Comments on Peter Van Ness, ANU: “Are China and the US falling into the Thucydides Trap?” 20/08/2017
While the author of the post has presented some good points, it appears that either the critics or the author have probably misrepresented a basic fact. That fact is, among the known nuclear powers, there are both qualitative and quantitative differences to many orders. The US and Russia are the only two nuclear super powers and all others are minuscule by comparison and are no match to those two.
The second point presented by the author of the post states the likelihood of readiness of the US, Russia and China for launching a nuclear attack, that point confused a fact that China is the only country among those three that will not use nuclear weapons first. That is an extremely important point of difference between China and most of other nuclear powers.
Do those two facts make any differences to the risks of war among the known nuclear powers? I bet they do, because it means imbalance of powers among them and that imbalance implies the nuclear super powers can bully others while the opposite is unthinkable.
We have all observed that President Trump has treated Russia and China very differently. That imbalance between the among the US, Russia and China in terms of their nuclear capacities may be a factor in explaining President Trump’s attitudes.
If one incorporates that fact into analysis, one may add an additional point to the risks of potential conflicts between the US and China.