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Power Transition and U.S.-China Relations: Is War Inevitable?

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Authors
Zhu, Shiqun
Issue Date
2005-06
Publisher
Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.12 No.1, pp. 1-24
Keywords
Power TransitionU.S.-China RelationsInternational SecurityLevels of AnalysisDiplomacy
Abstract
What can U.S.-China interactions since 1990 foretell the trend of this most important bilateral relationship in the 21st century? This article explores whether and how a potential power transition from the United States to China will take place peacefully in the future. Historically power transitions from a dominant nation to a challenger almost always led to wars. While some progress has been made in accounting for the causes and consequences of wars associated with power transitions, little research has been done on the problem of peaceful management of power transitions in the international system.

Theoretically, this research expands the Organskian power transition proposition and advances peace studies by analyzing factors contributing to systemic changes at international, domestic, societal and individual levels. After reviewing the U.S.-China relations since 1990 at all four levels, the author draws a tentative conclusion that a potential power transition from the United States to China is most likely to be peaceful. Policy recommendations are provided for managing this complex relationship in the early decades of the 21st century in order to promote peace and avoid another human tragedy associated with power transition.
ISSN
1226-8550
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/96407
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Journal of International and Area StudiesJournal of International and Area Studies vol.12 (2005)
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