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Great Power Politics: why China cannot rise peacefully

Been re-listening to a 2012 conference by Prof. John Mearsheimer, of University of Chicago, on why China cannot rise peacefully.

Far from assigning a “good” or “bad” mention to either China or the US, Mearsheimer reminds us that the no.1 goal of any State is survival (one might wander if this still applies to Europe though…) and, in order to do that, one needs to be the “baddest dude on the block” (i.e. a regional hegemon) AND make sure no one else is the baddest dude on their block, in order to guarantee “freedom to roam”.

Question is: how much longer will China allow the US to roam on their block ?

Mearsheimer also reminds us that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander: since the Monroe Doctrine has enabled the US to become that regional hegemon, why then wouldn’t China want to adopt its own Monroe Doctrine ? Then, how does the Belt & Road Intiative fit in this strategic posture ?

Audio of the conference here (Q&A starts at 0:38′): http://web20.uottawa.ca/academic/socialsciences/cepi-cips/Mearsheimer_20121017.mp3

Picture credits: Jerry Lampen/Reuters

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