Dominica Chad Its current situation is satisfactory, and nothing is to be gained from initiating a conflict. In 2017, Professor Graham Allison from Harvard University published the book "Destined For War," where he wrote about how China and the U.S. could be heading toward a collision course. Adding to China’s strategic problems is that it borders some countries such as Vietnam and India that are hostile to its interests. Netherlands International Callers: 1-512-687-3444. Isle of Man China has no tradition of naval warfare to compare to its experience on land. Russia On the contrary, both countries’ leaderships realize what is at stake, and neither ultimately wants to derail the mutually beneficial economic relationship that forms the foundation of their economies. It has an economic superiority, a geographic superiority, a political superiority in alliances, and a superiority of experience not only at sea but in air and space. Cuba But for China, if international trade collapsed, internal declines in consumption would come on top of the loss of foreign markets. His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Saint Martin Basically, the Thucydides Trap says that as a rising power challenges the dominance of an established power, that dominant power is likely to respond with violence. Curacao Hungary Technology matters, of course, but it is only decisive in the hands of those with deep experience of the battle to be fought. Technology can only offset those deficiencies so much. The term ‘Thucydides Trap’ has become a hot topic after American political scientist Graham T. Allison published his book ‘Destined for War: Can America and China Escape the Thucydides Trap?’ in 2017. As it has been already noted, China will fall into the Thucydides trap due to the awareness that the U.S. has made up its mind to firmly resist China’s rise out of the fear or uncertainty about the future. The failure to recruit allies is an indicator of the regional appreciation of Chinese power and trustworthiness. Reunion North Korea If only one of China’s littoral nations allied with it, China’s strategic problem might be solved. Bahamas David Yu Contributor. And China Escape The Thucydides Trap? As tensions between the US and China rose in 2018, so did discussion of Thucydides’s trap. Canada As China emerged as a major economic and political power, however, there has been increasing concern regarding the role it plays in international trade and affairs over the last decade. Lao People's Democratic Republic The military problem is simple. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. I am a finance professor who teaches at New York University Shanghai and Stern School and is a recognized expert in cross-border finance, investing and valuation, I am a finance professor who teaches at New York University Shanghai and Stern School and is a recognized expert in cross-border finance, investing and valuation, alternative investments (PE/VC) and real assets including aviation finance, and leasing. Indonesia Thucydides’ concerns were recently echoed by Graham Allison in his book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? Greenland It’s true that China is a rising power, but as I said, it’s rising from the Maoist era. Tanzania Syria Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna Islands Sweden Cote D'Ivoire Albania The likely result of this competition was identified by the great historian Thucydides, who wrote: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Greek historian Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian war. The closer you are to weapons development, the more you are aware of its shortcomings. As China emerged as a major economic and political power, however, there has been increasing concern regarding the role it plays in international trade and affairs over the last decade. I travel extensively and have worked in 10 countries and have been based in China for the last 10 years. Switzerland security, financial stability) or risk the collapse of the system which enabled its rise. In such a situation, … Maybe that’s true. The South China Sea is therefore a frontier of particular interest for Beijing. San Marino Mauritius Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba Montenegro All rights reserved. Vietnam The U.S. has failed to sidestep the risk of confrontation with China that Graham Allison warned of with his “Thucydides trap” metaphor. So I think the Thucydides concept, while valid, doesn’t apply to this case. Trinidad and Tobago And like all great philosophers, he has many things to teach us, even if his teaching is inappropriately applied. The problem is a possible clash between American exceptionalism and the “China Dream.” The former is defined by freedom, individualism, democracy and the idea that the U.S. has a (missionary) mission to transform the world. Estonia Finland On Tuesday, President Trump shifted from praising China’s response to COVID-19 to speaking of the ‘Chinese virus’. Nearly 20 percent of China’s gross domestic product is generated from exports, 5 percent of which are bought by its largest customer, the United States. And tradition and lessons passed down from generation to generation of admirals are extremely valuable. Namibia Antigua And Barbuda For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. And though allies can drag a nation into conflicts it doesn’t want to be part of, having no allies deprives a nation of strategic options. New Caledonia Moldova, Republic of Costa Rica You may opt-out by. It cannot expose its forces to massive Chinese ground forces. Niue But is a 2,400-year-old school of thought really what the U.S. should base its foreign policy on? Jacek Bartosiak, who wrote of the Thucydides trap for us last week, is never simplistic, but I think he is wrong in some respects. Virgin Islands (U.S.) New Zealand Guinea Tajikistan But the U.S. is still the superior power. People fret about a "Thucydides Trap" of inevitable conflict between China and the United States. So if that sentence from Thucydides is correct, then China is clearly a rising power that will want her “place in the sun” — which will lead ineluctably to a collision between rising China (Athens) instigated by the presumably setting U.S. (Sparta), which will see military preemption as the only recourse to avert a loss of power and a Chinese-dominated world. Marshall Islands As tensions between the US and China rose in 2018, so did discussion of Thucydides’s trap. Argentina Thucydides’s Trap teaches us that on the historical record, war is more likely than not. Are the U.S. and China headed there? Portugal Pitcairn South Sudan Cook Islands If Charles Kindleberger, an architect of the Marshall Plan, is correct, as China grows, it must provide a larger share of global public goods (e.g. Virgin Islands (British) Western Sahara I am a senior investment professional at Neo-Criterion Capital, a fund management house focused on pan-China public equities. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear … Hypothetically, China could forge an alliance with Russia, a nearby power with which it shares some common competitors. Liberia The argument that the U.S. may overreact is based on this error. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trump’s anti-China rhetoric and actions, including crossing out the prefix “Corona” and replacing it with “China,” are part of a continuation of US empire building that began long before Trump seized power in the Electoral College coup of 2016. Maldives Thucydides’ concerns were recently echoed by Graham Allison in his book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? Toll Free: 1-888-982-8217 Norway Tunisia Colombia As the economic pie shrinks and inequality widens, governments may reach for the opiate of nationalism to give the masses. It has a significant military, but that military’s hands are tied until China eliminates its existential vulnerability: dependence on exports. Yes, China has grown, but its growth has made it a hostage to its foreign customers. Libya He believed it was the threat, the Spartans felt with the rise of Athens that lead to the two city-states clashing swords. China should avoid the Thucydides trap with India Modi is facing a lot of opposition for not being transparent about the actual situation at the border K S Venkatachalam June 30, 2020 Senegal In the Thucydides trap metaphor, China is Athens and America is Sparta. Sierra Leone Iceland The choice of the word “escape” instead of “avoid” is interesting as it suggests that the U.S. and China are well down a ruinous path to conflict. The question for any military is not what equipment it has but how long it takes to jury-rig the breakdown. Brunei Darussalam Palestine Haiti In recent years a slow-brewing conflict has broken out between the US and China over technology, in a rivalry that has all the hallmarks of a “Thucydides Trap”. But what is also alarming is that between China and Australia. India Norfolk Island Somalia Slovenia Thucydides, being a historian, used ‘inevitable’ in hindsight. French Southern Territories The United States has been in combat frequently, launching aircraft against land targets, conducting active anti-submarine searches and coordinating air defense systems for large fleets in combat conditions. Nauru Falkland Islands Swaziland In the wake of China returning a seized U.S. drone, I can tell you that virtually everyone in U.S.-Chinese relations has a similar dread about Trump's tweet-based “policy” toward China. There’s also the problems of reliable information and accurate interpretation. Eritrea I write about cross … There is of course evidence of advanced Chinese systems being prepared and claims that the U.S. is losing its relative share of power. Turks and Caicos Islands British Indian Ocean Territory The problem is that Russia’s focus must be on its west and on the Caucasus. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. There is the need here for honest brokers, and countries like Singapore can mediate and mitigate tensions. The most important thing to understand about China is that its domestic market cannot financially absorb the product of China’s industrial plant. Austria The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. China has appeared anxious to avoid the problem, and the government-run Xinhua news agency has published numerous articles on averting the Thucydides Trap in recent years. Zambia Barbados Thucydides trap is really a clear and analogous concept to explain why the USA has been trying to obstruct the emergence of China as a rising power in the international system. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Northern Mariana Islands St. Helena Athens’ rise was a necessary but insufficient condition for war; human emotion played an essential part, too. In truth, what Thucydides said about democracies and oppressive regimes was far more sophisticated and complex than a simplistic slogan invoked by defeatists. Sao Tome and Principe The basic concept is that, when a rising power is observed by an existing great power, the existing great power becomes fearful. Italy Uruguay Monaco The Chinese have to force the U.S. into deep retreat to secure access. Turkey In truth, what Thucydides said about democracies and oppressive regimes was far more sophisticated and complex than a simplistic slogan invoked by defeatists. Comoros U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meet in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017. Yes, it’s risen faster, further on more dimensions than any country ever in history, and therefore has arrived. In 2015, Harvard political scientist and professor Graham Allison identified a scenario he calls the Thucydides Trap. Tonga While there have been flash points in the 40-year relationship—such as the Kosovo embassy bombing in 1999 and the Hainan Incident in 2001—there was little, on the surface, to presage the sharp deterioration in ties from 2018. Spain China, the United States and the Thucydides Trap By J Brooks Spector • 26 May 2020 Illustrative image | sources: President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping. And so Jacek and I will continue to duel. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. Mexico His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, 2020 describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture. Kyrgyzstan Venezuela Nigeria Martinique Mozambique He analysed the reasons around it and came to the conclusion that if a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power it could lead to war. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, China Launches Anti-Monopoly Investigation Into Alibaba, Russian Billionaire Mordashov Exits Gold Race With A Handy Profit, Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Business Falsely Linked To U.S. Cameroon What has been unfolding between China and the U.S. clearly indicates that it is the U.S. that has been actively creating a Thucydides Trap for the two countries' relations. As China increases its global commitments, it should embrace transparency, articulate its intentions clearly and ensure that its words and actions are consistent. Solomon Islands On the contrary, both countries’ leaderships realize what is at stake, and neither ultimately wants to derail the mutually beneficial economic relationship that forms the foundation of their economies. Cyprus This misuse of the concept is quite sad, because Thucydides actually does have a very useful story to tell policy-makers in the United States. Anything that could reduce China’s economy for the long term by about 20 percent is a desperate vulnerability. Bhutan Saint Lucia Christmas Island China lacks that. The illogic of offensive realism French Polynesia The controversial “Thucydides trap” argument has sparked a heated debate since 2013, when President Xi Jinping of China told a cluster of western guests: “We must all work together to avoid Thucydides’ trap.” Later, this concept was elucidated by Professor Graham Allison in his articles, talks and famous book Destined for War: Can America and […] Mayotte Germany Timor-Leste China Dr. Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author. Thucydides was a fifth century BC Greek philosopher. Angola A simultaneous strike westward by Russia and eastward by China is superficially interesting, but it would not divide U.S. and allied forces enough to take the pressure off of China. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University. You can draw upon the PPT slides as well, but do not simply copy them. The economic interconnectedness of the world has given leaders new ways to apply political pressure, pursue strategic competition, and strive for fair bilateral relations. Nicaragua Uzbekistan Cocos (Keeling) Islands The term ‘Thucydides trap’, coined by American political scientist Graham T. Allison, refers to a situation when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power. Oman Lesotho He is certainly correct if by rising he means it has surged since Mao Zedong died. Congo Ghana Saudi Arabia Greece Belarus Philippines Thucydides trap is really a clear and analogous concept to explain why the USA has been trying to obstruct the emergence of China as a rising power in the international system. Denmark Does the rise of China mean an end to US supremacy and a risk of major war? Hong Kong Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media. Georgia For all its hardware and technology, it has not fought a naval battle since 1895 (which it lost). Engineering is part of war but not its essence. Djibouti But a hot war is not automatic. Grenada El Salvador Serbia Niger I am the only Senior ISTAT Aviation Appraiser in N. Asia and China. In 2014 the IMF estimated that the size of China’s economy in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms has exceeded the United States at $16.7 trillion vs. $16.4 trillion respectively. The United States needs only to remain in position to fire cruise missiles or lay mines. Copyright © 2020 Geopolitical Futures. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. But the policy couldn't stop China from getting established as a dominant power who can pose threat on the unipolar world order controlled by the United States of America. Turks & Caicos Islands Bosnia and Herzegovina Similarly, there is no reason to believe that Trump desires military conflict with China. USA Minor Outlying Islands Netherlands Antilles Madagascar Panama In this sense China is secure. Sint Maarten Faroe Islands The USA and China are now entangled in the Thucydides Trap; this is the entire story. Gambia Iran The two countries’ strongest trading and economic interdependence has proven unable to prevent a political standoff between Washington and Beijing. Blacklist, Freezer Rush Helps Drive Copper Towards A Record $10,000 A Ton, China Urges U.S. To Stop Bullying With Blacklist, Vows To Take Action, China Has A $15 Trillion Problem With Economic Reality, Trump Signs Bill That Could Delist Chinese Companies From U.S. Stock Exchanges, Singapore To Open For Business Travel In January Under ‘Bubble’ Arrangement, Iron Ore Rockets To $160 A Ton And China Cries Foul, Hyundai Buys Boston Dynamics From SoftBank In $1.1 Billion Deal. Burundi Jersey (Channel Islands) South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands The difference is massive. I write about Chinese political economy, capital markets and investments. Thucydides was a fifth century BC Greek philosopher. The likely result of this competition was identified by the great historian Thucydides, who wrote: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” The fear might be wholly justified, or it might not be justified at all (or somewhere in between). It has no ground force it could lend to China, nor does it have a naval force that would be decisive in its Pacific operations. The U.S. should re-think its turn towards a go-it-alone approach, while China must step up. To access the ocean, China must control the sea lanes through at least one (and preferably more) outlet. China’s fear is maritime – isolation from world markets. Kuwait The “Thucydides trap” refers to the theory that when a rising power threatens a ruling power, the result is often war. Bahrain Ecuador Afghanistan Democratic Republic of the Congo Bolivia The Thucydides Trap leads us to believe a U.S.-China war is inevitable. If there is a “Thucydides Trap,” it is the trap of hubris, which great powers fall into over and over again. Malta Rwanda Azerbaijan Saint Kitts and Nevis Think China and the U.S. today. Slovakia Ireland Chile by Author(s): Robert B. Zoellick. American Samoa Thailand United Kingdom It was coined and is primarily used to describe a potential conflict between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Lebanon China must have access to global markets, which depends overwhelmingly on the ports of its east coast. Luxembourg Cayman Islands Yemen Jamaica Macau But he is implying more: that China is rising to the point that it can even challenge the United States. Tokelau Jordan Malaysia Bulgaria If there is a “Thucydides Trap,” it is the trap of hubris, which great powers fall into over and over again. Benin October 2018; Brazilian Political Science Review (Online) 12(3) DOI: 10.1590/1981-3821201800030008. The error is the idea that China is a rising power. Qatar Thousands of years after the war was fought between Sparta and Athens, observers argued that it showed that an authoritarian government would defeat a democracy. Does the rise of China mean an end to US supremacy and a risk of major war? Allison’s Thucydides trap has set the political scaffolding of the tense global geopolitical competition between China and the US. Japan You can draw upon the PPT slides as well, but do not simply copy them. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. Cambodia Heard and Mc Donald Islands Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands Gupta cites an article in the South China Morning Post by journalist Alex Lo, who said that the two countries were actually caught in a ‘Thucydides trap’. French Guiana Brazil Togo Guinea-Bissau 2-3 pages single spaced. But is a 2,400-year-old school of thought really what the U.S. should base its foreign policy on? This was widely said in the early stages of World War II and repeated throughout the Cold War. Bangladesh Equatorial Guinea More than perhaps any country in the world, China cannot risk a breakdown in the global trading system. Macedonia Turkmenistan Fiji Guatemala Are the U.S. and China headed there? Taiwan Iraq According to Allison, the Thucydides Trap’s formation depends on two factors: “the rising power [China]’s growing entitlement, sense of its own importance, and demand for greater say and sway, on the one hand, and the fear, insecurity, and determination to defend the status quo this engenders in the established power [United States] on the other.” I have held senior management and investment positions, advisory and board roles and am now an academic and researcher. But he is implying more: that China is rising … Echoes of the trap, while resplendent in most domains and areas of the relationship between the two also came when the United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait in the first such operation this year. U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping. Andorra History is littered with examples of things that seemed like good ideas at the time, but that turned out to be disastrous. This misuse of the concept is quite sad, because Thucydides actually does have a very useful story to tell policy-makers in the United States. A perilous trap but uncertain outcome Today, an irresistible rising China is on course to collide with an immovable America. Ethiopia Just go to Google News and type in “Thucydides Trap” and you’ll find that it is mentioned at least weekly in one article on US-China relations or another. Burkina Faso People fret about a "Thucydides Trap" of inevitable conflict between China and the United States. Central African Republic We remember Thucydides as a historian thanks to his documentation of the Peloponnesian War, but we often forget that he was also a philosopher. But war isn’t inevitable, until it is. COVID-19 has hurt and will continue to hurt many countries. Belize Guernsey Dominican Republic Thucydides trap is the dangerous dynamic that occurs when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power. The "Thucydides Trap" appears to have a searing resonance in the relations between the United States and China with the former being the incumbent power and the latter a rising one. But the United States has even more devastating options. Singapore Algeria Uganda The U.S.-China 'Thucydides Trap': A View from Beijing by Mo Shengkai Chen Yue “It was the rise of Athens, and the fear that this inspired in Sparta, that made war inevitable.” —Thucydides In four of Allison’s 16 case studies from the last 500 years, statesmanship stopped the trap from springing. Guadeloupe If the US and China come to blows, it is likely that they will have failed to learn Thucydides’ timeless teachings about the arrogance of power.
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