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Is the US-China rivalry doomed to fall into the Thucydides Trap, meaning that war between them is inevitable?

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Last week, I covered the development as to why China initially shunned a proposed visit by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to the country. The visit was delayed, but the main points as to why that happened remain and carried over into the subsequent meeting in Tianjin, which mirrored the fiery confrontation that happened in Alaska in March.

In this exchange, China’s deputy foreign minister Xie Feng sternly threw down the law to the US, and his message was clear: China is aggravated by what it perceives as a blatant disrespect for its own interests by a United States who is hell bent on pursuing hegemony and competition against it at all costs.

In the backdrop of all this hostility, Beijing sees Biden’s premise that the US can sometimes “cooperate” with China as shallow and empty rhetoric which does not neutralize or balance the underlying antagonism which Washington vents towards it. Xie proceeded to condemn America for vilifying China as an “imaginary enemy”.

The showdown has led a number of media and political commentators to signify that the relationship between the two countries is locked in a downwards spiral, that the end of Trump was not in fact a game changer, and China is subsequently hardening its resolve, as evidenced by the verbal berating displayed during the meetings.

So where is the US-China relationship heading? And can it be saved? China’s official position is that it is not actually seeking a global rivalry with America, but that Washington is consciously opting for such an antagonistic relationship for a multitude of........

© RT.com

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