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(Global Times) While the world celebrates the consensus between China and the US in calling a truce to their trade spat, international scholars are debating whether the next 10 years of the most important bilateral relations in the world will be defined by conflicts, as shown in their trade war, or their efforts to conquer them. |
For Martin Jacques, a senior fellow with Cambridge University, the China-US relationship was relatively stable for the past 40 years, but that time is over and the reasons are fundamental.
The relationship will be defined by tensions and conflicts for the next 10 years at least, until the US accepts the fact that China is in an equal position with it and that the US is no longer the exclusive No.1 country in the world, Jacques told the Global Times.
"The time of the US as unipolar is over, and we are already in the bipolar time now, but we should not underestimate how difficult it will be for the US to change," said Jacques. Just as the UK cannot let go of its glorious past, the US, as an exceptional power, also finds it difficult to reset itself as it goes into decline, he said.
However, for Douglas Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a special assistant to former US president Ronald Reagan, there are still too many uncertainties to draw this conclusion.
The governments have seen the danger of conflicts and they are willing to compromise and work seriously to address them, he said.
For some scholars, the two big powers must, and will survive this period of conflict, as the price for not doing so is unacceptably high.
"Though China and the US are not born to be partners, they are not born to be enemies," said Zhao Suisheng, professor and director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.
"The rise of China has woken up the competitive DNA of the US. It is impossible for the two to enter a Cold War era, like the US and the Soviet Union did during World War II," said Zhao.
Their interdependency is profoundly strong and the world cannot be split into two camps now, as other countries do not want to, and don't have to choose sides, Zhao said.
Echoing this view, David J. Firestein, the inaugural executive director of The University of Texas at Austin's China Public Policy Center, said the US cannot separate its future from China and the American Dream cannot come true without China.
China also needs a healthy relationship with the US, and they should not "demonize" each other, he said.
The scholars are in Beijing for the Wanshou Dialogue on Global Security from Monday to Wednesday. The event was also attended by government officials, renowned security experts and representatives of peace organizations from more than 20 countries.
Under the theme of global security in the context of major changes, the dialogue is hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament.