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Will China's Rise Lead to War?

Why Realism Does Not Mean Pessimism

Courtesy Reuters

The rise of China will likely be the most important international relations story of the twenty-first century, but it remains unclear whether that story will have a happy ending. Will China's ascent increase the probability of great-power war? Will an era of U.S.-Chinese tension be as dangerous as the Cold War? Will it be even worse, because China, unlike the Soviet Union, will prove a serious economic competitor as well as a geopolitical one?

These issues have been addressed by a wide range of experts -- regionalists, historians, and economists -- all of whom can claim insight into certain aspects of the situation. But China's unique qualities, past behavior, and economic trajectory may well turn out to be less important in driving future events than many assume -- because how a country acts as a superpower and whether its actions and those of others will end in battle

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