Fac­ing the fu­ture

Fo­rum for co-de­vel­op­ment be­tween China and the US held in Shang­hai

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By Feng Yu and Yao Ji­ay­ing

Afo­rum was held on De­cem­ber 12 to dis­cuss peace­ful co-de­vel­op­ment be­tween China and the US in the new era in Shang­hai. Or­ga­nized by the Shang­hai In­sti­tutes for In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies (SIIS) and Shang­hai Peo­ple’s Pub­lish­ing House (SPPH), the fo­rum also cel­e­brated the pub­lish­ing of the Chi­nese ver­sion of the book Destined for War: Can Amer­ica and China Es­cape Thucy­dides’s Trap? Schol­ars from China and the US, pub­lish­ing house rep­re­sen­ta­tive and lo­cal me­dia at­tended the fo­rum.

“China-US re­la­tions are one of the most im­por­tant bi­lat­eral re­la­tions in the world. I hope this event can help ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion, face the fu­ture and man­age risks,” said Fan Wei­wen, the deputy chief editor of SPPH, which is the pub­lisher of the Chi­nese ver­sion.

Chen Dongx­iao, pres­i­dent of SIIS, be­lieves that whether China and the US can work to­gether to seek peace­ful co-de­vel­op­ment will be of pri­mary im­por­tance for their bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship as well as fu­ture sta­bil­ity.

“We are very proud that we pro­duced this op­por­tu­nity to have this di­a­logue to com­mem­o­rate the 40th an­niver­sary of the for­mal China and US diplo­matic re­la­tion­ship,” Chen added. Chen also pointed out that schol­ars and the me­dia should think whether China and the US have al­ready jumped into the Thucy­dides’s trap? If that’s the case, how can we jump out of the trap?

Dur­ing the fo­rum, Gra­ham Al­li­son, the Dou­glas Dil­lon Pro­fes­sor of Gov­ern­ment at Harvard Univer­sity, gave a keynote speech ref­er­enc­ing his lat­est book, Destined for War: Can Amer­ica and China Es­cape Thucy­dides’s Trap? In Al­li­son’s view, China is a ris­ing and risen power and the im­pact of it is that as China re­al­izes its own dream to “make China great again,” it is dis­plac­ing the US from its ac­cus­tomed po­si­tion at the top of ev­ery peck­ing or­der.

Al­li­son claims that war be­tween China and the US is not in­evitable. “The rea­son why I vis­ited here is to look for ideas about how to es­cape Thucy­dides’s trap and how we can find a way to live with it,” Al­li­son said.

In his book, Al­li­son looks at 500 years of his­tory, find­ing 16 cases of com­pe­ti­tion be­tween a ris­ing power and a rul­ing power, but there was no war in four of these cases. Af­ter an­a­lyz­ing re­la­tions be­tween ma­jor pow­ers in the 21st cen­tury, he put for­ward 12 clues to es­cape Thucy­dides’s trap.

Thucy­dides’s trap

When the Global Times reporter cited the news that Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Meng Wanzhou was ar­rested by Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties and asked whether this case shows China and the US have al­ready jumped into the trap and, if so, how both coun­tries can jump out of the trap, Al­li­son replied that the Huawei case is an ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing ex­am­ple, say­ing Huawei is the Chi­nese cham­pion in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and in the in­ter­net equip­ment space and in par­tic­u­lar in the 5G. Al­li­son used the word “bet” to say that “I be­lieve that things will get worse be­fore they get worse. That’s not my de­sire but my pre­dic­tion.”

“One of the vi­tal na­tional in­ter­ests of the US and China that we share is that we achieve only in co­op­er­a­tion with the other for sur­vival. If we have a war, we both die,” Al­li­son said, adding that the US and China should not sim­ply talk about trade or tar­iffs but about the whole re­la­tion­ship.

Chen Dingding, a pro­fes­sor at the School of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions of Ji­nan Univer­sity and a trans­la­tor of the Chi­nese ver­sion of Al­li­son’s book, agreed, say­ing “ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion is very im­por­tant.”

Pho­tos: VCG and cour­tesy of Shang­hai In­sti­tutes for In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies

Be­low from left: Chen Dongx­iao, pres­i­dent of Shang­hai In­sti­tutes for In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies; Gra­ham Al­li­son, the Dou­glas Dil­lonPro­fes­sor of Gov­ern­ment at Harvard Univer­sity;Al­li­son’s book, the Chi­nese ver­sion

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