The Avoidable War

The Avoidable War

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Kevin Rudd, the former Prime Minister of Australia and deeply knowledgeable China watcher, proposes a way forward for the US and China to avoid a superpower conflict, and offers a chilling vision of what that might look like if it was unleashed.

A war between China and the US would be catastrophic, deadly, and destructive. Unfortunately, it is no longer unthinkable.

The relationship between the US and China, the world's two superpowers, is peculiarly volatile. It rests on a seismic fault of cultural misunderstanding, historical grievance, and ideological incompatibility. No other nations are so quick to offend and be offended. Their militaries play a dangerous game of chicken, corporations steal intellectual property, intelligence satellites peer and AI technicians plot. The capacity for either country to cross a fatal line grows daily.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has studied, lived in, and worked with China for more than forty years, is one of the very few people who can offer real insight into the mindsets of the leadership whose judgement will determine if a war will be fought. The Avoidable War demystifies the actions of both sides, explaining and translating them for the benefit of the other. Geopolitical disaster is still avoidable, but only if these two giants can find a way to coexist without betraying their core interests through what Rudd calls "managed strategic competition". Should they fail, down that path lies the possibility of a war that could rewrite the future of both countries, and the world.

"A lifelong student of China, Kevin Rudd has become one of today's most thoughtful analysts of China's development. The Avoidable War focuses on the signal challenge posed by China's evolution to America and to world order. Can the US and China avoid sleepwalking into a conflict? Rudd offers constructive steps for the two powers to stabilize their relations." HENRY A. KISSINGER