Here Is Why the US and China Will Not Go to War | Teen Ink

Here Is Why the US and China Will Not Go to War

June 8, 2019
By Robert214 GOLD, Guangzhou, Other
Robert214 GOLD, Guangzhou, Other
11 articles 0 photos 45 comments

Favorite Quote:
Make the best of what is within our power, and take the rest as it occurs. -Epictetus

In 2018, President Trump began to impose high tariffs on China for its alleged unfair trade practices. Until today, the US has slapped tariffs on 250 billion US dollars worth of Chinese goods and even threatened to tariff on 325 billion US dollars or more. In response, China has set tariff on 110 billion US dollars worth of American goods. Meanwhile, the Chinese investment in American businesses has decreased by over 60%. With neither Trump nor Chinese President Xi willing to back down, many doubt whether the trade war will evolve into military conflict.

Here is why a direct military conflict may not take place.

First, the military conflict between the US and China will generate devastating consequences that neither can accept. Both the US and China have been expanding their nuclear programs and testing nuclear weapons in recent years. Once they go to war, they may eventually resort to nuclear weapons, which can destroy the whole world. Also, the conflict between the US and China may escalate into WWIII. The situation now is in fact quite similar to the pre-WWI one—the US and China build up strong alliances with many other countries separately, just like the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente before WWI but in a much larger scale. Do the world leaders want WWIII? I do not think so.

Second, the war will be costly for both countries. The war (if it breaks out) is most likely to take place in South China Sea or Taiwan, where controversies have been going on for long. To counter China, a country with one of the strongest armies in the world, the US cannot solely rely on its military bases in Asia. However, it will be risky for the US to send troops across the Pacific. In addition, Trump has to prepare for the 2020 election. His approval rate in Wisconsin and Michigan—two states critical to his victory in 2016—declined significantly due to the trade war. Conceivably, if Trump decides to go to war with China, people will develop deeper antagonism and vote him out of office in 2020. For China, the war is also undesirable. Protests against the central government occurred repeatedly in Western China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but the government managed to suppress them. Once China get into war with the US, the government risks these regions breaking apart as the war distracts it from suppressing independent movements.

Third, there are plenty of ways to resolve the conflict aside from military conflicts, as long as both countries agree to make compromise. As was the case during Cold War détente, the US and China can link issues to reach agreements that give each more of what it values most. For instance, the US may lessen the restriction on Huawei in exchange for China’s increasing investment in American businesses. In terms of the rising tariffs, as citizens, who are harmed most by the high tariffs, become increasingly unsatisfactory in both countries, they may push the US and China government to lower tariffs. After all, neither country can win the trade war. It is the innocent citizens who pay for the malignant competition between governments. Therefore, the more citizens urge for peace and cooperation, the sooner the US and China will realize the negative impacts of the trade war and thus reach a consensus.

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This article has 2 comments.

Robert214 GOLD said...
on Jan. 17 2020 at 5:15 am
Robert214 GOLD, Guangzhou, Other
11 articles 0 photos 45 comments

Favorite Quote:
Make the best of what is within our power, and take the rest as it occurs. -Epictetus

@SolInvictus76 I would not say the US wins. Both countries lose in the trade war. China loses many economic opportunities, but the US loses its soft power since the trade war is simply another piece of evidence of American hegemony. It is good to see the two states negotiate again.

on Jan. 15 2020 at 12:49 pm
SolInvictus76, Leavenworth, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 70 comments
I think I can say that the United States has won the trade war, as China is finally submitting and open to the First Phase of the trade agreement.