The Avoidable War: An Alternative Future for U.S.-China Relations

ASPI Initiative

Donald J. Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit

U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a bilateral meeting during the G20 Summit in Germany on July 8, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead / Flickr)

In recent years, China and the United States have begun drifting toward crisis, conflict, and even war. While there may be great forces of history steadily driving them in this direction, such a war is avoidable. A major conflict between the two biggest economies and military powers would be catastrophic for both, and for the rest of the world. Such a confrontation would also cripple the already fragile global order, similar to what took place in after the First World War—“the war to end all wars”—when the international order disappeared altogether.

The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) seeks an alternative future for the United States and China, and seeks to build it through intensive research and consultations with the national political, policy and business elites of both countries. This is a critical task, because in the absence of a framework for managing differences, the ongoing shift in the balance of global power will create major instability and challenges for both countries, the Asia Pacific, and beyond.


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Kevin Rudd writes about the increasingly unpredictable dynamics in Sino-American relations.
Kevin Rudd's interview with The Asahi Shimbun about China's rise and what it means for Japan, the U.S., and Australia.
Kevin Rudd writes about U.S.-China relations in the aftermath of Trump and Xi's meeting at G20.
Kevin Rudd's speech on the future of the U.S.-China trade war after the G20 meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi.
Kevin Rudd tackles the question: Can China and the United States avoid a war?
Kevin Rudd's speech to the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia.
ASPI President Kevin Rudd says we are at the the very beginning of the deep reappraisal of Chinese long-term strategy towards the United States.

ASPI Staff