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China Rejects the So-Called ‘Thucydides Trap’

Oct. 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—Despite a deluge last week of U.K. and U.S. policy statements labeling China the greatest threat to the “post-war liberal world order,” Sun Yeli, Chinese spokesperson for the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) now underway, refused to accept the premise that conflict between the U.S. and China is inevitable. The United States and China can, and must get along, he insisted, when questioned in a Saturday night press conference in Beijing about growing China-U.S. tensions:

“We have never believed in the so-called ‘Thucydides trap,’ and oppose the logic that a strong country is bound to seek hegemony. We don’t bully others, but we won’t allow others to bully us. The general trend cannot be reversed. No one and no force can stop the historic process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation....

“We believe that the people of China and the U.S. have the wisdom, opportunity and capability to find such a way to get along.”

The United States and China have more interests in common than differences, he remarked, among them economic and trade relations. Bilateral relations should be stabilized, and the two nations should work together on resolving the world’s problems, which is what the international community expects from them, he stressed.

The “Thucydides trap” is the “theory” popularized by American geopolitician Graham Allison, that the war between Athens and Sparta in ancient Greece is proof that if one rising power becomes stronger than a pre-existing power, then conflict is the likely result.

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