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The Instigator
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The Contender
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Are we in Thucydides Trap with China?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 897 times Debate No: 109922
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




# This is for the DDOlympics -- Competition-- Debate individual

Round 2

I will argue we are in a Thucydides Trap with China right now.

This first round is Acceptance only!!!!

In the second round, i will give out my reasons why we are in one. Then you will give out your reasons why we are not in one.

From there we will rebuttal our arguments.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


In this debate i will focus on the reason why we are in a Thucydides trap. But i will show my opponent and the viewer that we are headed in this process. In some cases we already in the early stages of this trap. Big wars runs in cycles, like in American history, The American Revolution, the Civil War, WW1 and WW2. This can be research in the Thucydides trap. There been 16 cases of this happening in the last 500 years. 12 of them went to war. "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" By Graham T. Allison. Wars happen because countries challenge the dominance power, over trade, territorial areas, military, and economy. We seeing the islands china made is challenging the US dominant in the Pacific. The raising military china is having, our trade dispute with china is creating huge problems.

The North Korea part.

Keep in mind the threats of war is low just for the moment. Because trump stop the military exercises because of the Olympics. So the North return the favor. By not testing any missiles and made nice with the South for now. But (1)"South Korea says talks to hold postponed military drill with U.S. moving forward" so this will give the excuse for the North to keep testing. And they will for sure test another icbm. Trump main goal is to defuse the north form having any kind of nuke that could hit the mainland of the US. (2) "Trump Seriously Considering a Military Strike Against North Korea" so trump making a miscalculations on his behalf. And going to risk a war with China at the process. (3) "China has staged military drills near North Korea in a defiant warning to Washington and Seoul that it will uphold a "balance of power", a military expert said, amid ongoing US-South Korean war games. China threats should be met with seriously. Thinking otherwise is a mistake.

The coming trade war with China

(4) "If President Trump follows through on his oft-repeated promise to get tough with Beijing on trade". (5)"there will be pain for U.S. exporters" should Trump levy trade sanctions on China, said David Loevinger, a former senior Treasury Department official". So really this is just the beginning. It could escalate to a full blow trade war later on this year. (6) "President Trump signed an executive memorandum Monday afternoon". Again all signs point toward a trade war with China. You think this will help good relations between the two countries?

China military rising

"The West no longer has a monopoly on world-leading defence innovation' (7)
"China's modernisation of its armed forces is proceeding faster than many analysts expected."(8) China has Hypersonic Railgun and doing an experiment on a Nuclear salted Bombs. They already tested the most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile known as the DF-41. (9) and (10)." This is already an arm race between the two countries. This will further distance our countries and lead to more mistrust and even miscalculations on either sides.

Territorial areas, such as South China Sea

"China has built seven new military bases in South China Sea, US navy commander says" (11) There"s also a more important day-to-day military outposts allow China to dramatically extend its strategic reach from its southern shores down to Indonesian waters, creating a new strategic status quo and a Chinese sphere of influence. Beijing, in other words, is seeking to become the dominant military power in this part of the world with a capacity to prevent, deny or veto other countries from accessing these waters. This will affect trade routes and military power in this part of the globe.


Their another clashed point and that's Taiwan. China and the US Will be at war if thing don't go right over there.
"US risks retaliation with defence talks on Taiwan, Chinese analysts warn"(12)

Graham T. Allison, wrote in his book
"Destined for War" isn't guaranteeing a war would happen between the US and China. It was meant to warn the general public and world leaders. That there is danger, if the two sides don't get along. He did point out both could avoid war, if they could find common ground. But the way both countries are dealing with each other. This is where we are headed toward a war. The North Korea crisis is the most likely out comes to engage in a shooting war. At least in the short term. Even if nothing happen in the North Korea crisis. Both still headed for more tension between them. Mistrust and misunderstanding could lead to" miscalculations on both sides.














I would like to thank my opponent for an interesting topic. I wish my opponent good luck in this debate and in the DDOlympics!

Many in America consider the failed labor policies and foreign policies to be the fault of others, China seems to get the brunt of this sentiment. I wil hopefully show the reader and my opponent that many of the bad sentiments that Americans have against Chinese policy actually stem from problems that Americans caused themselves.

+North Korea
The Chinese government is North Korea's only remaining ally which has increasingly become a problem for China because virtually every other country on earth is not sympathetic to North Korea's increasing belligerence. One thing most Americans overlook is the fact that we caused the problem to begin with. After ww2, Korea was embattled in a civil war which Russia and China were heavily involved in. Simply because Russia and China were involved, America felt the need to get involved with a civil war that had nothing to do with them. A civil war that technically hasn't ended, and has divided the peninsula in half. Now America feels the need to continue to protect South Korea, simply for the sake of not looking weak to the rest of the world, meanwhile the American taxpayers have to pay to keep military equipment and personal in a country that has nothing to do with us. As an American taxpayer, I don't care if the rest of the world thinks we're weak, I could buy my pride back with the taxes I could save by not having our military in Korea.

+The golden age of piracy is NOW!!!!
Gone are the days of swashbuckling peglegs with parots on their shoulders, the modern pirate has GPS, machine guns, and ultra fast interception boats. Every trading country has a stake in the safety of international waters, including China. These manmade islands are the latest technological advancement in fighting piracy. Yes, China has asserted thier authority over international waters to a point that the US isn't willing to accept, but recognizing that China has a stake in the safety of international waters will help cool heads to prevail.

Trade War, really!?!
American labor is expensive and it raises the cost of all American made products. Americans for some reason like to point the finger at China for having cheap labor and devaluing their money, but they are an independent country who can do what they want with their own economic policies. If Americans are unwilling to get rid of minimum wage requirements and actually compete with other countries for business, then our labor policy will continue to cause high prices for American made products and Chinese made products will be the obvious choice for American consumers.

It is my belief that we are not headed for war with China. America doesn't need to dictate the labor policies of an independent foreign nation!
Debate Round No. 2


I wanted to than thank Smooosh for accepting this debate. Now i will go over why we are in a Thucydides"s Trap, and rebuttal my opponent arguments.

First i will go over my opponent arguments.

The North Korea part 2

"Americans overlook is the fact that we caused the problem to begin with". Rather this is true or not is beside the point. Yes the problem been building since the early 1990's. Past Presidents didn't do anything to solve this problem. But now it almost to the point of war. And if trump decided to attack first he will be risking China stepping in. Do you think this isn't a big issue? And it not just looking weak in front of the world. Either though it part of it. We need South Korra to keep spreading Democratic influence over there, and try to have some kind of containment over China. But that pretty much a waste of time now. But the US benefit from a good South Korea. It's a feel good story, for the US. "The economy of South Korea is the 4th largest in Asia and the 11th largest in the world." (23) South Korea sell INTEGRATED CIRCUITS, Cars, food, and other things. So it important to protect South Korea, and to have some eye looking at China for balance of power.
Actually this situation here with the US and North Korea is comparable to the Cuban missile crisis. Why? Because both could kill millions, and both could place millions more misplace, and both could trigger other countries stepping in. You haven't mention why China would not step in this situation to help North Korea.
"I don't care if the rest of the world thinks we're weak" this is not a good way to Think on this issue. We need our military to be strong, even more now than ever.

"China has a stake in the safety of international waters will help cool heads" what proof to you have on this? China having military bases on these islands isn't for safety. If anything it would help them better strategies in event of a war, Like with the US. China having these man-made islands is challenging the dominant power of the US in the Pacific. Not for safety of international waters. In fact "United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS is widely regarded by international law specialists as the constitution of the world"s oceans and both China and the Philippines have signed and ratified the convention." (24) but China has disapprove their decision. China want control, over there and it not for safety. When ever having military bases mean for safety?

Trade war part 2

"A trade war between US and China will hurt not only Chinese manufacturers, but also upstream suppliers and downstream distributors such as US retailers. Per China's Ministry of Commerce, the final US retail price of imported Chinese goods can be several times of their imports prices." (25) Economy will always play a big part between having wars or not having wars. Trump is intent on having a trade war with China, which in one of Allison points, would lead to a trap.
China is playing the korea card, meaning they do have a lot of influence over there. With China having at least 90% trade with the north. Which is a pretty big factor in all of this. Their are many experts who believe we are in on or going in to a trade war. You haven't prove anything thing yet. Just saying really? Yet showing nothing against us going in to one.

One more piece of evidence
The Doomsday

Now it's only 2 minutes toward midnight.(26) is more of a guide on where things stand in the world and why. Yes sometime it get it wrong. Because it only do it once a year. But that doesn't mean we can't take it lightly. Beside it never hit midnight. Because if it had we probably wouldn't be here. So we should be lucky it didn't go off and hit midnight yet. But will we be lucky in the near future?

You may believe we not going in to a war. But the evidence is gaining traction on the path we are in right now. All the sides are there for us to get in a heated shooting war with China. It take years and misunderstanding. And that lead to miscalculations and this what we are having here. Both countries are in a collision course, rather you see it or not. Doesn't mean we not, just because you don't see it. But i have show proof and patterns on why we are headed toward war. You still haven't said anything on the flashpoints, like Taiwan, the growing arm race, the war Cycles, and barely mention the North Korea part.







The North Korean "problem" has not been building since the 1990s, its been an ongoing issue since the 1950s. Many presidents have tried taking a hard or even aggressive stance toward North Korea. My opponent has yet to show how the aggressive actions of the current president are somhow more concerning than the actions of past presidents. Furthermore, if North Korea were to luanch an unprovoked attack against any country, it's unlikely China will stand behind North Korea just for the sake of standing behind an old ally, an increasingly erratic ally at that. China seems to have growning concerns over the North Koreans behavior too!

My opponent asks when have military bases been for safety? All military bases are for safety!!!! It seems my opponent is a little bit of an alarmist. Why are we supposed to be more concerned about America's relationship with China now as opposed to when China cut diplomatic ties with the US during the Clinton administration? My civics teacher told us that we were going to war back then too.

My opponent claims that my view that I don't care if the rest of the world thinks we're weak, is not a good view. Personally, I think it's a perfectly good view (even if it's a tad biased). It seems to me that we've always needed our military to be strong now more so than ever, and it seems to never fix any problems whenever we have that additude (which is always). I also do not care about keeping South Korean liberty safe. As far as I'm concerned, if they can't fight for and gain freedom on their own, then they don't deserve it. If we are constantly in a case of perpetual war where we are expected to pay taxes for military actions, and possibly be drafted, then we cannot consider ourselves free. It's a little redundant to continuously fight for the freedom of other countries since it confirms how not free we truly are!
Debate Round No. 3


Yes you are correct, south korea and north korea is still at odds with each other. There is no treaty or peace agreement between them. This been going on since 1950's. But in 1990's where things got worst. In 1994 Bill Clinton "negotiated a deal with North Korea that included two reactors " is based on a real agreement." (27) worth 4 billions dollars. Of course that framework failed. These two reactors are key for the North korea to develop their nuclear weapons. Now North Korea very close to have perfection their nuclear warheads to reach the mainland of the US. And this is trump red line. Now we on a course toward war. I compare this situation to the Cuban missile crisis, because both could kill millions and both can bring in other countries in this shooting war. "Most Americans," she says, "don"t realize how close we are to this war." (28)
"Former Joint Chiefs chairman: Nuclear war with North Korea closer than ever" (29) So, i have proven that we are closer toward war than any other time in our life time. Trump have show he is willing to use military use, by saying all options is on the table including military use. "he said, alluding to the threat of military action. "Phase 2 may be a very rough thing " may be very, very unfortunate for the world." this part was in my round two. So, yes i have shown you and the reader that Trump is welling to use military use. I have more example in my other rounds like the "bloody Noise" attack. You have shown no proof on this matter. I also mention North Korea will not attack, and i give you reason why they won't already. The biggest threat here is Donald Trump, i already show this in my previously arguments.

By the way these potential new talk is nothing if you look at history, because the last three agreements have failed. So, there is nothing concrete.

You said "my civics teacher told us that we were going to war back then too." with who? China wasn't a threat to the United States 5, 10 or 20 years again. The China threat is only been growing the last couple of years and now into the near future. Again if you actually looked at my cycle statement you could see a big war happen in every generation.

"I also do not care about keeping South Korean liberty safe." We'll i guess you didn't actually read why we need South Korea and how well South Korea is doing. In the world. It not like South Korea is a third world countries and weak. There ate a great success story. But i you don't care about our trade with them, like cars, samsung, food, among other things. I guess you don't care about the Geopolitical we are playing with China. And this is a big factor.

"Possibly be drafted" i just need to point this out to you. They will never be a draft again. Why? Because of this thing that called technology. We have better missiles that could hit the accurately, plus we have huge missiles that could be used. We have drones, that can spy or lunch missiles. We have cyberspace, and better war equipment, better planes, better tanks, and helicopters. So no need for a draft.

"It's a little redundant to continuously fight for the freedom of other countries since it confirms how not free we truly are!" Again showing no proof why we are not free or other countries. If we can't protect other countries or spread Democratic throughout the world we will be drag in to a war just like ww2. If we continued, to have authoritarian rulers, and not do anything to balance it out it will create more chaos. Example, ww2 And ww1. Ignoring the world is not the answer. This is one of many reason why war will happen. If we understand history. It good to understand history to see how things happen, and maybe we can learn from our older mistakes.

You still haven't mention the potential crisis we are having with China. Taiwan is a huge potential for the US and China to head in a shooting war. I have proven facts that we the two countries disapprove on how to handle Taiwan. China want to control it, and the US want to help Taiwan to defend it self. The US and China could go to war over Taiwan.

You think these Island military bases china build are for safety reason. Yes, it is for safety. But only for China interest, and to challenge the US power in the Pacific. Another area where the US and China are not compromising is in Africa. "Significant' consequences if China takes key port in Djibouti: U.S. general" (30) military bases are for safety but only for that countries who build them. Another good reason to have these military bases is for war. And the more military bases there are means there are greater chance of misunderstanding. More risk of accidents that can cause a backlash. Lead to miscalculations on both sides. This just another reason why we are in a
Thucydides"s Trap.

Still no proof on your part on we the Cycle part i listen in my round two. Still no answer on why we are in a arm race between the two countries. Still can't disprove why we not in a trade war that is only growing by the day. You have show no proof on your side of your argument. No sources, just saying we are not, is not inefficient enough to convince me or the reader we not on a collision course toward war.
I have shown proof and i have adequate sources, as for my opponent he has none. I have show my reasons why we are in a Thucydides"s Trap, and i have given reasons why things could get worst.

So, if you going to vote. Please vote PRO!!!!!







I feel my opponent hasn't proven the United States and China's diplomatic relations are somehow worse now than they were when China briefly cut diplomatic relations with the US during the Clinton administration, or when China and the United States didn't have any diplomatic relations at all because the US didn't recognize China as a legitimate country before the Nixon administration. At first I thought my opponents argument was just basically that war with China was unavoidable, but as the debate went on I came to realize that my opponent was basically making an argument for war with China and why we should go to war with China. It seems my opponent doesn't recognize the interest of China as legitimate because it's not in the interest of the US. If the United States wants to stop an influx of cheap Chinese goods from flooding the American market, we need to compete with China by getting rid of of minimum wage requirements thus making production costs go down. Our supposed "trade war" is a problem that the US causes. We can't blame other countries for taking advantage of our bad labor policies.

Kim Jung Un has just invited president tRUMP to have a discussion on North Korea's nuclear ambitions. If tRUMP does take him up on his invite it will be the first time an American "president" has ever met with a North Korean leader. I feel my opponents argument is really just a call to arms as opposed to a stark warning.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mister_Man 4 years ago
Wylted has a point, this debate was more or less about a general war, and not so much the reasons for a Thucydides Trap. Nd2400's arguments were somewhat related to it, lol
Posted by Mister_Man 4 years ago
I'll get the two easy points out of the way first - Spelling and Grammar go to Smooosh as I found it to be a bit difficult to understand what Nd2400 was saying at times due to English most likely being a second language.

Sources go to Nd2400 as he was the only one to use sources to back up anything he said.

I've given a slight edge to Nd2400 in regards to arguments for a couple reasons.
1) In the end, Smooosh seemed to have dropped almost all arguments and given a couple ways on how to avoid a possible trade war, but he hasn't commented on exactly what's happening, just what he wants to happen. Meanwhile, in Nd2400's last round, he used up every last character to refute everything presented by Smooosh and argued his point to a tee, giving multiple examples and reasons as to why the US and China are in a Thucydides Trap (a term I hadn't even heard of until this debate).
2) Smooosh seemed to think that if the US were to be the primary aggressor, it doesn't qualify as a Thucydides Trap. Well, it does. And this was about half of Smooosh's argument.

These are the two main reasons I awarded arguments to Nd2400, if you'd like more, I can continue.
Posted by Wylted 4 years ago
Oh god, the debate doesn"t even explain what the trap is and whether we are in it. It just discusses the likelihood of war. How boring.
Posted by Wylted 4 years ago
The trap is no longer relevant in modern times swag, but I. Think I"ll get around to reading this anyway.
Posted by Swagnarok 4 years ago
It should be noted that there has been at least one peaceful transition of power from one global hegemon to another: Great Britain and the United States. Of course, the circumstances behind this were exceptional, but it does at least prove that the Thucydides Trap is not an inevitability.
Posted by Smooosh 4 years ago
Thank You too, and good luck!
Posted by Nd2400 4 years ago
I have show you and the viewer that we have the ingredients for a war. We have the ingredients for misunderstanding and miscalculations. You haven't show anything on why we are not.
Posted by Nd2400 4 years ago
Thank you for debating me on this issue.
Posted by Nd2400 4 years ago
Oh sorry, for the sources numbers on round 2.
Posted by bsh7000 4 years ago
Cool beans. Lemme know when this finishes.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mister_Man 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments when I'm done typing it out

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