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

    China's Minister Warns of 'Unbearable Disaster' in US-PRC Conflict
    Last updated Jun 05, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • 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.
    • He further argued that Beijing and Washington should seek common ground and interests to grow bilateral ties despite having different systems, as both countries have historically benefitted from cooperation and lost from confrontation.
    • This comes a day after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated at the summit that dialogue is a necessity, rather than a reward, expressing his concerns over China's alleged unwillingness to engage "more seriously" on processes to manage crises.
    • The relationships between the US and China have been strained over a range of issues, including Taiwan's democratic status, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and restrictions on semiconductor chip exports imposed by US Pres. Biden.


    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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