Joseph Nye: Beware of self-fulfilling prophecies

Joseph Nye writes in the Taipei Times about China's rising power:

China's inability to compete with the US on a global basis does not mean that it could not challenge the US in East Asia, or that war over Taiwan is impossible. Weaker countries sometimes attack when they feel backed into a corner, such as Japan did at Pearl Harbor or China did when it entered the Korean War in 1950.

If, for example, Taiwan were to declare independence, China would likely intervene with armed force, regardless of the perceived economic or military costs. But it would be unlikely to win such a war, and prudent policy on both sides can make such a war unlikely.


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