The Rise of China and the Possibility of Interstate War
Thursday November 15th, 2012
The rise of China as a power player in the international sphere has led many to speculate that China will not only serve as a great challenge for the United States but also the world. The proclamation has been made by many scholars, that the greatest threat to international security lies not in terrorism or even in regional conflict but instead in the longer-term collision of interests between the US and an emerging powerful China (Swaine et. al. 2000. p. 2). “There is a significant difference between a country that takes 30 years to rise and one that takes 300 years. The former requires strategy while the latter depends on mere luck (Xuetong, 2006. p. 5).” Given China’s large territory, vast resources and enormous population this swift growth is not likely to dwindle. The purpose of this essay is to address the following question: will the rise of China as a global power increase the probability of interstate war? In the 21st century, managing the rise of China could possibly be one of the most challenging problems for the US. It would be equally, if not more, challenging for states in Asia that are closer and weaker. China’s relations with many of the countries in the region as well as global powers have historically been plagued with tensions and suspicions. Some of this uneasiness continues today. Concerned states can only speculate as to what China would do with its enhanced power as China’s actions have in the past contradicted their publicly stated positions. Therefore, the argument will be made that given China’s economic rise thus far, its predicted continual rise towards hegemonic status and its historical practice of employing a realist approach to international relations, makes the more widely held view that it is more inclined to engage in aggressive behaviors that could yield an interstate war a valid assumption.
We will begin by...