It has become evident that in the next few years China will surpass the United States economically and is also making huge progress towards closing the gap in military and technological capability. With this in mind, will China's rise will remain peaceful? Or will violence erupt as China upsets the current world order?
China's authoritarian behaviour, poor human rights record, and increasingly aggressive foreign policy make conflict likely.
China is still an authoritarian state
The authoritarian nature of China is in direct opposition to Western democracies and their values around human rights, making conflict between the two increasingly likely.
China's territorial disputes and alliances
China continues to have territorial disputes with its neighbours and military alliances with pariah states.
China cannot co-exist economically with the USA
The trade war between China and the USA is based on a realisation amongst policy officials in America that there is room for only one economic super power in the world.
China has far to much to lose from conflict with the West, particularly direct military engagement with the USA.
China benefits from the rules-based system
China has become one of the largest beneficiaries of the international rules based system and would therefore have little interest in seeing it upended.
China is already ahead in many fields
China is already ahead in many fields, therefore grounds for competition between the West and China are far smaller than analysts suggest.
China’s economy is internationally interconnected
It would not be in China's interest to allow conflict that might jeopardise its industrial base or alienate its burgeoning middle class and rich elite.
This page was last edited on Monday, 6 Apr 2020 at 08:55 UTC