May 26, 2023
Thucydides Trap: are America and China destined for war?
This past week, the G7 - the group of the world’s richest democracies - gathered in Japan to discuss Ukraine, Russia, global affairs, and their increasing concerns about a rising power looking out at them from over the water: China.
This was some of the sternest wording from the G7, and China dismissed it as a smear.
But the West also doesn’t want to completely antagonise and cut off China, with the Australian Prime Minister saying lessons had to be learnt from history.
So, are we entering a new Cold War, where conflict is avoided but tensions remain? Or are we not far off from a catastrophic war?
On today’s episode, I speak to Graham Allison, a former member of Bill Clinton’s defence department and one of the preeminent national security voices in America. He speaks to me about his historical theory called Thucydides Trap, where throughout the past a rising power has often come to blows with an established one. Will China and America go the same way?
Producer: Freya Pickford