The renowned American political scientist Christopher Lane is convinced that the United States and China, fueled by the competition for international status and prestige, are headed for an inevitable clash. His article was published in Foreign Affairs magazine.
The author of the material notes the striking similarity of the current confrontation between the two great powers with the Anglo-German antagonism before the First World War. Two empires claimed a leading role in the world. Britain viewed Germany’s growing military and economic power as a threat. London’s liberal views also contradicted German political culture, with its emphasis on Prussian autocracy and militarism.
Lane believes that the First World War began because the dominant state – Great Britain – felt the loss of its hegemony in favor of Germany. Even close economic and cultural ties did not become an obstacle to sliding into direct military confrontation between these empires.
China and the United States are in a similar situation, Lane is convinced. This is evidenced by the desire of the two powers to weaken economic relations, and the growing tension in East Asia.
“In order to avoid a war with China, the United States, apparently, should adjust its guarantees to Taiwan and recognize the Chinese policy towards the island,” the political scientist writes.
Americans should also acknowledge that liberal values are not universal and stop condemning China’s policies in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, the author said.
However, he is convinced that the United States will not take such a step, because it would mean recognizing the end of Washington’s dominance in the world. In addition, unlike the USSR and the United States, which had a consensus on zones of influence, Washington and Beijing have sharply different views on who will dominate the East China and South China Seas, as well as Taiwan. According to the political scientist, the regional hegemony of Beijing is not the reason that should push to a war with it.
Lane believes that even the nuclear arsenal of the two countries will not become a deterrent in a new war, because with the advent of advanced technologies and low-yield atomic warheads, strikes can be delivered precisely to avoid “apocalyptic” destruction.
“The question of whether the United States will be able to peacefully cede its dominance in East Asia and recognize China as an equal great power remains open. If Washington does not do this, it will find itself on the path of a war that will make the military disasters in Vietnam pale in comparison.” Afghanistan and Iraq, “the author of the article concluded.