Jamaica Malawi Botswana In 2015, Harvard political scientist and professor Graham Allison identified a scenario he calls the Thucydides Trap. But a hot war is not automatic. Thucydides, being a historian, used ‘inevitable’ in hindsight. Nicaragua The U.S. can’t invade mainland China or conquer it. Tunisia China’s fear is maritime – isolation from world markets. He is certainly correct if by rising he means it has surged since Mao Zedong died. People fret about a "Thucydides Trap" of inevitable conflict between China and the United States. 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.” Are China and the US going to be able to escape Thucydides’ Trap? South Korea Israel Moldova, Republic of Sierra Leone Kazakhstan Italy 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. Athens’ rise was a necessary but insufficient condition for war; human emotion played an essential part, too. Kenya Kuwait If there is a “Thucydides Trap,” it is the trap of hubris, which great powers fall into over and over again. North Korea Falkland Islands Bhutan Morocco Adding to China’s strategic problems is that it borders some countries such as Vietnam and India that are hostile to its interests. China must have access to global markets, which depends overwhelmingly on the ports of its east coast. As China increases its global commitments, it should embrace transparency, articulate its intentions clearly and ensure that its words and actions are consistent. My book "Aircraft Valuation: Airplane Investments as an Asset Class" was recently released by Palgrave Macmillan. China has no tradition of naval warfare to compare to its experience on land. Greek historian Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian war. Angola Asia. Wars are won by experienced staff, brave and motivated forces, and factories that don’t screw up. The Chinese have to force the U.S. into deep retreat to secure access. But this is one of the great defects of military analysis: counting the hardware. Uruguay Gibraltar And that possibility is there. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. 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. Greece But he is implying more: that China is rising … 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. Benin 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’. Eritrea Bahamas Equatorial Guinea COVID-19 has hurt and will continue to hurt many countries. If both countries have fallen into the trap already, going by the ongoing trade conflict and signs that other fronts—from trade and technology to human rights and capital—will open up, one way forward is a fuller reading of The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. Niger Based on this, it would appear that China wants to avoid the Thucydides Trap. Mauritius Thucydides trap is the dangerous dynamic that occurs when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power. Virgin Islands (U.S.) Bosnia and Herzegovina U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping. United States of America Kyrgyzstan To keep these in check, the U.S. and China should not aim for zero disagreement, but agree on how to disagree. Similarly, there is no reason to believe that Trump desires military conflict with China. Is China rising or risen? I am a senior investment professional at Neo-Criterion Capital, a fund management house focused on pan-China public equities. 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. Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands 2-3 pages single spaced. October 2018; Brazilian Political Science Review (Online) 12(3) DOI: 10.1590/1981-3821201800030008. Martinique Estonia Costa Rica Peru While we've recognized these pitfalls for a long time, we now have an official term for at least one of them. Denmark Ecuador Burkina Faso 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. Aruba Philippines 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. Rwanda Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? The USA and China are now entangled in the Thucydides Trap; this is the entire story. Technology can only offset those deficiencies so much. Japan France Palau Thailand USA Minor Outlying Islands Guadeloupe Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba I have held senior management and investment positions, advisory and board roles and am now an academic and researcher. Bulgaria Norfolk Island 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. Romania It’s true that China is a rising power, but as I said, it’s rising from the Maoist era. Germany French Guiana China faces a non-military threat from the United States, which relies on exports to China for about half of 1 percent of its GDP. 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 Andorra Zimbabwe, The Truth About the US-China Thucydides Trap, who wrote of the Thucydides trap for us last week, https://geopoliticalfutures.com/author/gfriedman/, Daily Memo: Courting Russia, EU-China Deal Stalls, Daily Memo: US Sanctions Target Russia and China, Maneuvering in the Strait of Hormuz. Burundi Cambodia Tanzania The Thucydides Trap, also referred to as Thucydides's Trap, is a term coined by American political scientist Graham T. Allison to describe an apparent tendency towards war when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power as the international hegemon. Does the rise of China mean an end to US supremacy and a risk of major war? China's Peaceful Rise and the Thucydides Trap China first proposed a “peaceful rise” as early as by the end of 2003. He also believed … Bermuda U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meet in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017. Chile San Marino In such a situation, … Western Sahara The argument that the U.S. may overreact is based on this error. The United States does not need to control these lanes; it just needs to deny them to China. Albania 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. All rights reserved. Iceland Finland Singapore 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.” Macau Canada This problem is compounded by the current lack of a common enemy—it was the Soviet Union in the 1970s and both were united against terrorism in the 2000s—and exacerbated by slowing global growth. Tajikistan In essay form, describe the economics of China’s Rise, the logic of the “”Thucydides Trap,”” and the strategies of Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping. Australia 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. American Samoa U.S., China and Thucydides. 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. 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. Antigua And Barbuda Latvia The U.S. has failed to sidestep the risk of confrontation with China that Graham Allison warned of with his “Thucydides trap” metaphor. Iran Oman The Thucydides Trap leads us to believe a U.S.-China war is inevitable. Czech Republic Guyana Seychelles Allison’s Thucydides trap has set the political scaffolding of the tense global geopolitical competition between China and the US. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. I write about cross-border investing and financing, aviation and PE/VC. Heard and Mc Donald Islands Guinea As tensions between the US and China rose in 2018, so did discussion of Thucydides’s trap. 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. The two countries’ strongest trading and economic interdependence has proven unable to prevent a political standoff between Washington and Beijing. The error is the idea that China is a rising power. 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. The question for any military is not what equipment it has but how long it takes to jury-rig the breakdown. Dominica Brunei Darussalam Similarly, there is no reason to believe that Trump desires military conflict with China. The failure to recruit allies is an indicator of the regional appreciation of Chinese power and trustworthiness. Uganda Greek historian Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian war. His most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. 2-3 pages single spaced. The military problem is simple. Nauru 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.” 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. Liberia Maybe that’s true. But the U.S. is still the superior power. We remember Thucydides as a historian thanks to his documentation of the Peloponnesian War, but we often forget that he was also a philosopher. Togo 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. Belize 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. 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. He is certainly correct if by rising he means it has surged since Mao Zedong died. Netherlands Antilles Pitcairn Bouvet Island It cannot expose its forces to massive Chinese ground forces. Jacek Bartosiak, who wrote of the Thucydides trap for us last week, is never simplistic, but I think he is wrong in some respects. Saint Kitts and Nevis If there is a “Thucydides Trap,” it is the trap of hubris, which great powers fall into over and over again. The latter is more ambiguous, but centers around collective effort, socialism, prosperity and national glory. 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. Montserrat Hungary The problem is that Russia’s focus must be on its west and on the Caucasus. Yes, it’s risen faster, further on more dimensions than any country ever in history, and therefore has arrived. Northern Mariana Islands But the United States has even more devastating options. Paraguay United Kingdom French Polynesia Montenegro Luxembourg But war isn’t inevitable, until it is. Spain The U.S. Navy controls the Pacific from the Aleutians to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia, giving Washington an old and sophisticated alliance system that China cannot match. 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. South Africa Thucydides was a fifth century BC Greek philosopher. Venezuela The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. 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. Isle of Man Christmas Island Grenada As the economic pie shrinks and inequality widens, governments may reach for the opiate of nationalism to give the masses. Yes, China has grown, but its growth has made it a hostage to its foreign customers. Georgia Sri Lanka 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 […] The South China Sea is therefore a frontier of particular interest for Beijing. Zambia The closer you are to weapons development, the more you are aware of its shortcomings. Guatemala Slovenia China's Peaceful Rise and the Thucydides Trap China first proposed a “peaceful rise” as early as by the end of 2003. It’s on this point that I disagree with Jacek. To the astute observer, perhaps the first sign of trouble was when the Council on Foreign Relations noted in 2015 that China “represents ... the most significant competitor to the U.S. for decades to come." Cocos (Keeling) Islands Are the U.S. and China headed there? Samoa (Independent) The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. Trinidad and Tobago Wallis and Futuna Islands 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 U.S. should re-think its turn towards a go-it-alone approach, while China must step up. He submits that China is rising, with a particular focus on a technological prowess with which the U.S. is not keeping pace. St. Helena 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. Netherlands Under these circumstances, the idea of initiating a war is farfetched. Central African Republic Saint Martin 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. 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. CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES ARE HEADING TOWARD A WAR NEITHER WANTS. Copyright © 2020 Geopolitical Futures. Gambia There is the need here for honest brokers, and countries like Singapore can mediate and mitigate tensions. In such a situation, … 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. Lao People's Democratic Republic On Tuesday, President Trump shifted from praising China’s response to COVID-19 to speaking of the ‘Chinese virus’. Tokelau The Truth About the U.S.-China Thucydides Trap George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures July 17, 2020 We remember Thucydides as a historian thanks to … 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. Thucydides Trap; Trump China policy; U.S.-China Competition; U.S.-China conflict; U.S.-China Relations; Xi foreign policy; Xi Jinping; COVID-19 In Asia C. … Lebanon Guinea-Bissau Djibouti Sweden He believed it was the threat, the Spartans felt with the rise of Athens that lead to the two city-states clashing swords. 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 Aaland Islands Yemen Guam Gabon El Salvador In this sense China is secure. And to the China watcher, the process of power consolidation by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, reaching its terminus—with his ideology being written into the party’s constitution in 2017 and term limits being scrapped in 2018—must have represented a sea change in policy away from Deng Xiaoping’s “hide your strength, bide your time,” to a more confident and confrontational one. Kiribati Comoros Micronesia, Federated States of The “Thucydides trap” refers to the theory that when a rising power threatens a ruling power, the result is often war. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. 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. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Iraq Slovakia Qatar As tensions between the US and China rose in 2018, so did discussion of Thucydides’s trap. Niue Jersey (Channel Islands) Croatia More than perhaps any country in the world, China cannot risk a breakdown in the global trading system. But is a 2,400-year-old school of thought really what the U.S. should base its foreign policy on? U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meet in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017. Solomon Islands Turks & Caicos Islands 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. But he is implying more: that China is rising to the point that it can even challenge the United States. Reunion Based on this, it would appear that China wants to avoid the Thucydides Trap. 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. Russia Are China and the US going to be able to escape Thucydides’ Trap? Thucydides’ concerns were recently echoed by Graham Allison in his book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?