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Mutually Assured Restraint: A New Approach for United States-China Relations

Brown Journal of World Affairs, Spring/Summer 2014, Volume XX, Issue 11

15 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2014  

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Distrust between the United States and China has increased in recent years, despite a close connection between the two countries’ economic welfares and an increase in trade between the two nations. To avoid the United States and China falling into the Thucydides trap, in which a dominant power’s fear of a rising power necessarily leads to war, both nations would be well-served by further embracing a strategy of Mutually Assured Restraint (MAR). MAR seeks to inject substance into the vague phrases mouthed by both powers: China ought to have a "new model of major-country relations" with the United States, and the United States seeks to build a “cooperative partnership” with China. MAR is a foreign policy based on mutual respect, a quest for confidence building, and a set of new institutionalized arrangements that would move both powers away from situations that could escalate into major conflicts.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, Mutually Assured Restraint: A New Approach for United States-China Relations (2014). Brown Journal of World Affairs, Spring/Summer 2014, Volume XX, Issue 11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2516958

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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