Thursday, January 20, 2022

Cold War offers lessons for managing U.S.-China tensions, scholars argue

Xinhua/Bao Dandan

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Washington, 2 December (2021) - The Cold War may offer some lessons for addressing current tensions between the United States and China, scholars have recently argued.

"The question of whether U.S.-Chinese competition bears much resemblance to the Soviet-American Cold War has become highly contested," Li Chen, associate professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, and Odd Arne Westad, Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University, co-authored in an article published by American magazine Foreign Affairs in late November.

"But most agreed that it offered at least some lessons for managing tensions between the United States and China today," they wrote. "Rather than fixating on disagreements about the analogy, both scholars and policymakers should consider those lessons -- especially when it comes to the essential tasks of facilitating stability and reducing the risk of unnecessary conflict."

The scholars suggested the United States and China should strive toward achieving " a basic level of trust," even as competition between the two sides continues, noting that the two sides "must learn to rely on trustworthy analysis from experts who know the other side well, and to avoid interpreting any friction in terms of worst-case scenarios."

The United States and China, they added, "can both work to better understand the strategic aims of the other side."

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