Switzerland Cote D'Ivoire Jacek Bartosiak, who wrote of the Thucydides trap for us last week, is never simplistic, but I think he is wrong in some respects. The U.S. should re-think its turn towards a go-it-alone approach, while China must step up. Palestine Vanuatu It has a significant military, but that military’s hands are tied until China eliminates its existential vulnerability: dependence on exports. Panama If there is a “Thucydides Trap,” it is the trap of hubris, which great powers fall into over and over again. He believed it was the threat, the Spartans felt with the rise of Athens that lead to the two city-states clashing swords. China’s fear is maritime – isolation from world markets. It was coined and is primarily used to describe a potential conflict between the United States and the People's Republic of China. 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. Montserrat Malta It’s true that China is a rising power, but as I said, it’s rising from the Maoist era. Turks & Caicos Islands If there is a “Thucydides Trap,” it is the trap of hubris, which great powers fall into over and over again. Guinea The fear might be wholly justified, or it might not be justified at all (or somewhere in between). It cannot expose its forces to massive Chinese ground forces. by Author(s): Robert B. Zoellick. 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. Bahrain Venezuela Mozambique Jordan The “Thucydides trap” refers to the theory that when a rising power threatens a ruling power, the result is often war. North Korea Oman In such a situation, … Similarly, there is no reason to believe that Trump desires military conflict with China. Isle of Man 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.” As China increases its global commitments, it should embrace transparency, articulate its intentions clearly and ensure that its words and actions are consistent. Jacek Bartosiak, who wrote of the Thucydides trap for us last week, is never simplistic, but I think he is wrong in some respects. Mauritania Liechtenstein Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba 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”. 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. COVID-19 is the latest in a series of factors that are dissolving common interests, worsening strategic stresses, and pushing America and China into what Allison calls the ‘Thucydides trap’. The Thucydides Trap leads us to believe a U.S.-China war is inevitable. Somalia New Caledonia Paraguay Solomon Islands Eritrea Wallis and Futuna Islands Israel China's Peaceful Rise and the Thucydides Trap China first proposed a “peaceful rise” as early as by the end of 2003. Lao People's Democratic Republic Taiwan In truth, what Thucydides said about democracies and oppressive regimes was far more sophisticated and complex than a simplistic slogan invoked by defeatists. The United States is achieving a tactical advantage because it is imposing a confrontation at a moment when China still finds itself not strong enough for open struggle. Aaland Islands Turkmenistan Dominica Grenada 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. San Marino Thucydides’s Trap teaches us that on the historical record, war is more likely than not. 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. In the Thucydides trap metaphor, China is Athens and America is Sparta. It suggests that a war is likely to happen when an emerging power, say, a ranked number 2 power (#2), threatens to displace an existing hegemon (#1). 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. Bermuda Benin 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. Antarctica Athens’ rise was a necessary but insufficient condition for war; human emotion played an essential part, too. Country 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.” United States of America South Africa Burundi Montenegro 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. Denmark Northern Mariana Islands 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 This was widely said in the early stages of World War II and repeated throughout the Cold War. 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. Sierra Leone Lesotho David Yu Contributor. Lebanon But this is one of the great defects of military analysis: counting the hardware. If only one of China’s littoral nations allied with it, China’s strategic problem might be solved. Cameroon Indonesia Thucydides was a fifth century BC Greek philosopher. 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. Hong Kong The Thucydides Trap tells exactly of this danger: A rising power like China, eager to assert itself at the expense of a ruling power like America, precipitates a conflict between the two. 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. Republic of Kosovo 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. St. Helena But the United States has even more devastating options. 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’. St. Pierre and Miquelon Timor-Leste Marshall Islands If the U.S. simply bought fewer Chinese products, Washington would damage China without firing a shot. Maybe that’s true. While we've recognized these pitfalls for a long time, we now have an official term for at least one of them. Based on this, it would appear that China wants to avoid the Thucydides Trap. Egypt Kuwait This phenomenon is as old as history itself. Virgin Islands (U.S.) Christmas Island 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. Greenland Vatican City State (Holy See) The two countries’ strongest trading and economic interdependence has proven unable to prevent a political standoff between Washington and Beijing. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Armenia Are the U.S. and China headed there? Falkland Islands On Tuesday, President Trump shifted from praising China’s response to COVID-19 to speaking of the ‘Chinese virus’. 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. Brunei Darussalam Equatorial Guinea Does the rise of China mean an end to US supremacy and a risk of major war? U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) meet in Hamburg, Germany in July 2017. You may opt-out by. Czech Republic Syria Canada Mali I write about Chinese political economy, capital markets and investments. Comoros Slovakia Cape Verde I am the only Senior ISTAT Aviation Appraiser in N. Asia and China. The United States needs only to remain in position to fire cruise missiles or lay mines. 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. In this sense China is secure. China must have access to global markets, which depends overwhelmingly on the ports of its east coast. Bahamas security, financial stability) or risk the collapse of the system which enabled its rise. Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? 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 We remember Thucydides as a historian thanks to his documentation of the Peloponnesian War, but we often forget that he was also a philosopher. Slovenia He is certainly correct if by rising he means it has surged since Mao Zedong died. I travel extensively and have worked in 10 countries and have been based in China for the last 10 years. Yes, it’s risen faster, further on more dimensions than any country ever in history, and therefore has arrived. Mongolia 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. American Samoa History is littered with examples of things that seemed like good ideas at the time, but that turned out to be disastrous. Liberia Zambia Engineering is part of war but not its essence. Angola Pitcairn Thucydides’ concerns were recently echoed by Graham Allison in his book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? 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. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines As the economic pie shrinks and inequality widens, governments may reach for the opiate of nationalism to give the masses. Spain 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. Yes, China has grown, but its growth has made it a hostage to its foreign customers. For all its hardware and technology, it has not fought a naval battle since 1895 (which it lost). Costa Rica Barbados Pakistan Guadeloupe Bangladesh Belize Dominican Republic USA Minor Outlying Islands Bolivia Western Sahara Iran You can draw upon the PPT slides as well, but do not simply copy them. Anguilla Haiti Cayman Islands Greek historian Thucydides wrote about the Peloponnesian war. 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. In truth, what Thucydides said about democracies and oppressive regimes was far more sophisticated and complex than a simplistic slogan invoked by defeatists. Tuvalu Swaziland In 2015, Harvard political scientist and professor Graham Allison identified a scenario he calls the Thucydides Trap. British Indian Ocean Territory Iceland Palau United Arab Emirates Morocco Tunisia Albania Global multilateral organizations should also be strengthened, while issues like climate change should be focused on as rallying points. U.S., China and Thucydides. The difference is massive. 2-3 pages single spaced. Madagascar Peru Open lines of communication must be maintained—it was disconcerting to learn, anecdotally, that there are few bilateral working groups across all levels of government, down from around 60 just three years ago. French Southern Territories 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. 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. It’s on this point that I disagree with Jacek. 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. 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. The U.S. can’t invade mainland China or conquer it. Are China and the US going to be able to escape Thucydides’ Trap? The problem is that Russia’s focus must be on its west and on the Caucasus. Uganda The USA and China are now entangled in the Thucydides Trap; this is the entire story. Mexico Australia Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Guernsey Russia Hungary To keep these in check, the U.S. and China should not aim for zero disagreement, but agree on how to disagree. Afghanistan Vietnam Chile 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’. Cocos (Keeling) Islands Suriname Ethiopia Doing so might hurt the U.S. but not existentially. France Turkey Gambia The Truth About the U.S.-China Thucydides Trap George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures July 17, 2020 We remember Thucydides as a historian thanks to … Papua New Guinea 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. Malawi Ukraine Algeria In the U.S. military, I have noted people rolling their eyes when they hear about the superweapons being produced. 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. Thucydides’ concerns were recently echoed by Graham Allison in his book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? Croatia Cambodia The closer you are to weapons development, the more you are aware of its shortcomings. Heard and Mc Donald Islands 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. He is certainly correct if by rising he means it has surged since Mao Zedong died. I am a senior investment professional at Neo-Criterion Capital, a fund management house focused on pan-China public equities. 2-3 pages single spaced. As tensions between the US and China rose in 2018, so did discussion of Thucydides’s trap. China has no tradition of naval warfare to compare to its experience on land. Asia. 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. I write about cross-border investing and financing, aviation and PE/VC.