China's Minister Warns of 'Unbearable Disaster' in US-PRC Conflict

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The Facts

  • In his first major speech since taking on the role, China's Defense Minister General Li Shangfu stated at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore that a US-China war would be an "unbearable disaster" for the world.

  • Li criticized "some countries" for intensifying an arms race and meddling in the internal affairs of others, apparently in a veiled insinuation about the US, adding that the resurgent "Cold War mentality" is raising security risks.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

If the Biden admin. really wants to thaw bilateral relations with Beijing, it should start respecting China's core interests and taking concrete actions to match its words instead of merely engaging in superficial interactions to restore high-level communications. While the US has indeed changed its rhetoric, its true intentions of containing China haven't changed at all.

Anti-China narrative

Though the US has been trying to mend ties with China following months of strained relations, the predicted thaw has been obstructed as Beijing adopts a tougher stance with regard to tech export controls and demands the dropping of sanctions imposed on its officials and companies. If China remains intransigent, pushing to set its own terms to re-engage with the US, cooling tensions will be very difficult.

Nerd narrative

There's an 8% chance that there will be active warfare between the US and China before 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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