US, China heading toward face-off, says Mearsheimer

US, China heading toward face-off, says Mearsheimer
John J. Mearsheimer

If China continues to grow economically and militarily, the possibility of armed conflict in Asia will grow as countries such as Japan and the US step up their security efforts, says John J. Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

The American scholar and author said he came to this conclusion after conducting copious research on how the world's great powers have behaved throughout history. In a recent interview with The Nikkei, Mearsheimer discusses the impact of China's rise, whether conflict is inevitable and how a confrontation can be avoided.

Q: How will China's rise impact regional and international security from a long-term perspective?

A: I think that if China continues to grow economically, in a very impressive way, that it will translate that economic might into military might and it will try to dominate the region here in East Asia, much the way the United States dominates the Western Hemisphere. China will try to make sure that it is by far the most powerful state and that it dominates countries like Japan.

Q: If China tries to dominate Asia and challenge the hegemonic power of the US in the region, can it coexist peacefully with other nations, or will there be conflict?

A: If China continues to rise and tries to dominate the region, the United States and Japan will go to great lengths to make sure that China does not dominate the region. Both Japan and the United States will work together; they'll work closely together to try to contain China. The United States has no interest in sharing power with China. The United States is a jealous God. The United States prefers to be the most powerful state in East Asia and to do everything it can to maintain the present order in East Asia. It does not want a situation where China dominates the region.

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