Like Tree23Likes

Just how likely is a Sino-US conflict?

Reply
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    3,201

    Just how likely is a Sino-US conflict?

    We are seeing now in the news increasing discussion of a "hot" war between China and US because of Trump's deflection of blame for the virus response onto China as well as China's increasingly hardline and aggressive attitude to the world.

    But just how likely is a China-US military conflict? Personally, I would say the possibilities of a full-scale war remain low. Because both Beijing and Washington has a nuclear arsenal, there is MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) if either side resorts to total war to try to defeat the other. Unless either sides are willing to bear the cost of nuclear annihilation, the reality of nuclear weapons will deter Beijing and Washington from going all out to destroy the other.

    But a lower-scale conflict over Taiwan or in the South China Sea remains a more probable scenario. But even then, that is not very likely. Heated political rhetoric aside, the military balance on the ground has not fundamentally changed much. There is nothing to provoke either side from destablizing the situation in an attempt to seize a decisive victory. China is not happy with Tsai in Taiwan of course, but irritation at Tsai's successful response to the coronavirus notwithstanding, so far there is nothing Tsai has done to be so beyond the pale that would trigger a Chinese military response. The US has also watched with growing concern in recent years over China's expanding control of the South China Sea. The US Navy has stepped up sea patrols around Chinese claimed islands in response, but again, even in those cases, both the US Navy and the PLA Navy have been restrained and are keen to avoid any intentional or accidental clash.

    Which leaves politically engineered conflict as the other remaining possibility. Either Trump or Xi can provoke a conflict to deflect blame and attention from their domestic problems. Trump wants diversion from the focus on his incompetent response over the the virus. Xi wants diversion from his initial cover-up of the outbreak. Of course, there will be potentially heavy cost and consequences to this for both sides as well, but if Trump and Xi are desperate to cling to power and they see the fate of their country as secondary to their primary concern to retain individual power, then that scenario can't be ruled out. With the way the world is going, I am not so sure I can dismiss this scenario as easily as the ones above.

    So what do you think? A China-US conflict likely or not?

    Last edited by Coolboy; 20-05-2020 at 10:51 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    ???
    Posts
    32,122

    Depends...

    But it's unlikely at this point ... seriously unlikely. Needless to say it does make for good speculative conversation.

    https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/...825408?lang=en


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    3,201
    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    Depends...

    But it's unlikely at this point ... seriously unlikely. Needless to say it does make for good speculative conversation.

    https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/...825408?lang=en
    Hehehe, I love that twitter post...those words could bite back at Trump...not that his supporters will care.

    Getting back to topic, agree, in the whole scheme of things, a China-US hot war appears unlikely. Still, I can't rule out that possibility, after all, six months ago a global pandemic that will halt the world economy also seem very unlikely. But now that is reality.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    7

    Not sure how that would work out for China, given that many of the the cadres children, property and bank accounts are in the US.

    Coolboy and Taxmyass like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    698

    someone wrote a book about this?

    Destined for War: Can America and China escape Thucydides's Trap..

    https://www.amazon.com/Destined-for-...9943519&sr=8-1


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    3,201
    Quote Originally Posted by nivek2046:
    someone wrote a book about this?

    Can America and China escape Thucydides's Trap..

    https://www.amazon.com/Destined-for-...9943519&sr=8-1
    I'll be surprised if there hasn't been books written about this. But even so, I'll like to hear your personal opinion on the topic based on recent events.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    ???
    Posts
    32,122
    Quote Originally Posted by Insomnia:
    Not sure how that would work out for China, given that many of the the cadres children, property and bank accounts are in the US.
    And apparently a lot of US politician's kids run consultancies and have business interests, including manufacturing in China. Both the countries should get a room and sort out their shit ...

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    3,201
    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    And apparently a lot of US politician's kids run consultancies and have business interests, including manufacturing in China. Both the countries should get a room and sort out their shit ...
    This is actually a very enlightening point. Some media commentators are saying there is going to be a new cold war between China and the US. But the Soviet Union and the US had minimal linkages in economic and social ties during the Cold War. Not so between China and the US. Trump's trade war notwithstanding, there is a huge volume of commerce between the two countries that wasn't there for the Soviet Union. Which means a simple explanation of a new Cold War between Beijing and Washington doesn't quite capture the whole picture.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    a sunny un spoilt paradise
    Posts
    7,216
    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboy:
    We are seeing now in the news increasing discussion of a "hot" war between China and US because of Trump's deflection of blame for the virus response onto China as well as China's increasingly hardline and aggressive attitude to the world.

    But just how likely is a China-US military conflict? Personally, I would say the possibilities of a full-scale war remain low. Because both Beijing and Washington has a nuclear arsenal, there is MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) if either side resorts to total war to try to defeat the other. Unless either sides are willing to bear the cost of nuclear annihilation, the reality of nuclear weapons will deter Beijing and Washington from going all out to destroy the other.

    But a lower-scale conflict over Taiwan or in the South China Sea remains a more probable scenario. But even then, that is not very likely. Heated political rhetoric aside, the military balance on the ground has not fundamentally changed much. There is nothing to provoke either side from destablizing the situation in an attempt to seize a decisive victory. China is not happy with Tsai in Taiwan of course, but irritation at Tsai's successful response to the coronavirus notwithstanding, so far there is nothing Tsai has done to be so beyond the pale that would trigger a Chinese military response. The US has also watched with growing concern in recent years over China's expanding control of the South China Sea. The US Navy has stepped up sea patrols around Chinese claimed islands in response, but again, even in those cases, both the US Navy and the PLA Navy have been restrained and are keen to avoid any intentional or accidental clash.

    Which leaves politically engineered conflict as the other remaining possibility. Either Trump or Xi can provoke a conflict to deflect blame and attention from their domestic problems. Trump wants diversion from the focus on his incompetent response over the the virus. Xi wants diversion from his initial cover-up of the outbreak. Of course, there will be potentially heavy cost and consequences to this for both sides as well, but if Trump and Xi are desperate to cling to power and they see the fate of their country as secondary to their primary concern to retain individual power, then that scenario can't be ruled out. With the way the world is going, I am not so sure I can dismiss this scenario as easily as the ones above.

    So what do you think? A China-US conflict likely or not?
    If the USA and China continue to play chicken and neither swerves, then yes, military conflict is going to get hot, very hot!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    1,287

    IMO, full scale nuclear war unlikely but don't awaken the sleeping giant (look what happened to Japan after Pearl Harbor). Chinese culture is to push and push and push and lack of or tepid response is seen as a sign of weakness when in fact the West prefers diplomacy. But don't underestimate the US response or its will to inflict punishment in retribution. Flashpoints especially are cybertheft (which really should be an act of war IMO) and continued encroachment and militarization in the S. China Sea. Invasion of Taiwan or damage to other allies would be very regrettable IMO.


Reply
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast