How the US and China can avoid war

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in a photo taken in November 2017. Just as careful diplomacy is required in military matters, it is also integral to Am
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in a photo taken in November 2017. Just as careful diplomacy is required in military matters, it is also integral to America's economic relations with China.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The China menace looms large in Washington. A critical review of assumptions is needed.

Within about 15 years, China's economy will surpass America's and become the largest in the world. As this moment approaches, meanwhile, a consensus has formed in Washington that China poses a significant threat to American interests and well-being.

General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), has said that "China probably poses the greatest threat to our nation by about 2025". The summary of America's 2018 National Defence Strategy claims that China and Russia are "revisionist powers" seeking to "shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 27, 2019, with the headline 'How the US and China can avoid war'. Print Edition | Subscribe