A+| A| A-

The United States Must Come Out of the Mahanian Trap

.

The Thucydides and Kindleberger Traps are the “traps” in vogue that explain the likely outbreak of hostilities between a rising China and a sliding United States (US). While the Thucydides Trap highlights the inevitability of war between the two powers due to their growing misunderstandings, the Kindleberger Trap pertains to how war between the two can be averted by the rising power’s greater involvement in “supply of public goods that the power in eclipse is no longer able to provide” (Kuo 2017).

The Thucydides Trap is more popular in American strategic circles because it helps instil an element of fear in China. It makes China divert its attention and resources away from economics and towards security. The Kindleberger Trap has not gained much traction among hawks or doves in the US foreign policy establishment because it provides leeway to Beijing to expand its investment drive under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Washington and its allies often “sneer” or “blithely cheer” at the BRI, hardly willing to acknowledge the Chinese investments under the “public good” category (Kuo 2017). The American realists, threatened by the prospect of the re-emergence of Eurasian transportation links and their impact on the maritime order, have launched a relentless campaign against Chinese investments in South Asia, Africa, and Central Asia along the BRI route. Marxist terminology—debt trap, predatory, imperial, comprador—is being liberally thrown around to describe Chinese investments.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 28th Jan, 2019

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

India’s unwillingness to tactically manipulate escalation makes its responses predictable and has led to strategic inertia most evident in the...

As the ongoing negotiations bet­ween India and China fail to end the impasse in Ladakh, the de­ma­nd for New Delhi to play the “Tibet card” to...

India had the military ability to evict the intrusions in Ladakh or carry out a quick grab action of its own in the early stages of the crisis....

As foreign offices around the world try to make sense of the disruption in United States–China relations, it is useful to step back and see where...

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sino–American relations have hit a new low. Both the countries are engaged in a propaganda war against...

As a bio-security crisis brings the world to a brink, the dominant neo-liberal vision of world order must be displaced by a humane globalism and...

There is very little to distinguish between the foreign policy of Jawaharlal Nehru and Narendra Modi. Both are equally aligned with America to...

Back to Top