Search by Category

Asia Society
Show Data
China and the U.S.: Destined for War?

In 2012, the year he took the reins of power, China’s President Xi Jinping spoke of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” as part of his speech on the “Chinese Dream.” As President Xi pursues that vision in various ways and newly-minted U.S. President Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again,” many believe the two powers are destined for conflict. Why is this? According to distinguished scholar and historian Dr. Graham Allison, the world is witnessing a potentially dangerous iteration of what historians call the “Thucydides Trap,” a period when a rising power like China is able to challenge the ruling global power — in this case, the U.S. Allison’s new book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, argues that in the history of geopolitics this is the 17th instance of the “Trap,” and that most of the previous instances have resulted in war. Are a rising China and a Trump-led United States destined for conflict? What are the pathways to peace — the roads that lead these great powers away from the “Thucydides's Trap”?

Join us for a breakfast discussion with Dr. Allison and the Hon. Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, as they take up one of the most important foreign policy questions of our time.