture source:https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2132598/locked-and-loaded-china-and-us-are-marching-trade-war



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