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
Date Written: 2014
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.
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