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China-US Trade War: a 21st Century Thucydides Trap?


  • Yuqing Xing

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)


This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the on-going China-US trade war, similar to the Thucydides Trap in terms of competing for global economic dominance. It analyzes what the US attempts to achieve through the trade war and why China has been refusing the reciprocal trade relations urged by President Trump. It also identifies social and economic changes in American society, which motivate President Trump to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese goods. It emphasizes that the trade war is asymmetric and China will definitely suffer more losses than the US if the trade war escalates further. At the end of the paper, it suggests that, to avoid the devastating result of the Thucydides Trap, China should further open its domestic market to American companies and actively pursue negotiations with the US for resolving the dispute.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuqing Xing, 2018. "China-US Trade War: a 21st Century Thucydides Trap?," GRIPS Discussion Papers 18-17, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:18-17

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