Historically, when a new power challenges an existing one, war has occurred six out of seven times. Will the rise of China lead to conflict with the US?
The authors argue that this time is different.
Great power rivalries in history:
1. Spain versus Holland in the 16th century.
2. Holland versus England in the 17th century.
3. Britain versus France in both the 18th and 19th centuries.
4. France and Britain versus Germany in the 20th century.
5. Germany versus Russia in 1914.
6. Germany versus Russia (Soviet Union) in 1941.
7. Soviet Union versus the US and its allies in the Cold War after 1945. Obviously this did not lead to war.
As the balance of power between China and the US, the world’s sole superpower, narrows with China’s rise, many observers fret that armed conflict could ensue. After all, in six out of seven historical cases where a new power has challenged an existing one, war has occurred. But political scientists Jia Qingguo and Richard Rosecrance argue there are reasons to be optimistic that China’s rise will be peaceful.