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US, China Relations Reach Point of No Return?

© Flickr / U.S. Pacific FleetLittoral combat ship USS conducts routine patrols in international waters of the South China Sea
Littoral combat ship USS conducts routine patrols in international waters of the South China Sea - Sputnik International
Relations between the US and China will inevitably lead to a tipping point, irrespective of the manner in which both the countries will be able to resolve conflicts that arise either militarily or diplomatically.

China offers its concept of strategic stability between Beijing and Washington – “a new model of relations between big countries,” which implies mutual respect for political systems and the national interests of the two states, wrote Ryan Pikrell, a researcher at the Central China Normal University in Wuhan, for The National Interest.

“The adoption of the new model will create a favorable environment for the development of China — this will enable Beijing to become the dominant power in Asia, without conflict between the superpowers,” the article says.

US Navy amphibious assault vehicles with Philippine and US troops on board maneuver in the waters during a combined exercise in the South China Sea. - Sputnik International
How Will China Respond if US Patrols the S China Sea?
In the United States, in turn, it is believed that ‘the new model’ does not meet US national interests — this issue was one of the main ones on the agenda when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the US.

“To agree on the proposed strategic geopolitical adversary will result in the restrictions of the US hegemony which would mean sacrificing part of its strength and influence,” the expert believes.

America’s approach to Sino-American strategic stability is to have China and the United States focus on cooperation and agree to avoid letting competition in one area affect cooperation and collaboration in others. The most dangerous problem for Beijing and Washington, according to Pikrella are territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

“For China, because of its history, territorial sovereignty issues implicate regime survival in a way that transcends all other quarrels and disagreements. The United States, on the other hand, views China’s territorial claims and actions to bolster those claims as Chinese expansionism, aggression against American allies and strategic partners,” The National Interest wrote.

Pikrella further said that this may be a game of muscle, but even in this case, the clash of interests between Beijing and Washington in the South China Sea is like a “zero-sum game that increases the likelihood of conflict. For China the potential sphere of influence is at stake, whereas for the United States it is a liberal order and American hegemony,” the analyst said.

According to him, in this situation, the conflict cannot be resolved without harming the interests of any party and given the degree of decisiveness in the United States and China, as well as taking into account their commitment to their course, it can be concluded, that the crisis has already passed the point of no return.

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